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.

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

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.”

2019 Programs Preview 

January 14, 2019
Getting to Know the World of Bamboo – Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden

01bamboogardenFor many gardeners, the idea of bamboo in the garden conjures one of three images: a) hopelessly exotic plants, probably tropical and probably Asian; b) a dreadful menace that is impossible to control; or c) both of the above. Our speaker, Noah Bell, will make the case that bamboo is a dragon:  ancient, exotic, wild, and an inestimable ally when befriended and properly cared for.

Noah Bell has managed Bamboo Garden for 14 years, a 20 acre nursery dedicated to growing bamboo, introducing appropriate new species and cultivars, and providing both plants and design services for major gardens across the US and Canada. Noah will talk both about the magic and mystique of bamboo – and about how to control it.

February 11, 2019
Earthquakes in Northwestern Oregon – Dr. Scott Burns

02_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.

March 11, 2019
Associations Between Pollinators and Native Plants in the Willamette Valley – Aaron Anderson and Gail Langellotto, Oregon State University

03nativeplantsAaron Anderson and Gail Langellotto will provide recommendations of native plants to include in your own garden to support diverse bee communities, including rare bees and bees that are considered ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

Since 2017, Aaron has been managing a large-scale field trial of 23 native Willamette Valley plants, to document the insect community associated with each species. He has also been monitoring the insect community on four species of non-native ornamental plants that are commonly found in gardens, and that are touted for their benefits to pollinators. In 2018, Aaron surveyed gardeners to find out how they rank the aesthetic beauty of his 27 study plants, all in an effort to find the ‘sweet spot’ of plant species that are attractive to pollinators, as well as to gardeners. This talk will present initial findings from Aaron’s study.

Aaron is pursuing his Ph.D. in Horticulture at Oregon State University, under the direction of Gail Langellotto. A Portland native, Aaron received his B.S. in biology at Cornell University. After graduation, he worked on native plant restoration projects in the San Francisco Bay area, took courses in Geographical Information Systems, and worked in an entomology laboratory at Colorado State University.

Gail received her B.S. in biology and M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology, all from the University of Maryland. She is Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State University, where she also coordinates the statewide Extension Master Gardener Program, and serves as the principle investigator for the Garden Ecology Lab. Her research and extension program are focused on developing a better understanding of how to design and manage gardens and other urban greenspaces to promote ecosystem services in urban and suburban landscapes.

*MG Education Credit

April 8, 2019
Fantastic Ground Covers and Where to Find Them – Mark Leichty, Little Prince Nursery

04littleprinceMark Leichty will share his wisdom about ground covers for our part of the world, and if that wasn’t exciting enough, he’ll give us the inside track on all the wonderful plants Little Prince has to offer. Besides groundcovers, there are perennials, NW natives, succulents, ornamental grasses, ferns, and other far-from-ordinary plants. The Little Prince brand includes unique categories of plants, separated by how they are used in the garden or other distinct qualities including FOOT TRAFFIC PERENNIALS™, COMMON GROUND®, BLADES OF GLORY®, CLIFF HANGERS®, FIT FOR A KING®, GROUND CONTROL®, MADE IN THE SHADE, NATIVE GROUND®, and WATER MISERS®.

Mark is the Director of Business Development at Little Prince of Oregon Nursery, a wholesale grower of perennial plants and groundcovers. He has designed 7 award winning booths at the Farwest Nursery Show. He enjoys visiting beautiful gardens searching for rare and unique plants, writes a monthly column in Nursery Management Magazine called Green Guide, and also writes a weekly blog for Little Prince of Oregon. Mark grew up on a grass seed farm near Albany, Oregon, still lives in the area and still grows much of the food he and his family eat.

May 13, 2019
Landscape Mulches: The Good, The Bad, and The Really, Really Ugly Linda Chalker-Scott, PhD, WSU,,

05mulchpine-needlesMulches are an ideal alternative to chemical weed control. If correctly chosen and applied, mulches can not only reduce weed invasions, but also reduce management costs by improving water and air movement, moderating soil temperatures, improving soil structure and nutrition, and enhancing beneficial microbes and insects. How can you decide which mulch is best for your landscape? This seminar will teach you how to make these decisions.

Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist. She is Washington State University’s Extension urban horticulturist and an associate professor in the Department of Horticulture. She develops educational materials for home gardeners, certified arborists, restoration ecologists, pesticide applicators, and the nursery and landscape industry.

Linda is the author of four books: the award-winning, horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again, How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do, and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science, Practical Application. She has published extensively in the scientific literature as well as in popular magazines such as American Nurseryman, Organic Gardening, and Fine Gardening. She and three other academic colleagues host The Garden Professors blog, through which they educate and entertain an international audience.

*MG Education Credit

June 10, 2019
Strange, New and Wonderful Vegetables – Tim Russell, Territorial Seed Co.

