Chapter Chat - June 2024

Note from the editor: In addition to our chapter newsletter below, the next version of the statewide MG newsletter, "The Gardener's Pen", is available. Check it out here:
Next Chapter Meeting
President's Message
Learning Garden Update
Education Garden Update
Upcoming Events
MGs of Note
DEI Update
Annual Awards
Book Review
Tuesday, June 4, 2024
7:00 - 8:00 PM PDT - Free Webinar, Open to All
Registration Required
8:00-9:00 PM PDT - Members Meeting
Integrated Pest Management: 
Optimize your toolbox for garden production while reducing pesticide use

Logan Bennett

Click Here To Register
Please join the Washington County Master Gardeners  Speakers Series as Logan Bennett, Small Farms and Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Douglas County, OSU Ext., leads us in learning strategies and processes to help determine what actions should be taken on your land or in your garden to contend with diseases, pests and weeds. The webinar will include a focus on biological controls and what can be done to encourage natural and introduced controls.
Logan Bennett has a background in soil science and plant pathology. He worked as a crop consultant prior to becoming a member of the OSU Ext. faculty.
We were traveling for two weeks in May, and I’m not sure if one can ever get on top of the weeding after that. As I write, it seems that good weather is here for a while, which is certainly helpful as work ramps up in our gardens.

I get to see the write-ups from the gardens, classes, members that we recognize each month, and all our program activities. It’s a lot! I hope you take the time to read the rest of Chapter Chat, and if you find something you would like to get involved in or learn more about, please connect with one of the people involved. 

Oh, and don't forget the upcoming statewide OMGA Joy of Gardening event! Following is the content of an email I received from Chris Rusch regarding this.

Hi everyone,
Classes are filling up fast!
Our OMGA 2024 Joy of Gardening Conference registration is now open!

Treat yourself this summer to a 2-day educational event at this year’s Oregon Master Gardener Association Joy of Gardening Conference, July 12-13 at the OSU Alumni Center in Corvallis.

Dr. Leslie Madsen, OSU Master Gardener™ Statewide Program Manager, will deliver opening remarks on Friday July 12 at 8 AM. Come and meet our new Program Manager and find out about the future of our Master Gardener Program.

Next, we are lucky to have two fantastic Keynote speakers lined up.

Friday, July 12 features: Ten Cool Things We Learned from Garden Research, presented by Sherry Sheng and Dr. Gail Langellotto. Be among the first to integrate the latest science into gardening.

Saturday, July 13 features: The Oregon IPM Center: A Hub of Information to Solve Pest Problems, presented by Dr. Silvia Rondon.

Other fun classes include Garden Trivia Live! with Nicole Sanchez; learn from Dr. Brooke Edmunds about the new MG module on Climate Change; hear about how our new Hardiness Zone Maps are constructed with Dr. Daly; engage with Dr. Ana Lucia Fonseca about Empowering Communities through inclusive Leadership; also participate with our MG panel sharing best practices for Plant Sales with our panel participants: Tillamook: Sarah Ostermiller; Benton: Kathy Clark; Douglas: Joy Keeling; Yamhill: Linda Coakley; Central Gorge: Eric Bosler. 

The Joy of Gardening Conference has something for everyone.  The instructors are seasoned speakers, as well as topic experts. Master Gardeners can earn recertification credits for all classes.

Please share the attached flyer with your membership, Chapter Facebook, Plant Clinic, and other outreach venues.

To register visit our website at:

Early Bird Registration ends June 15!!

Thank you for your support!

Many projects are underway in the Learning Garden along with classes and preparations for the Learning Garden Fair at the end of June.
MGs Jennifer Legault and Kari Woyak, and Community Volunteer Wayne Rifer assisted by many other gardeners, began installing a new border for the pathways in the Natives’ area. Bob Campbell precut the logs with only inches of wasted material. The group is using valuable insights from Shirley Wolcott to make those pathways more accessible.
The vegetable garden team assembled and installed two new accessible raised beds this month. The beds are designed so a person using a wheelchair, walker, or outdoor chair can fit their knees under the beds while they garden. MGs Dan McDonald, Jeannine Rychlik, and Jean Ratalsky are shown with the accessible raised beds.
Lorill Hirschberger presenting at the Herbs workshop for the MG Interns.
Judy Fenker presenting at the Herbs workshop for the MG Interns.

