Sessions Schedule






Welcome by State Program Leader, MGFWS, MGFCC, Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overby

1:00-2:00 PM (Plenary Session)

Weed Ecology - Dr. Tim Miller

Like all plants, weeds obey ecological rules, from earliest invasion to acquiring and consolidating ground to the ultimate goal of monotypic stands.  In this talk, WSU Weed Scientist Tim Miller will discuss how weed species do their job, and what makes them so successful in multiple environments. 1 CE credit available  

2:15-3:30 PM

Herbicide Mode of Action - Dr. Tim Miller

Herbicide Mode of Action:  Herbicides kill plants.  That’s their job.  But they do this in very specific ways.  During this class, WSU Weed Scientist Tim Miller will discuss the process known as herbicide ‘mode of action’ in which you will learn the way some common herbicides work. 1 CE credit available  

Kitchen and Small Space Gardening - Jan Clark

The challenges and rewards of gardening in small spaces are many.  Whether it’s a kitchen garden, a patio or balcony garden or just limiting a small space for close-up beauty, this class will provide realistic ideas.  Learn how to best utilize your space, select edibles that please the palette and the eye, and create a healthy balance in your landscape.  Discussion will include tips on using herbs, perennials and other plants paired with hardscape for year-round interest and enjoyment. 1 CE credit available  

Discover Your TRUE COLORS   - Bidget Rohner 

Using the TRUE COLORS Personality System, we will explore our own personality color as well as the colors of those around us.  We will discuss the strengths of the different colors and how our differences can lead to conflict.  1 CE credit available  

Bring Back the Pollinators - Eric Lee-Mader

Pollinators are essential to our environment. The service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of more than 85 percent of the world's plant species and is essential to both our food supply and to the perpetuation of natural ecosystems. Unfortunately our pollinators face significant environmental threats. In this talk, the Xerces Society's Eric Lee-Mäder will provide an accessible, easy to understand science-based framework for reversing the decline of pollinators, one that begins with gardeners, farmers, urban planners, and landscape professionals.

Introductory topics will include a basic natural history overview of our native pollinators (including native bees of Washington) and the native plant habitat systems that can support them, such as urban meadows, hedgerows, and other features (specific plant selection information will be covered).  Advanced topics will include habitat restoration methodologies (with a special focus on native wildflower meadow establishment from seed using both organic and conventional approaches), pesticide risk mitigation, and how to access additional resources to support pollinator conservation projects.  Case Studies will be provided, and all topics will be discussed against a backdrop of visually stunning original photography from Xerces Society projects and partners. 1 CE credit available  

3:45-5:00 PM

Glyphosate, Resistance and Cancer: What is the Current Situation? - Dale Whaley

Glyphosate (trade name Roundup) is one of the most widely used chemicals around the world. Because of its continued overuse in some Agro-ecosystems, weeds have started to develop resistance.  An even greater safety concern is that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) labeled glyphosate as a "Group 2A Carcinogen" in March 2016.  Come find out what the current situation is for both issues.  1 CE credit available  

Propagating Central Washington Native Plants - Ted Alway

Like most plant people, I like the discovery and growing of plants new to me.  Native plants present an especially enjoyable challenge, as they evolved for specific ecological niches and not necessarily for ease of propagation!  I will discuss the practices involved in all aspects of propagation, most of which are applicable to a wide range of plants, native and otherwise.  These practices include propagule collection, seed germination, rooting cuttings and growing plants on to salable sizes. 1 CE credit available  

Empowering Volunteers - Jennifer Marquis

Effective volunteer management and leadership is key to delivering successful programming and achieving organization goals. In this session we will focus specifically on WSU Master Gardener volunteers while covering characteristics of volunteers, and strategies to inspire commitment, engagement and empowerment. Attendees will leave this session armed with specific tools that will help them be more effective and efficient in managing and leading volunteers. 1 CE credit available  


Gardening for Life  - Cathi Lamoreux 

Change is nature’s way of adapting and we need to be as attentive and smart about it as Mother Nature in order to keep doing what we love. Adapting our spaces, tools and techniques can keep us ahead of changing dynamics within our bodies and our gardens. There are intangible benefits of gardening that continue as we age. Our interaction with the natural world, and the ability to get outside remain, and sometimes become even more important, while we include the natural world in our lives.  1 CE credit available  

5:00-6:30 PM

No-host bar, networking, marketplace, auction, raffle, vendors, exhibitors, and vote for your favorite photos! Doors open at 5:30 for the Welcome Reception (with appetizers).

