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On The Road — Columbia River Gorge

Pears on tree.MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM — Workshops & Events

Come with us for a trip to the Columbia River Gorge. We will be visiting Mt Adams Orchard, one of the oldest and largest fruit growing orchards in the Gorge near the base of the spectacular Mt Adams. See some pear trees that are 104 years old and still producing! Learn how they do it plus new ways of growing fruit

Then we will go to Bingen to Vanguard Nursery to see where the bedding plants and baskets that we buy from stores such as Costco, Fred Meyer, and Grocery Outlet are grown.

After lunch we will visit Dickey Farms, located right along the Columbia River in Bingen. Dickey Farms is the oldest operating farm in Washington State and popular for their delicious corn that they grow and sell.

Our last stop will be at the Dickey Farms Store where we can purchase local produce or products made or grown in the Gorge area. This is where we can get our corn to eat for dinner and huckleberry pie for dessert!!

DATE/TIME: Mon., Aug. 6, 2018  •  8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

TOUR BEGINS/ENDS: Van transportation from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 9319 NE Hwy 99, Hazel Dell, WA

TOUR STOPS: Mt Adams Orchard, White Salmon,
WA Vanguard Nursery, White Salmon,
WA Dickey Farm, Bingen, WA

COST: $35 registration.

LUNCH: On your own at Beneventi’s.


FOR MORE INFORMATION: (360) 397-6060 x5738 or
Read about all of our upcoming events.

Tomato Pruning Workshop – Hands On

WSU Clark County Extension Master Gardeners Tomato Pruning Workshop; Hands-On – July 14

You prune your fruit trees and your shrubs, but should you prune your tomato plants? Join WSU Clark County Extension Master Gardeners for a hands-on training on tomato pruning. Saturday, July 14, 2018 from 10:00 to 11:30 AM. Location provided upon registration (Hazel Dell/Vancouver). Cost $5 — class is expected to fill up fast! This workshop will clarify which types of tomato plants need pruning and will provide hands-on instruction on when and how to prune. Participants will get a chance to practice. The class is conducted entirely in the field. Please wear appropriate shoes and clothing. No tools are required.

Participants will work in small groups receiving hands-on instruction on pruning techniques. Advanced registration required at  No admission without advance registration. For more information: (360) 397-6060 x5738 or Visit us online at

Clark County Plant Sales Help Gardeners Find Right Foliage to Aid Yards, Habitat


Published in: Columbian • April 22, 2018, 6:03 AM

By Patty Hastings, Columbian social services

Read this Columbian article online.

Earth Day evokes images of people hugging the planet and saving this big blue and green globe we call home through large-scale environmental efforts. Ending plastic pollution. Stopping deforestation. That sort of thing.

But being good to the world can start small. It can start in your own backyard.

Spring is here and gardeners are marking their calendars for the bevy of plant sales happening over the next several weeks. What they choose to put in their gardens can make a difference.

Erika Johnson coordinates the local Master Gardener Program through Washington State University Extension.

The first rule of gardening, she said, is putting the right plant in the right place. Simply listening to where a plant tag says it’ll do best can ward off pest and disease problems down the road that might require harsh pesticides or herbicides, Johnson said. For instance, a Camas lily thrives in a much different environment than a sword fern. Some basic soil care, such as leaving leaves on the ground or spreading wood chips, can prevent weeds and help build up soil nutrients. Soil microbes — beneficial fungi, bacteria and invertebrates — are the “unsung heroes” of the garden, Johnson said.

Minimizing grass can be beneficial for wildlife and rewarding for people who don’t need large lawns. Grass is limited in the group of organisms it supports, Johnson said. She squared off sections of her yard and over time added plants until eventually there wasn’t any grass left.

Johnson also recommends incorporating native plants into the landscape, such as red flowering currant, a colorful shrub that attracts hummingbirds, or Oregon grape, which is loved by birds and bees.

“You’re providing food and shelter for the animals that have evolved in this area,” Johnson said.

Meredith Hardin, president of NatureScaping of Southwest Washington, also praised the benefits of native plants. (This week is Washington’s Native Plant Appreciation Week, by the way.)

“Native plants use less water. They have acclimated to our rainy winters and dry, hot summers, so they’re not going to need as much water during the dry, hot summer,” she said.

NatureScaping, which has 10 themed demonstration gardens in Brush Prairie, is working on a new garden that will feature drought-tolerant plants and a rain garden. People can find inspiration by browsing the labeled plants at NatureScaping. Everything there is meant to be wildlife-friendly, that is friendly primarily to birds, butterflies and reptiles. Hardin noted that birds like thickets and hiding areas, a design feature used heavily at NatureScaping.

