Free lectures are held on the 2nd Monday of the month (except July and August)

Milwaukie Center – 5540 SE Kellogg Creek Drive in Milwaukie

Lectures are open to the public and start at 7 p.m.


March 12, 2018
Growing Carnivorous Plants – Jeff Dallas and Jacob Farin  www.growcarnivorousplants.com

03MarchCarnivorousPlantsOf all the plants intriguing to home gardeners, carnivorous plants tend to be among the most misunderstood and frequently killed when we first attempt to grow them. This is sad, because once folks are able to navigate past the misconceptions and myths about them, they can be some of the most interesting and beautiful plants in a garden, particularly here in the Pacific Northwest. In some cases they can actually be easier to grow than typical garden plants. Jeff Dallas, co-owner of Sarracenia Northwest carnivorous plant nursery, will help you get past these misconceptions. Come learn about commonly available species, care, pests and different applications of carnivorous plants in garden and home settings.

MG Education Credit


April 9, 2018
Beyond Pinterest: Unlocking the Secrets behind the Pretty Picture – Darcy Daniels, Landscape Designer www.bloomtown.net

04AprilBloomtownWho doesn’t love flipping through gorgeous garden images? Whether on Pinterest or Instagram, they’re inspiring, fun and pretty to look at—but ultimately not very helpful. Darcy will help you break the code, giving you the tools to translate the pretty pictures into tangible garden plans using an innovative method that relies on asking the right questions in the right order as you define your site conditions, tease out your garden needs and desires, and evaluate possible plant partners through a descriptive design-oriented lens. The result: an artful, site-specific composition of plants that you’ll love growing. This easy-to-understand, fresh approach to breaking down the sometimes-mysterious act of combining plants will give you the tools to achieve magical, pin-worthy results in your own garden.


May 14, 2018
Science of Hops and Brewing – Dr. Shaun Townsend, PhD. OSU https://plantbreeding.oregonstate.edu/plantbreeding/research/hops-breeding-program

05Mayhop0376lk_copyThe Aroma Hop Breeding Program is developing new hop cultivars which are adapted for Oregon growing conditions, with a focus on essential oil quantity and quality. Ultimately, new aroma hop cultivars that appeal to the craft beer industry will be available for Oregon hop growers.

Shaun Townsend is an Assistant Professor and Senior Research in the Hop Breeding and Genetics program at OSU. He works closely with the Food Science and Technology Department to characterize the chemical profile of breeding selections, evaluate new techniques for evaluating the brewing potential of experimental genotypes and explores the role agronomic management might play in essential oil quantity and quality. Shaun also works closely with hop geneticists to identify and adapt new molecular biology technologies to hop breeding.

MG Education Credit


June 11, 2018
Meadow and Grass Ecology – Tom Kaye, PhD. OSU Institute for Applied Ecology https://appliedeco.org/

06JuneHerbert-Farm-PP1b-35mm-2016.05.31The Institute for Applied Ecology conserves native species and habitats through restoration, research and education. The scientists conduct rigorous research and work closely with public and private partners to implement science based restoration, creating and managing habitat for plants and wildlife. Their goal is to restore Pacific Northwest habitats by conducting on-the-ground restoration, developing ecologically appropriate seed sources, cultivating partnerships that promote regional conservation, and advancing innovative and research-based restoration techniques.

Tom Kaye, PhD, is Executive Director and Senior Ecologist at the Institute for Applied Ecology, specializing in habitat restoration, invasive species control, and endangered species reintroduction. Tom also serves as The Habitat Restoration Program creates and manages habitat for plants and wildlife. Our goal is to restore Pacific Northwest habitats by conducting on-the-ground restoration, developing ecologically appropriate seed sources, cultivating partnerships that promote regional conservation, and advancing innovative and research-based restoration techniques. We also develop and implement site specific management and restoration plans.

MG Education Credit


September 10, 2018
Five Remarkable Women, Five Remarkable PNW Gardens – Donald Olson, author, Pacific Northwest Garden Tour (Timberpress books) www.donaldstevenolson.com

09SeptemberPNWGardenTourJoin us on for a presentation by Donald Olson, author of the new bestselling guide, The California Garden Tour—The 50 Best Gardens to Visit in the Golden State. Donald’s talk, “Garden Goddesses: Four California Women and their Legendary Gardens,” is an informative and entertaining introduction to four remarkable women who created gardens that are today among the greatest public gardens in the world.

Donald Olson is the author of The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour – The Sixty Best Gardens to Visit in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, a best-selling guide named by Library Journal as one of the best reference guides of 2014. A novelist, playwright and travel writer, Donald has written more than thirty U.S. and European travel guides and. An avid gardener and a popular speaker on garden topics, Donald lives and gardens in New York and Portland, Oregon. After his presentation, Donald will be on hand to answer questions and sign copies of The California Garden Tour and its companion volume, The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour. Both will be available for sale.