Dinner on your own.


9:00-10:15 AM

Working with Schools and Youth Outreach - Bob Taylor

 Having successfully led a youth outreach program for ten years, WSU Lewis County Master Gardeners helped a Title I school in the lowest 5% of Washington elementary schools progress to the top 5% today.  

Learn how this was accomplished using garden-related math problems and activities.  Hear how we worked with local schools; how to approach schools and districts; who needs to be involved; types of topics to cover; evaluating results; building a team approach and types of hands-on activities used.  1 CE credit available   

Water Rights 101 - Marc Marquis

The scope of this presentation is intended to provide participants with a basic understanding of the origins of Washington State water law, the legal requirements for acquiring, using and/or changing a water right, and the implications of the Washington State Supreme Court’s “Hirst” decision which limits the use of domestic wells which may supply water to private residences for potable use and non-commercial gardens.   1 CE credit available   


Balancing Competing Commitments - Margaret Viebrock

There will always be competing commitments that get in the way of doing what is really most important.  Sometimes doing the quick and easy thing means a check mark on the daily list of accomplishments. Many people believe if they just had more time, they could get more done.  There will never be more time in the day.  Managing time requires the distinction between what is important and what is urgent. The answer to getting more done is balancing competing commitments. 

Learn how to conquer the clutter in your life and then get rid of your biggest time wasters. It may sound easy, but without a plan, it never happens.  Find out how to change your life, using seven easy steps.  Be prepared to make some changes that will affect your productivity, help you accomplish the most important things and bring a better balance to your life.  1 CE credit available   

Weed Worries - Julie Sanderson

This presentation is an overview of weed worries we all have and will cover noxious vs. nuisance weeds, what works where, how to come up with a comprehensive weed management plan for any size property, and how to get integrated weed management (IWM) to work in your garden.  1 CE credit available   

10:30-11:45 AM

Digging in the Dirt: How Students Grow In Our School Garden  - Kim Romain-Bondi

Classroom in Bloom is a non-profit organization located on the Methow Valley School District campus in Winthrop, WA.  For the past 14 years, their 1 ½ acre organic garden provides programs, services and new inspiration for interdisciplinary studies which are integrated into the K-12 public school curriculum during weekly visits to the garden throughout the year. Farming education with kids’ hands in the dirt is about as important as the core curriculum component. Kim will present how students build soil, turn compost, save and sow seeds, pull weeds, prune trees, clean tools, harvest food, weigh produce and reap the sweet harvest of their efforts. We’ll also discuss how collaborative outdoor experiences on a farm help children build self-esteem, develop personal responsibility, foster community involvement, and connect each student’s personal health to nature and the environment.   1 CE credit available   

Wildland Fire-Ready, Set, Go—How to Prepare and Survive - Gary Berndt

Many families today are searching for a rural lifestyle that creates a “sense of place” and the solitude that accompanies it. When the search leads to a home in the forests or wildlands there are ever increasing challenges to preserve that goal. The fuels in our timbered lands are changing, as are the fuels in our rangelands. Insects and diseases are on the rise, the weather is drying fuels faster and for longer durations every year. There is increasing demand for development as our population grows. The lands that are being developed are prone to impacts by wildfire and they have become known as the “wildland urban interface” or WUI. Living with fire is ever present, but there are many ways to be proactive in saving lives, protecting properties, and maintaining habitats. This is where the vegetation really matters and where making certain that local governments, residents, and developers are made aware of what success can look like. It’s our job to carry the message.  1 CE credit available

