Our Projects

Master Gardeners in Your Community

Master Gardeners are trained volunteer educators who serve our community by assisting local Extension Agents in providing sound and practical gardening information to area property and homeowners. In addition, we work side by side with other community groups in providing hours of community service in the name of gardening education.

UNIT PROJECTS
Master Gardener Training Course
(Annually, February-May) —
Annual training for new master gardener interns. Generally 50 hours of instruction from February through May. Interns also must complete 50 project hours to become certified Master Garden Volunteers. Details on the 2017 Class here.

Barn Garden Workshop Series — 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA
Workshop series for the home gardener co-sponsored with Belle Grove Plantation. Classes led by NSV Master Gardeners. Contact Lynn Hoffman: gwendydog@gmail.com

Blandy Community Garden Teaching Garden — 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Boyce, VA Project hours for hands-on teaching of various groups while designing, planning, and installing garden bed. Contact Mary Craig: mcorneliac@centurylink.net

Seed Exchange @ Blandy (Last Saturday in January) — 400 Blandy Lane, Boyce, VA
Project hours for preparing seeds and assisting with day of event. Free seed exchange and educational event sponsored with the Blandy Experimental Farm/State Arboretum of Virginia. The next exchange will be on January 29, 2018.

Garden Fest (First Saturday in June.) — 336 Belle Grove Rd, Middletown, VA
Garden Fest is set for June 3, 2017. Project hours for various areas of event, from creating displays and potting/ maintaining plants to helping with signage, setup, and children’s events day of event. Something for everyone’s interests. (Trainees attendance is required.) Contact Cy Haley: cyhaley@comcast.net

Gardening in the Valley Symposium — held at Lord Fairfax Community College Conference Center, Middletown, VA
Educational event focused on gardening topics of interest to Master Gardeners and homeowners in the Valley. The speakers are chosen from the horticultural industry and professional speakers on numerous topics.  The event includes lunch, free parking and door prizes throughout the day. MG Educational hours are given for the conference.

Junior Master Gardener Course — Winchester, VA
Project hours for teaching children the basics of gardening as well as the value of giving back to the community. Children are enrolled with the 4-H program and work with the Frederick County Extension Office. Classroom portion lasts from March through June. Contact Lynn Hoffman: gwendydog@gmail.com

Learning Garden at Belle Grove — 336 Belle Grove Rd, Middletown, VA
Education hours for working with the public while planning, planting, and improving historic garden. Click her for Belle Grove Garden Project History. Master Gardeners meet on most Tuesdays and some Saturdays during the growing season. Contact Larry Haun at lchaun@shentel.net

Community Help Desks & Help Lines — Dates & Times vary by locality. To check on your locality help desk and contact information, visit our Contact Us page.

Clarke County Projects

County Coordinator Ginny Smith   va_dare@msn.com

Millwood Community Garden — Project work includes planning the design of the beds, preparing, planting and maintaining the beds, as well as harvesting the garden beds and donating the vegetables to the local food bank.  The work is done with members of the Millwood community, and allows MG’s to share their knowledge with the community members. Contact Mary Flagg:   dazlmom@outlook.com

Chet Hobert Park Xeriscape Garden — Project includes maintenance of demonstration garden to help with planting, mulching, pruning and weeding. Maintenance of bulletin board to include replacement of bulletin board paper, and posting of current VCE publications as well as MG event flyers (all materials posted must be laminated due to weather exposure). Explore more visible and permanent plant labels and look into the cost/partnership to replace/upgrade bulletin board to further the educational value of the garden. Contact: Ginny Smith  va_dare@msn.com or Suzanne Boag  suzannemboag@gmail.com

Clarke County High School — Work with Clarke County High School Agriculture Education teacher(s) and students. Help staff MG info table at plant sales, FFA events, and 4-H shows. Coordinate events for education programs with students at Boyce ES and DG Cooley. Contact: Mary Flagg     dazlmom@outlook.cpm

Clarke County Fair — Set up and help staff a booth at the Clarke County Fair. Master Gardeners will be available to answer horticulture related questions and provide handouts about MG projects and programs. Contact: Ginny Smith   va_dare@msn.com

Greenline— Answer phone and email inquiries from the public forwarded by the Clarke County Extension Office to the Clarke County MG volunteers. Contact: Susan Garrett  susangarrettmg@gmail.com

Home Consultation — Master Gardeners will visit homes to answer specific problems or issues requested by a home owner.  It is recommend that any home consultations be done as a pair of volunteers. Contact: Ginny Smith  va_dare@msn.com