An engaged group of 2024 MG Interns learned about growing, using, and preserving herbs on May 11th and then toured the herb spiral to see the plants up close. Anna Stubbs, Judy Fenker, and Lorill Hirschberger shared their extensive knowledge about herbs and learned some new information from the Interns. An In-the-Garden Series Herbs class is planned for June 22nd and Growing Vegetables in the Willamette Valley is planned for the Interns on June 8th and the public on June 15th.
Bob Campbell and Larry Schick installing the sky quality meter in a better location.

The sky quality meter, purchased a few months ago with funds from a grant, was moved to a new location to get a better view of the night sky. Larry Schick, with assistance from Robin Carpenter downloaded the data for the past three months from the monitor and submitted it to DarkSky Oregon.

The Learning Garden Fair, an annual family event, will be on June 29th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and planning is well underway. If you would like to volunteer to help with the event, please contact Jennifer Rosenquist or Robin Burnham   

All are welcome to join the Learning Garden regular work parties on Thursday mornings, 9 am – 1 pm. 
 For more information contact Steve Kister or Robin Burnham
May has been a very busy month, following the greatly successful Gardenfest 2024, we turned pivoted to preparing for the June 1st Education Garden Open Garden- Invertebrates and Vertebrates, which promises to be a fun day once again. Several of our community partners listed on the Open Garden flyer will be joining us, making it a great outreach activity for all. Shown above is an Oregon Bee Atlas activity, one of our community partners who will be at Open Garden.
We welcomed new Interns to join us for an orientation, to make introductions and to work together on projects. The Interns are so enthusiastic and wonderful to work with. Shown here are Elizabeth Price and Stephanie Engle.

 Price led an informative May 18th In the Garden Series session on Pines using the LAT Classroom and for the hands on portion viewing  trees walked the PCC Rock Creek Campus and the WCMGA Education Garden. As always, Elizabeth’s presentation was well received. 
Projects completed this month include installation of the Land Acknowledgement signage and Dark Sky Oregon signage. Those are in addition to the weather resistant display on a copper flip chart of the Portland Parks Green Streets Steward Weed Identification Guide
 ---a great resource that we can refer to while working in the garden.  Work focused on catching early emerging weeds before they can take off, then  covering the ground with arbor chips. Larina Hoffbeck demonstrating best practice for carrying a wheelbarrow of arbor chips.

The irrigation system is now turned on and ready for some warmer weather! Many thanks to everyone who volunteered to get the garden ready for June 1st Open Garden –it is looking terrific! 

Interested in joining in for the Wednesday morning work party or helping with set up and take down for In the Garden Series on some Saturdays? Contact Susan Albright  or Sue Ryburn  Saturdays work better for you. Larina Hoffbeck leads the 3rd Saturday of the month Garden Work Party, contact Larina at

Gardenfest 2024 was hugely successful on multiple levels. It is our Chapter’s biggest fund raiser. Our plant buyers could check out thousands of plants and native plants and veggies were popular choices. They could also ask gardening questions, peruse books, garden tools and gifts for gardeners, and children could engage in activities. Master Gardeners and our newest interns had the opportunity to work together to make the event happen. There were 93 Chapter volunteers and six community volunteers. The folks who work in Landscape Technology at PCC Rock Creek provided essential support to us. The students in the LT program and our Chapter worked together to hold a successful joint plant sale on the following Saturday. To all the volunteers and workers, each of you is being sent a well-deserved THANK YOU from WCMGA Chapter.
Join the Washington County Master Gardener Association in an Open Garden event at our Education Garden at PCC Rock Creek.  This free fun day for the whole family will include hands-on activities that celebrate invertebrates and vertebrates. Learn about the insects and other wildlife in our garden and meet some farm animals from the PCC Rock Creek Farm, including the endearing miniature horse, Tootsie! OSU Extension MG Volunteers, as well as PCC Rock Creek Farm and Community Partners, will be your hosts. 

For more information:
Join Washington County Master Gardeners to learn how to use raised beds and containers for the kinds of bountiful harvests you see at the Learning Garden at Jenkins Estates. OSU Master Gardener volunteers Dan McDonald, Jeannine Rychlik, and Lorill Hirschberger will demonstrate how to successfully plan, plant, and harvest vegetables in your home garden. 

For more information:
Join the Washington County Master Gardeners for a class on perennials. Perennial plants give the garden beauty, provide food for wildlife and create an ever-changing tapestry of color. On top of that, they are a good investment since they come back year after year. This class will discuss different types of perennials and focus on long-blooming varieties. We will discuss how to best care for them in terms of planting, pruning, fertilizing, controlling pests, and general maintenance.  In addition there will be tips on extending bloom time for year-round color.