October 8, 2018
Earthquakes in Northwest Oregon – Scott Burns, PhD. Geologist

10October_juan-de-fuca-earthquakeIn the Pacific Northwest of the US, the Juan de Fuca plate is being subducted under the North American Plate at the Cascadia Subduction Zone. What does this mean? Dr. Burns will discuss the hazards of and the preparedness for ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides and tsunamis along the subduction zone. Much of our region was not thought to be an earthquake region, so earthquake building standards are fairly recent. How does this affect building codes, emergency preparedness, siting of critical facilities, building of bridges and transportation corridors in our region? What can we expect after a large quake? Dr. Burns will answer these questions!

Dr. Scott Burns is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Past-Chair of the Department of Geology at Portland State University. He has taught for 44 years, with past positions in Switzerland, New Zealand, Washington, Colorado and Louisiana. Dr. Burns specializes in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, terroir and Quaternary geology.


November 12, 2018
The Unknown History Portland’s Rose Test Garden – Harry Landers, Portland Rose Garden Curator, retired. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/73446

11NovemberIRTGJoin us as Harry Landers explores the unknown history of one of Portland’s premier attractions: the International Rose Test Garden. The Garden serves as a trial ground for new rose varieties, as well as an exhibition space. It is the oldest continuously operating public rose test garden in the United States, covering 4.5 acres, and is home to more than 10,000 individual rose plants and approximately 650 varieties. Harry will tell us about the garden and what it takes to make it a World Class Garden and show piece of Portland.

Harry Landers is the recently retired curator, having worked in the gardens from 1989 to 2017. He is the official judge for the American Rose Garden Awards, the American miniature Roses and an independent judge for six rose companies.


December 10, 2018
Leach Botanical Garden Plants and History – David Porter, Director of the Leach Botanical Garden  www.leachgarden.org

12 Leach garden-Kalmia latifolia 'Elf' Photo - Scott HoelscherA lush oasis just south of Foster on SE 122nd, the historic Manor House and grounds of Leach Botanical Garden lie in a hollow carved out by Johnson Creek. In 1931 John and Lilla Leach purchased five acres along Johnson Creek and named it “Sleepy Hollow”. Here they built their home and devoted themselves to their love for plants. The original Leach collection, which includes Kalmiopsis leachiana – one of five plant species discovered by botanist Lilla Leach, forms the core of the now 16+ acre botanic garden. Leach Botanical Garden, a model of sustainable and natural landscaping, is dedicated to the conservation of and education about northwest native plants. David Porter will talk about the lives of John and Lilla Leach and the importance of this beautiful garden to gardeners everywhere.

David Porter has a wealth of experience in non-profit management, having served as the Executive Director of organizations as diverse as Pioneer Courthouse Square and the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. David has a special appreciation for the importance of irreplaceable collections and the opportunities they create: “The stories, whether of John and Lilla Leach or of the plants in the collection, make it possible to spark the imagination and create insights and dialogues on a wide array of topics, connecting our past and our future with the natural world around us.”


January 8, 2018
Lessons from the Hoyt Arboretum – Fall & Winter Flowering Plants – Fred Nilsen, Arboretum Director retired www.hoytarboretum.org

01JanuaryHoytArboretumFred Nilsen spent his career working for the City of Portland Parks and Recreation Bureau, becoming City Arboriculturist in 1986, and managing Hoyt Arboretum and Forest Park. Under Nilsenʼs leadership, Hoyt Arboretum significantly expanded its tree collections. Parks and volunteers crews built miles of trail in Forest Park, Marquam and other natural areas. Hours of work went into removal of invasive species and, together with Friends of Trees volunteers, thousands of trees were planted.

Since retiring, Fred has continued his involvement with Friends of Trees and Leach Botanic Garden. The focus in Fred’s own garden is on collections of Trilliums, Snow Drops, Epimediums, Daphnes and some unique plant specimens.

MG Education Credit


February 12, 2018
Environmental Impacts of Wildfires: The Larger Story of the Eagle Creek Fire – John Bailey, PhD. OSU

02February_Bailey FireJoin us for a most timely presentation on the environmental impacts of forest fire, to help us better understand what has happened to our beloved Columbia River Gorge and what we might expect to follow. As the work of silviculture (managing growth, composition, and health of the forest) shifts following the Eagle Creek fire, what can we citizens do to more sensitively use our forests? How might we encourage others to do the same? What are the greatest risks in the next few years?

John Bailey worked for six years with the EPA in Corvallis on forest responses to pollution and climate stress. After earning his doctorate in silviculture, he joined the faculty at Northern Arizona University for nine years working in semi-arid ponderosa pine silviculture, fuels management and restoration treatments. John then returned to the OSU College of Forestry in 2006 to continue work on fuels/fire management and ecosystem restoration in drier forest types.


Master Gardener Volunteers: Now it’s easier to get your recertification hours. Tagged lectures can be applied toward your Master Gardener program training requirements. Lectures will be marked with MG education credit

See the links below for details and program notes from previous years.

2011 |  2012 |  2013 |  2014 |  2015 2016 |  2017  | 2018