Frederick County Projects

County Coordinator Helen Lake  alyena@shentel.net

Our Family Program — This garden based project is a collaborative effort between Master Gardeners and VCE Extension Agent Rebecca Davis with the Master Food Volunteer Program. The garden program is located at the Old Bethel Church on Route 522.  It is a day program for adults with learning and physical disabilities.  MG can work with the clients in a small vegetable garden on the church grounds.  FYI Paula Brownlee, the project contact, completed the Master Food Volunteer Training two years ago and was interested in pursuing a program where combining vegetable and herb gardening meets food selection and preparation.  Contact: Paula Brownlee ppbrownlee1@gmail.com

Pollinator Gardens — 8693 Valley Pike. US Park Service Headquarters, Middletown. Master Gardeners will assist to develop and maintaining two or more pollinator gardens. The project will educate the public about the importance of pollinators to the environment. Contact: Larry Haun  lchaun@shentel.net .

Timbrook Community Garden and Fremont Street Nursery — Freemont Street Nursery and Master Gardeners develop the community gardens across from the Timbrook Safety Center.  Approximately  30 children,   4-12 years of age, work with the MG’s and learn how to grow food in their gardens.  All produce harvested is donated to the Highland Pantry. Contact: Mary Turner or Bob Gail bobgail21@gmail.com

Village at Orchard Ridge Sensory Garden — MGs involved in the project act as consultants and purchasers of appropriate plantings to be used in a therapy garden in the Memory Care Center at the retirement facility.  Contact: Sari Carp  saricarp@gmail.com

Page County Projects

County Coordinator  Lesley Mack lesleypmack@gmail.com

Page County FairHorticultural specimens are taken to the fair to be judged. MGs aide in the identification and classification of the specimens in the adult and the youth sections of the fair. Also, MGs staff an educational booth to answer questions during the fair.

Farmers Market Info BoothMGs staff a table at the Page County Farmers Market in Luray. MG volunteers answer garden related questions and provide VCE fact sheets and publications.  The market runs from May to October on Saturdays 9:00am – 1:00pm. Actual staffing days will be determined by volunteer availability.

GreenlineMGs receive and respond to the public’s questions either via the phone, email or in person relayed from the VCE-Page office to participating MGs.

Home ConsultationsCalls are relayed from the VCE-Page office to participating MGs. For your safety, we recommend that any home consultations be done as a pair of volunteers.

Birdsong Pleasure Garden Tours — Educational tours are offered by Tom & Lesley Mack to community groups and individuals.  Tours can be structured around specific topics and group requests.  Tours include viewing of and discussion about tree varieties, shrubs, native and perennial plants, water features, soil and mulch use, vegetable garden and fruit tree maintenance, hardscape and year round interest and landscape design. Contact Tom Mack lesleypmack@gmail.com

Preservation & Education of Historic Chinquapin Oak — Luray’s historic Chinquapin Oak tree is described and pictured on pages 74 and 75 of the Remarkable Trees of Virginia book. The tree is estimated to be over 250 years old and is the 3rd largest chinquapin oak in the state. The Page County master Gardeners (PCMG) rightly could have applied for this as a project a few years ago when the Page County Tree Board got involved in saving the tree. As partially explained on page 74 of Remarkable Trees, the county officials had to modify the construction plans for the new county office building to avoid damaging the tree or its root system. The Page County Master Gardeners believe we need to stay vigilant on the tree’s behalf; to maintain its health, to prevent weeds such as English Ivy from getting a foothold, to guide county officials on the proper care and protection of this valuable historic tree, to educate the public through signage about the history of this tree and its usefulness to the community. There is some talk about turning the area between the county office building and the tree into a “pocket park”. The PCMG support those efforts as long as no damage to the tree or its root system remains a top priority. The PCMG want to stay involved with any planning concerning the tree’s immediate environment.  Current Status: MGs are working with the Luray Tree and Beautification Committee and the county administrator.  Hopefully, a “pocket park” might be established with signage explaining the history and worth of the tree.

Shenandoah County Projects

County Coordinator: Sharon Bradshaw bradrod573@gmail.com

Children’s Gardening Activities — We collaborate each year with our local 4-H agents to present a gardening activity/workshop for each of the three summer day camps throughout the county. Contact: Kathryn Doyle, kathrynd51@gmail.com.

Community Garden Talks — Community organizations are frequently interested in hearing about our activities throughout the area, as well as requesting a speaker for specific topics ranging from roses, shade loving plants vs. sun loving plants, water–wise gardening, etc. Contact: Sharon Bradshaw  bradrod573@gmail.com.

Corhaven Graveyard — This site holds the final remains of formally enslaved persons associated with an antebellum plantation in Shenandoah County and contains approximately 2 dozen sunken graves. Since 2014, members of the community have worked together to clear briars and undergrowth pervasive in the graveyard, conduct historical and non-invasive archaeological research, and create a space that remembers and honors those who were not shown honor during their lifetimes. In 2016, Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners collaborated to create a tribute garden area, in order to display plants common to plantation settlements during the early 1800s, as well as native perennials often gleaned by enslaved individuals, who worked on those plantations. Master Gardeners meet to monitor as needed, interested members are notified via email. Contact: Sarah Kohrs, senkohrs@gmail.com.