NatureScaping’s sale, happening April 28-29, is “really our only fundraiser,” Hardin said. The sale helps support the gardens, along with gardening classes and other educational programs.

She said people can check out the sale next door at the Center for Agriculture, Science, and Environmental Education, or CASEE, whose students will be selling native plants they cultivated.

Some native plants can be found at the Master Gardener Foundation’s popular Mother’s Day weekend sale. Even though last year was rainy and muddy, a lot of people still turned out for the sale, which benefits horticulture programs throughout the county.

“You can’t keep gardeners from a plant sale,” quipped Julie Carlsen, a master gardener.

She said shoppers can find native bleeding heart, fringecup, foamflower and sword fern if they’re looking to incorporate some natives into their gardens. Volunteers will be available to answer questions about the plants for sale.

Or, people can call the Master Gardener answer clinic for gardening-related questions or problems. Volunteers at the clinic can help diagnose issues and help gardeners avoid using sprays. Some people, for instance, may think a bad bug is munching away at a plant when really it’s a beneficial caterpillar trying to eat all the nutrients it needs to turn into a butterfly.

Learn More

Have a gardening question? Contact the Master Gardener answer clinic at 360-397-6060, ext. 5711, or Otherwise, visit the clinic at 78th Street Heritage Farm, located at 1919 N.E. 78th St., between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays.

Want to volunteer? Plant flowers in Propstra Square in Esther Short Park, 605 Esther St., from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 19. Bring gloves, kneeling pads and trowels. Lunch will be provided. Volunteers will meet at the southwest corner of the park.

Looking for inspiration? Visit a demonstration garden. Pacific Community Park at Northeast 18th Street and Northeast 172nd Avenue, Vancouver.NatureScaping Wildlife Botanical Gardens at 11000 N.E. 149th St., Brush Prairie.

Want to learn more about native plants? Clark College’s Native Plant Propagation Center will host a talk, “Why Native Plants?”, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 3 in Room 201 at Anna Pechanec Hall at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way. Erin Harwood will offer planting tips and talk about why native plants are important for the wild ecosystems.

List of Plant Sales


Master Gardener Foundation

What: Hanging baskets, ornamental trees and shrubs, edibles, perennial and annual flowers, and house plants priced between $1.25 and $20. Sales support the Master Gardener Program and horticulture education in Clark County. MasterCard, Visa, cash and checks accepted.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 13.
Where: 78th Street Heritage Farm, 1919 N.E. 78th St., Vancouver.

NatureScaping of SW Washington and CASEE

What: Bare-root trees, shrubs and perennial sales support NatureScaping gardens and classes. Perennials start at $1, shrubs start at $5 and trees are $10 or more. MasterCard, Visa, cash and checks accepted. Next door, the Center for Agriculture, Science and Environmental Education sells Northwest native plants priced at $3, $5 and $10. Cash or check only.
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 28-29.
Where: Wildlife Botanical Gardens, 11000 N.E. 149th St. and CASEE, 11104 N.E. 149th St., Brush Prairie.
Info: or 360-737-1160.

Stephen’s Place

What: Sales of vegetables, houseplants and garden gifts benefit the therapeutic garden program at Stephen’s Place, an assisted living facility for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
When: 10 a.m. to noon May 5.
Where: Stephen’s Place, 501 S.E. Ellsworth Road, Vancouver.

Two Rivers Heritage Museum

What: The Camas-Washougal Historical Society hosts its annual plant fair, featuring native Camas lilies, Canterbury bells and hybridized irises, along with other local plant starts, flowers and berries. Proceeds help cover the museum’s operating costs. Cash or checks only.
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 10.
Where: 1 Durgan St., Washougal.


All school sales accept cash or checks only.

Battle Ground High School

What: More than 15,000 plants for sale, including hanging baskets, perennial flowers, bedding plants, vegetables, berry plants and nursery stock. Sales benefit the district’s horticulture, welding and FFA programs. Customers can also check out the school’s demonstration garden that includes aquaculture, tissue culture, hydroponics, trellised fruit trees and several perennial fruits.
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 5-6.
Where: Greenhouses at 300 W. Main St., Battle Ground.