Invasive Species in Washington State: Everyone has a Role to Play in Prevention and Management - Justin Bush

Invasive species are damaging our land and waterways, our wildlife and businesses, our health, and our very way of life. Justin Bush will speak about invasive species in Washington State, the Washington Invasive Species Council and its role in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species, and provide examples of the work of the council. We know how to stop invasive species, but everyone has a role to play in invasive species prevention and management. Justin will also illustrate the important role of citizen scientists like WSU Master Gardeners in stopping the invasion and protecting our resources.   1 CE credit available   

Using Dwarf Conifers in the Landscape  - Paula Dinius


Living in Washington State it is hard not to be aware of our native conifers, the Douglas fir, Western red cedar, hemlock, larch, spruce, pine, fir, etc. While many of us might want to grow conifers in our landscape for the year-round interest they bring, we know that in most cases at maturity they are just too large to fit in an average size garden. Luckily, there are many great dwarf cultivars to choose from that come in all shapes and sizes that have been discovered, selected, and propagated for our use. The continually expanding pallet of dwarf conifers and their use in the landscape is well worth exploring.   1 CE credit available   


1:30-2:30 PM (Plenary Session)

Diagnostics Knowledge Bowl

Spend a fun-filled hour cheering on teams demonstrating their diagnostic skills in a contest modeled similar to the TV show "Jeopardy". Three 3-member teams representing different counties, pre-selected from a written quiz, will compete for prizes during this Friday afternoon plenary session.   1 CE credit available   

2:45-4:00 PM

Light Up Your Landscape - Mary Peterson

Learn the basics of outdoor lighting for a beautiful after-dark landscape that’s also safe and welcoming.  Knowing how light reacts to specific plants and what makes for a warm look will make your garden ‘shine.’  Understand the difference between focal points during the day, and what will they be during the dark hours.  Analyze different angles and viewing perspectives; you may find that more than one fixture is needed.  In fact, many small fixtures are better than a single, large flood. 

Ideally, planning for night lighting is easiest when designing and building a new home.  “Seeing” the whole picture, pre-installation, allows for strategic construction and wiring so there’s no need to tear up the landscape. For existing homes with established plantings and inadequate outdoor lighting, there are solutions; it just requires more creativity.  Both lighting for new and existing landscapes will be discussed.  1 CE credit available   

Transitioning to Organic Methods in the Home Garden  - Eron Drew

This class is geared toward helping gardeners transition to organic methods of management within the home vegetable patch. We will discuss options for building and maintaining soil health, picking out seed, and choosing amendments and fertilizers. We’ll also discuss ways to avoid and monitor for diseases and pests, including some tips on how to treat minor infestations of some of the more common problems by using organic methods. 1 CE credit available   


Viruses in My Garden: How to Find Them and How to Deal with Them

Dr. Hanu Pappu

Audience will learn about viruses and the type of diseases they cause. Attendees will be provided with information on how viruses spread between plants and between seasons and how we can make use of this information in reducing their spread.  Using a pictorial guide, various symptoms associated with virus infections will be described to help gardeners make a preliminary diagnosis. Practical measures to reduce and manage viral diseases will be discussed. 1 CE available

What Makes a Tree a Hazard? - Dr. Betsy Goodrich

In this presentation we will walk through what abiotic and biotic factors cause tree defects, how trees attempt to defend themselves, and how you can determine which defects can cause a tree to become a hazard.   1 CE credit available   

4:00-5:30 PM

Free time, networking, marketplace, auction, raffle, vendors, exhibitors, and vote for your favorite photos!

5:30-8:15 PM Banquet & Keynote Speaker

Attire is dressy-casual.