For more information:
Join the Washington County Master Gardener Association to learn more about herbs.  Herbs are among the most prized crops in any garden. In this class you will tour the Learning Garden ’Herb Spiral’ that features more than 40 herbs that thrive in our PNW climate. Master Gardeners will share information about the growing, harvesting and storing of herbs as well as planting herbs in containers. This information will be a great way to start planning for or adding to your own garden areas.  OSU Ext MG volunteers Anna Stubbs, Judy Fenker & Lorill Hirschberger will lead you on this exciting adventure.

For more information:
Join Volunteers from the Washington County Master Gardener Association at our beautiful Learning Garden for this Free Family Event which is open to the public. There will be fun, hands-on gardening activities for the whole family including scavenger hunts, tours, vegetable seed planting (to take home!) and pollinator education.  Don’t forget to visit our carnivorous plants!
For more information:
We are very fortunate to have Jack Shorr as a member of WCMGA and as a very active member of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program. Jack has been a regular volunteer at the WCMGA Education Garden at PCC Rock Creek since the garden’s start in 2018, as one of his many roles. He  regularly volunteers to deliver educational content at our In the Garden Series, in addition to volunteering to give presentations as part of the Metro Program speakers in the community. Jack’s keen interest in native plants adds to his repertoire of knowledge, which he gladly shares. He led the addition of the Meadowscape garden, regularly provides input on native plants and routinely volunteers for many of the Chapter’s public outreach activities. 
Importantly, Jack is a founding member of the WCMGA DEI team, and serves as an ongoing advocate for expanding our reach with under-represented groups. 
He has made connections to the Five Oaks Museum as an informal ambassador. Jack spearheaded the Chapter’s purchase of the This is Kalapuyan Land exhibit which we have begun do to use at our public events. In addition, he organized a tour of interested WCMGA volunteers of the Five Oaks Museum, further making these important connections.  
In addition to his MG work,  Jack is a certified Master Naturalist and a regular volunteer of the Backyard Habitat Certification Program, making a valuable cross-fertilization of ideas and connections. In addition to his many contributions, Jack is a great person to work with. 
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Vocabulary
“This acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and trans, queer and questioning, intersex, asexual or agender, and two-spirit. This plus-sign signifies additional identity terms.”

-  (Please also see this link for a list of carefully researched and thoughtfully discussed definitions for key gender and sexuality terms, including those listed in the above definition. It is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is a good place to start.)

The members of the WCMGA DEI committee recognize that the terms and phrases used when discussing topics related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion may be unfamiliar or confusing to many people.  Definitions may also change over time.  Since gardening is for everyone, we’d like to help foster understanding of DEI vocabulary with our members and other readers of Chapter Chat and the WCMGA website. 
We're featuring a different phrase or term each month throughout 2024 on our webpage here:
We hope you’ll check back each month for new words and phrases as well as examples of how Master Gardeners can incorporate these concepts into our work with the public and with our own members.

 WCMGA’s 2024 Master Gardener of the Year

Our Chapter’s recipient of the 2024 Master Gardener of the Year award is Larina Hoffbeck. Larina has made extensive contributions in both volunteering and leadership roles. 

She has volunteered in multiple public events in Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas Counties. She has participated in our Grow 1 Give 1 program. She is on the team that leads garden education classes for HomePlate Youth Services and has created children’s education kits which are used at multiple WCMGA events. Larina is the coordinator supporting MGs for the In the Garden Series at the Education Garden at PCC Rock Creek and volunteers there regularly to interact with MGs and the public. She also volunteers to teach Landscape Technology students where the curriculum involves the Education Garden. She is a member of the citizen science monitoring team DarkSky Oregon at the Education Garden. She was a team member for the redesigning of our Chapter’s website.

Larina’s leadership activities include being a founding member and chair of the WCMGA DEI committee. She helped to draft the WCMGA Land Acknowledgement and Accessibility and Inclusivity Assessments. She uses her leadership skills to advocate for diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity for our Chapter’s programs and regularly contributes to our website and Chapter Chat on topics relevant to this mission. Larina was chosen to serve on committees for selecting a Metro MG Assistant Professor of Practice and screening applicants for the 2024 Metro MG intern class. To facilitate volunteer opportunities for MGs, she initiated Saturday work parties at the Education Garden. She has provided essential support for Gardenfest in 2020, 2023 and 2024 by serving as the coordinator to gather and train hundreds of volunteers.  