Clark College Environmental Field Studies

What: Native shrubs, perennials and trees such as Camas, buttercup, blanket flower, snowberry, red flowering currant and nodding onion. All proceeds go toward field-based science experiences for Clark College students.
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 4, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 5.
Where: Greenhouse at southeast corner of Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way. Park in Orange 2 lot near East Reserve Street and McLoughlin Boulevard.
Info: or

Columbia River High School

What: For sale are annuals, perennials, vegetable plants, herbs, house plants, native plants and hanging baskets that are grown in a no-spray greenhouse that uses all-organic soil. Proceeds help students participate in FFA competitions; this year Columbia River will compete in the state convention.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 28, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 30-May 4.
Where: Greenhouses at 800 N.W. 99th St., Vancouver.

Fort Vancouver High School

What: The sale includes annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, sedums, succulents, houseplants, orchids, fruit plants and native plants, as well as vegetables, including organic, heirloom and hybrid tomato varieties. Prices range from $1 to $20, with most being $1 or $3. Proceeds benefit the FAA club and next year’s plant sale.
When: 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 2-4.
Where: Next to the track at 5700 E. 18th St., Vancouver.

Hudson’s Bay High School

What: Many varieties of fruits, herbs, veggies and native trees ranging from $1 to $15. Proceeds go toward the school’s natural resources classes and FFA program.
When: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 2-3, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 4.
Where: Greenhouses on the east side of the school, 1601 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver.
Info: or

Mountain View High School

What: Vegetables, herbs, flowers ($1.50), four-pack vegetables ($2.50), one-gallon geraniums and annuals ($3), and hanging baskets (one for $16, two for $30). Sale benefits the school’s horticulture program.
When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 2-4.
Where: Greenhouse behind the 100 building, 1500 S.E. Blairmont Drive, Vancouver.

Prairie High School

What: Sales of hanging baskets, vegetables, flowers, grasses, herbs and succulents benefit the district’s horticulture, welding and FFA programs. Visit to see photos of what will be available at the sale.
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 5.
Where: Greenhouse at 11311 N.E. 119th St., Brush Prairie.

Vancouver Flex Academy

What: Students sell veggies, herbs, tender and hardy succulents, sun and shade hanging baskets and some landscape plants to benefit the academy’s horticulture program and launch an FFA program.
When: 4:30 to 7 p.m. May 10-11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 12.
Where: 2901 General Anderson Ave., Vancouver.

Woodland High School

What: Florticulture and horticulture science students sell organically grown plants, including hanging baskets, geraniums, petunias and succulents. The sale also features more than 30 varieties of tomatoes and 15 varieties of peppers, along with squash, zucchini, pumpkins, broccoli and kale.
When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 4, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 5.
Where: 1500 Dike Access Road, Woodland.


Camas Plant and Garden Fair

What: Plants, trees, garden art and supplies.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 12.
Where: downtown Camas.

Clark Public Utilities Home & Garden Idea Fair

What: Plant sale, home and garden businesses, landscaping displays and farmers market vendors. Parking is $6.
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 29.
Where: Clark County Events Center at the Fairgrounds, 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield.

Read this Columbian article online.

Mother’s Day Plant Sale


Published: April 24, 2018

Mother's Day Plant Sale Poster

Heritage Farm  — Get ready for gardening season at the annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale.

When: May 12 and 13

Where: 78th Street Heritage Farm!

Presented by: Master Gardener Foundation of Clark County

On The Road — Gardening In Nature

Desert or tropical looking plants with strappy or fleshy or spiky leaves in containers at a nursery.MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM — Workshops & Events

Our tour begins at Westwind Farm Studio with its amazing views overlooking the valley and mountains in the distance. The tour begins in the upper meadow – a field of 15 varieties of lavender. Down the hill is a breathtaking garden surrounding the residence designed by Pietro Belluschi. Twenty of their 80 acres contain an undisturbed beautiful forest and native understory that is protected by a conservation easement.

Next we travel to scenic Sauvie Island to visit the Blue Bee Blueberry Farm, a small family owned and operated u-pick farm. It is an all natural, no spray farm with Reka, Hardy Blue, Bluegold, Liberty and Legacy blueberries that span the season.

Our last stop is Cistus Design Nursery on the other side of the island. Cistus is a retail micro-nursery with a display garden specializing in unusual Mediterranean, southern hemisphere, hardy tropical plants and more that thrive in the Northern Willamette Valley.

DATE/TIME: Mon., June 11, 2018  •  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

TOUR BEGINS/ENDS: Van transportation from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 9319 NE Hwy 99, Hazel Dell, WA

TOUR STOPS: Westwind Farm Studio, Portland, OR • Blue Bee Blueberry Farm, Portland, OR • Cistus Design Nursery, Portland, OR

COST: $35 registration.

LUNCH: On your own at Fultano’s Pizza.


FOR MORE INFORMATION: (360) 397-6060 x5738 or
Read about all of our upcoming events.