Edinburg Mill Rain Garden — Friends of the North Fork, working with multiple partners, have helped create one of the largest storm water bio filtration projects in the Shenandoah Valley. This rain garden is next to the restored Edinburg Mill where it helps halt erosion and filter polluted runoff between the parking area and Stony Creek. The rain garden serves as a teaching/learning venue for local and regional water issues. Master Gardeners work with the Mill to create interactive signage and informational displays for the public. At the Edinburg Ole Time Festival, an annual three-day event that begins the third Friday in September, we staff an information table for water issues for homeowners. Contact: Alice Findler, afindler@afaarchitecture.com .

Fair Produce Judging Class — Two objectives are covered by this interactive workshop: Provide information to Master Gardeners who man the MG information table at the county fairs so they can answer questions regarding placement of fruit, vegetable and field crop exhibits; Teach prospective county fair judges what is involved in becoming a certified county fair judge.  Next class scheduled for August 11, 2017, in the VCE classroom. Contact: Bob Carlton, bobnsam@shentel.net.

Farmer’s MarketsDuring the growing season, our members regularly staff a plant clinic and information pamphlet display in two of the county’s farmer’s markets. The Strasburg market is located in the parking area behind Pot Town Organics and the library and is open on alternate Saturday mornings from April to October. Strasburg Market contact Roz McIntosh, roz@cutey.com; Woodstock Market contact Sharon Bradshaw, bradrod573@gmail.com.

Green Help Line — MG receives and responds to the publics questions either via the phone, email or in person at the VCE office. Contact: Rich Howell, richhowell47@gmail.com.

New Market Demo Rain Garden — Created in 2011 in collaboration with Rutgers University, this is a demonstration rain garden that filters the parking lot rainwater runoff in the area behind the New Market Government Building, and on the library grounds. Contact: Elena Lycas, elycas@lycas.com, or Elaine Harshman, eharsh@shentel.net.

Shenandoah County Fair — Master Gardeners have two part participation: registering entries for competition judging before the fair opens to the public and with an information and literature dissemination display table in the produce hall.  Last year, our interactive display created considerable interest in discussions about the assistance that is available for gardening issues. Contact Mike Marx, mmarx@shentel.net;  for registration Contact Sharon Bradshaw, bradrod573@gmail.com.  Information table

Warren County Projects

County Coordinator: Katherine Rindt  jkrindt@comcast.net

Calvary Memorial Garden — Royal Avenue, Front Royal — Master Gardeners assist with teaching landscape design, plant identification, pruning, and growing annuals & perennials while working in 5 individual garden rooms. Contact: Margie Miller:  magiemaemae@gmail.com

Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School Educational Garden — 290 Westminster Drive, Front Royal — Master Gardeners will help and assist to plan and create educational gardens for use as public teaching/demonstration gardens.  Classes will be given on horticultural topics as gardens progress.  We will work in conjunction with the Tree Stewards and Warren County Public schools.  All classes will be open to the public. Contact: Joey Waters  jowaters@comcast.net

Belle Boyd Cottage Gardens — 101 Chester Street, Front Royal — Master Gardeners lead the public in weekly work sessions, teaching best practices for proper planting, plant care, pest management, and pruning. Tuesdays, 9am – 12noon, April – October. Contact Katherine Rindt: jkrindt@comcast.net

Butterfly Garden at Happy Creek Arboretum — Prospect Street & Commerce Ave, Front Royal — Master Gardeners engage the public by answering questions while working in the butterfly garden and assisting with the renovation planned for 2017.  Meeting times vary during the growing season. Contact: Katherine Rindt jkrindt@comcast.net

Samuels Public LibraryWarren County: 330 E Criser Rd, Front Royal, VA — This  program incorporates several activities at the Samuels Public Library. (1) The Master Gardeners provide input and guidance into the maintenance of the community gardens and advise on future garden expansion on the grounds of the library. (2) The Master Gardeners sponsor, develop and/or teach an ongoing lecture series on garden related topics held at the library throughout the year. (3) The Master Gardeners participate in the Library’s “Taste for Books” evening to promote understanding of MG goals and projects. The event uses books, food, and a table display to focus public attention on a particular message. Project Coordinator and Contact:   Beth Cypser: extcypser@gmail.com

Greenline Help Desk — Master Gardeners are in the Warren County Extension Office on Monday mornings from 9-noon from April to October.  Contact: Katherine Rindt  jkrindt@comcast.net