Larina accomplishes all of this and more, epitomizing the best of the meaning of volunteering by committing her time to make connections with her fellow Master Gardeners and her community.
WCMGA’s 2024 Behind the Scenes Award

Our Chapter’s recipient of the 2024 Behind the Scenes Award is Terry Wagner. Terry shares her knowledge with other Master Gardeners and her community and uses her role on the Board to recognize the contributions of others.

She has been the Chapter Relations Director on the WCMGA Board for three years. This position includes managing the Awards & Recognition Program which oversees nominations for Master Gardeners of Note, Special Act/Making a Difference Award, and the Longevity nominations to OMGA. She oversees the Master Gardener of the Year and the Behind-the-Scenes nominations to OMGA each year. She also manages those same yearly awards for our Chapter. 
With the return to in-person gatherings after Covid and to overcome not having in-person monthly Chapter meetings, Terry organized a committee that held two social events. These will now be yearly events which give members the opportunity to meet and connect. Each year in April she seeks to identify and recognize our community volunteers during National Volunteer Month. As a part of these recognitions, she writes or arranges for a contributing article to Chapter Chat for the recognitions. She contributed a welcome letter for interns describing all our volunteer opportunities which was published in Chapter Chat in 2019.

Terry has operated the sales of books, tools, and Gifts for Gardeners for five years; this involves ordering the merchandise, maintaining the inventory and moving items from storage to sales sites and back. The sales are popular with interns, master gardeners and the public and give Terry the opportunity to introduce gardening practices and ideas to many people and indulge her interest in books. She has volunteered at events such as Science Geek Out, Kid Zone at the Washington County Fair, plant clinic table at Hortlandia, and volunteered at the phone clinic. As part of educational outreach, she has developed and delivered worm bin composting classes and supported In the Garden series for Mason bee presentations to the public. Terry uses her photography skills for awards presentations, public events, and creating thank you cards for out Chapter. She regularly contributes book reviews to Chapter Chat and posts on our social media. She was a team member for the redesigning of our Chapter’s website. She proposed having a Little Free Library at the Learning Garden and collects and delivers books to keep the LFL stocked. 

Terry has found volunteering as a Master Gardener a rewarding experience on multiple levels which allow her to indulge her interest in gardening, photography, and books.    
If you have ever considered planting a green roof or constructing a living wall or you would like to know more about what’s involved, start with this book which is packed with information about these concepts. There are a multitude of benefits with these concepts.

There are variations of green roofs. Intensive roof greening, which will likely include people accessing the area, requires more soil and substrate, increasing the cost of installation. Extensive roof greening, which isn’t intended for use by people, is more ecological and sustainable, less expensive, doesn’t require as much labor, soil, or water, and only needs minimal maintenance. Semi-extensive and hybrid systems are combinations of both and feature low maintenance, high biodiversity, and visual appeal. Urban wasteland roofs (“brown roofs”) use items such as stones, gravel, sand and other urban substrates which promote habitat for invertebrates and ground nesting birds. There are modular systems which interlock and contain the growing substrate, drainage system and the plants. There are also small scale, domestic and garden green roof systems which are suitable for home gardeners. 

I was surprised to learn that a Ford truck assembly facility in Dearborn, Michigan has a 1.1 million ft2  roof planted with 10 plus acres of sedums that retain and cleanse rainwater and keep the internal temperatures moderate saving $50 million. A Zurich railway station platform roof used layers of urban substrates and urban wasteland plants to create a habitat for lizards and rare insects. The Hundertwasser-Haus in Vienna is an apartment complex constructed with 992 tons of soil and 250 trees and shrubs and it is one of Vienna’s most visited buildings and part of Austria’s cultural heritage. This book takes you to many different parts of the world and back in history to experience green roofs and their different incentives, reflecting climate, culture, political, and economical ideas. 

We are more familiar with seeing living walls which can be hydroponic systems constructed on vertical or non-horizontal surfaces. They have a decorative effect, provide water purification, have therapeutic uses, absorb rainfall and the heat generated in cities, and reduce heating and cooling energy costs. They also have the positive benefit of bringing plants to more places. The addition of a living wall can add spaces for wildlife and invertebrates to thrive and improve their food web.

Distinct characteristics and suitability of various climbers, annuals, wall shrubs, and fruit trees are included by the authors. Self-clinging climbers can be used but more modern practices use cables or trellis to hold the plants away from the building surface. Living walls include drystone, stacked construction, modular units, gabions, mortared walls, vegetation mats, and living fences. The authors introduce newer technical information which alleviates problems which occur when plants are allowed to just climb up the wall and add advantages of using a controlled system. 

The authors include plant directories for roof-greening and façade-greening plants, suppliers list, and references for further reading.  
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