Mason Bees

Close-up of a fuzzy mason bee resting on a human's finger.MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM — Workshops & Events

The mason bee — our gentle friend and incredible pollinator. Most likely you have these busy native bees in your own yard; you just haven’t met them yet.

Join Master Gardener Vione Graham for an introductory workshop on mason bees. The presentation will cover their role in pollination, their life cycle and habitats and how we can protect these valuable creatures.

Upon completion of the presentation, participants should feel comfortable setting up a nest box in preparation for hosting bees. This workshop is put on in collaboration with Clark County Public Health – Solid Waste Outreach.


When: Saturday, June 9, 2018 • 10:30 a.m.

Where: Battle Ground Community Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA, 98604

Cost: FREE! No registration necessary.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: (360) 397-6060 x5738 or
Read about all of our upcoming events.

Organic Gardening 101

Frog sitting on leaves with orange blurry background.MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM — Workshops & Events

Come learn what it means to use effective organic methods in your home garden. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of different organic fertilizers, sprays and other products based on the latest scientific research. Learn the most-effective ways to make your garden thrive from the soil on up using organic and sustainable practices.

Be prepared to be inspired to become a more thoughtful natural gardener.

Bring a lawn chair and your work clothes. We’ll do some maintenance in the demo garden after the workshop.

This workshop is put on in conjunction with Clark County Public Health – Solid Waste Outreach. It is free with 45 minutes of service at the demo garden, and no registration is required.


DATE/TIME: Saturday, June 2, 2018 • 102 a.m. to noon

WHERE: Pacific Park — Natural Demonstration Area
NE 18th St & NE 172nd Av, Vancouver, Wa 98684

COST: FREE with 45 minutes of service at the demo garden. No registration necessary.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: (360) 397-6060 x5738 or
Read about all of our upcoming events.

On The Road – Timeless Gardens of the Northwest’s First Female Landscape Designers

White Victorian home with many windows and angles set in beautiful garden.

Northwest’s first female landscape architects, Elizabeth Lord & Edith Schryver began their business and moved into their home in 1929. We’ll view their home and gardens at Gaiety Hollow where we will meander through the Entry Garden, Grape Pergola, Tea Garden and the Spring Garden – which will be in bloom while we are there.

After lunch, we journey through the Deepwood Estate gardens, a property designed by Lord & Schryver with formal garden rooms embellished with arches, arbors, pergolas, ornamental gates and brick walkways.

Last stop; three-acre Bosky Dell Natives, where you can “Create a backyard sanctuary for yourself and your backyard neighbors.” Plan for plant shopping here. Sturdy shoes suggested.

DATE/TIME: Tues., May 22, 2018  •  8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

TOUR BEGINS/ENDS: Van transportation from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 9319 NE Hwy 99, Hazel Dell, WA

Gaiety Hollow, Salem, OR
Deepwood Estate Garden, Salem, OR
Bosky Dell Natives, West Linn, OR

Register online at

FOR MORE INFORMATION: (360) 397-6060 x5738 or
Read about all of our upcoming events.

Composting with Confidence Workshop –


We have all heard about how valuable compost is to our gardens; improving the soil and nurturing plants. But not all of us feel successful with attempts to compost at home.

Do any of these statements describe you?

  • Composting seems too complicated
  • My compost didn’t look like the pictures
  • My compost was slimy and smelly
  • My compost was dry and full of sticks
  • My compost never got hot

This problem-solving workshop will help to demystify the composting process. Often a few small changes will set you on the path to producing healthy, beneficial compost in your own backyard.

WHEN: Saturday, May 5, 2018 • 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Battle Ground Community Library 1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA 98604

COST: FREE! No registration necessary.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: (360) 397-6060 x5738 or
Read about all of our upcoming events.

Container Gardening –

Container Gardening artMASTER GARDENER PROGRAM — Workshops & Events

Learn how to apply garden design concepts and color principles to your beautiful garden containers. Fill your home, patio, or balcony with vegetable and ornamental container gardens.

Join Laura Heldreth, WSU Clark County Extension Master Gardener and winner of the 2016 Fine Gardening Magazine container contest for an inspiring and educational experience.

Learn to express your creativity as you find and design your own DIY containers out of salvaged objects. Participants will create small bouquets; please bring a small vase and some garden pruning sheers or scissors!


DATE/TIME: Saturday, April 28, 2018 • 2 p.m.

WHERE: Camas Public Library; 625 NE 4th Ave, Camas, WA, 98607

COST: FREE! No registration necessary.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: (360) 397-6060 x5738 or
Read about all of our upcoming events.