06territorial1121_9489_thumbMost gardeners in this part of the world have heard of Territorial Seed Company, a major seed grower located just south of Eugene.  Many of us regularly buy their seeds; many more regularly consult their paper or online catalogues for tips on what to grow and how to grow it here in the specific conditions of the Willamette valley.

But what lies beyond, carrots, and kale?  As pioneers in doing “field trials”—planting everything to find out what grows best right here—what do the seed mavens from Territorial see in our future?  They have promised that this talk will range far more widely than new colors of cabbage.  What about the perpetual promise of new perennial vegetables?  What about vegetables that are heirlooms for people who live in climates like ours, but on different continents?  What have they been discovering that will amaze us five years from now? Come visit behind the scenes and into the future at the local giant that is Territorial Seed Company.

Tim Russell is the Marketing Director at Territorial Seed Company and is responsible for producing the catalogues for Territorial Seeds.

*MG Education Credit

September 9, 2019
Deerly’ Missed: a Pangram Garden – Dave Eckerdt, Marion County Master Gardener

09 Deerly Missed 554A4730-X2A  pangram is a single sentence that makes sense, has a few letters as possible, yet uses each letter of the alphabet at least once, like ‘A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.’ A pangram garden might then be a collection of plants with at least one genus beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Surprisingly, this is not as easy as it sounds.

Come take a virtual visit of Dave and Pat Eckerdt’s two-acre garden and be introduced to some plants you may not have met before, each with its own story. Along the garden path, you will also visit some critters, art and hardscape that contribute to the beauty of the garden Dave and Pat have named Deerly Missed.

Dave and Pat Eckerdt live in Salem in a home first built in 1891 and now surrounded by a two acre ‘collector’s garden’. Their ever-changing garden is 25 years old and has become a regular stop for touring garden groups. Dave’s writing and photography have been included in several horticulture publications. Dave is currently president of the Salem Hardy Plant Society and the Marion Chapter of Master Gardeners.

October 7, 2019
Perennials from Seed – Amy Campion

10 eighteen seedlingsWho doesn’t like free plants? Learn to grow perennials and other ornamentals for free or very cheaply by starting them from seed. In this class, you’ll learn how to germinate seeds (including those that need special treatment) and how to grow seedlings to become strong, sturdy plants for the garden. We’ll discuss media, light, temperature, and water, as well as methods for starting plants indoors and out.

Originally from Minnesota, Amy Campion went to grad school with plans to become a professor of sociology, but while there, she realized her true calling was horticulture. She and her husband then moved to Ohio, where she worked at a large wholesale/retail nursery for 16 years before moving to Portland in 2013. Overjoyed with the gardening possibilities in the Pacific Northwest, she continues to learn all she can about making the most of what this region has to offer and is active in the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. In her own garden, she’s especially interested in drought-adapted plants and plant propagation. A freelance writer, editor, and photographer, Amy is the co-author of Gardening in the Pacific Northwest: The Complete Homeowner’s Guide, from Timber Press.

*MG Education Credit

November 11, 2019
Growing Dryland Vegetables – Amy Garrett, OSU Extension Small Farms Program

11dryfarmingLearn about strategies for growing select summer vegetable crops without supplemental irrigation in our maritime climate. Hear about results from Oregon State University Dry Farming Project field trials, and how you can get involved with the Dry Farming Collaborative.

As an Assistant Professor Amy researches and teaches ways to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of our food production systems. Amy has over 20 years of experience in the horticulture industry ranging from landscape design, installation and maintenance to organic farming. She holds a B.S. in horticulture from Purdue University and a M.S in horticulture, studying ‘nitrogen management with cover crops in organic broccoli production systems’. She has managed a diverse three-acre farm which provides farm fresh produce, meat and eggs for a local inn and Farmer’s Market.

Drought mitigation tools and strategies for growing with little or no irrigation have become a focus in Amy’s work over the past several years. The Dry Farming Project she is leading will be expanding to include several Dry Farming Demonstration sites in Oregon, a series of workshops called Growing Resilience: Water Management, and participatory dry farming research with the Dry Farming Collaborative.

*MG Education Credit

December 9, 2019
We’re Rich! Exploring the Many Nurseries of the Pacific Northwest – Loree Bohl

12AdvertisingNurseryGuide1A lifelong resident of the Pacific NW, Loree and her husband Andrew moved to Portland from Spokane in 2004. After purchasing their home in 2005 she got to work designing and planting the garden and quickly fell in love with the vibrant horticulture community in Oregon.

In 2009 Loree began writing her blog,—her love for agaves, cactus and all things spiky was the inspiration for the blog name. Loree publishes to the blog 5 times a week, Monday—Friday, sharing stories and photos from her own garden, her travels to other private and public gardens, and visits to nurseries.

Loree serves on the board of directors for the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, the Pacific Horticulture Society, and has written for the Oregon Association of Nurseries magazine, Digger. She practices the fine art of garden cramscaping and is a firm believer there is always room for one more plant.

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.

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