Making Artscapes in the Public Realm- Adam Schwerner

Adam will talk about a professional journey that has, over time, become more and more about the commingling of ornamental horticulture and his art practice. As the son of two artists, art-making is part of Adam’s genetic make-up and he has realized that there is no reason to keep the two practices separated and loves to share the product of these merged interests. In particular, in his presentation, Adam will focus on projects completed in the public realm where the work engendered reactions ranging from consternation to gleefulness.

Since the beginning of his professional career Adam has been occupied by the interesting interaction/frisson/tension that comes of the hybridizing of the natural and clearly human made. There’s a place, as these two things cross paths, where a happy medium happens (neither one being the stronger/overcoming the other). This is the space where he likes to live in his work. Bright, ‘fake’ color is also endemic to the work.
In a series of large scale and site-specific installations in Chicago (that got park patrons angry, annoyed, happy, excited, and curious), Adam found that, ultimately, art elements caused interesting questions to be asked and answered. The combined Artscapes made the joint installations matter more to people: What had once been thought of as ‘nice’ and rarely noted in any public way was now thought of as interesting and surprising and annoying and fun and absurd and was being captured by helicopter for the local nightly news and all multiple press outlets. Seemed that this was worth continuing.

Over the years and, in pursuit of this life long conversation, Adam continued this work in Atlanta and California. His presentation will focus on the work created in the public realm in public landscapes in these places.  1 CE credit available   


9:00-10:15 AM

Garden Art and YOU - Mary Fran McClure

Art in the landscape is more than judicious color combinations, creative plantings and hardscape.  It's adding bits of your personality, whether by humor, elegance or whimsy.  It's what pulls it all together, inviting a second look.  Art is a natural in the landscape. 

This talk shares ideas for a whole range of art including make-your-own items both practical and frivolous to traditional impressive objects and designs--in other words, something that satisfies each of us and our individuality.  The presentation will offer plenty of ideas both in pictures and some on display that may help you add pizzazz to your own landscape.  1 CE credit available   

Soil Sampling & Soil Test Interpretation - Dr. Kyle Bair

Soil tests can be very useful in diagnosing and treating soils for optimal crop growth.  But what do all of the numbers mean?  This talk will focus on taking good samples for laboratory analysis and how to correctly interpret the data once the analysis is complete.  1 CE credit available   


Hype, Hokum and Honesty: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why - Linda Chalker-Scott 

As university volunteers, WSU Master Gardeners must provide science-based information to their clients, but how to tell what’s science – and what’s pseudoscience? This seminar will provide WSU Master Gardeners with some guidelines for evaluating articles, books, and electronic resources objectively. We’ll then use those guidelines to evaluate information on several products and practices of interest to gardeners everywhere.   1 CE credit available   

A Rose is a Rose … BUT Differences Abound East and West of the Cascade Curtain! - JoAnn Brehm and Judy Redmond

Two American Rose Society Consulting Rosarians and WSU Master Gardeners will discuss growing roses on both sides of the Cascades. One of them (Judy) lives in Woodinville and the other (JoAnn) lives in the Tri-Cities area. They will discuss: types of roses; where and how to plant, including site selection and soil preparation; and rose pruning and care. Rose care will feature best watering and fertilizing practices, and managing rose pests and diseases. Highlights of the only American Garden Rose Selections Test rose garden in Washington state and tips for easy rose care will be presented along with a list of recommended roses in their respective areas.   1 CE credit available   

10:30-11:00 AM (Plenary Session)

WSU Master Gardener Program: Past, Present & Future  - Todd Murray, Jim Kropf & Jennifer Marquis

Interim State Leadership team of Todd Murray, Jim Kropf and Jennifer Marquis will talk about Washington State University Extension and its past, present and future commitment to the WSU Master Gardener volunteer program. They will cover budget factors that affect and relate to the program, while introducing what future leadership for the program looks like and the role volunteers play in helping WSU Extension be successful.  

11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon (Plenary Session)

State Foundation leader presentation

2019 WSU Master Gardener Conference presentation

Photo Contest winners announced


Printable Conference Schedule

Printable Conference Schedule- Class descriptions (pdf)