Bi-weekly Update – February 7, 2023

New Announcements

  1. A New Look for Extension Master Gardeners!
  • We are excited to introduce our new Extension Master Gardener program logo! This new logo is the result of a multi-program process in Virginia Cooperative Extension aimed at developing new, more modern logos for all of our Master Volunteer programs that help tie our programs together and tie them back to VCE as our supporting agency. The consulting firm that developed the new logo gathered feedback at several stages from EMG volunteers and other program stakeholders, and we are happy with the results. This more streamlined logo will be much easier to use in a consistent way on a variety of media. VCE has provided us with guidelines for use and additional resources (including customized logos for each unit) available here: Your unit EMG Coordinator/Extension Agent will receive additional details about the logo this week. 

2.              Virginia Farm to School Regional Network Meetings

  • The VDOE-SNP and VCE will host Virginia Farm to School Regional Network meetings immediately following the Bringing the Farm to School Workshops. These meetings are an opportunity to gather all farm to school stakeholders throughout the region to network and discuss goals, activities, and upcoming priorities for the year. Regions are based on the Virginia Superintendent Regions. Meetings are free to attend and open to the public. Registration must be completed via the online registration form (
  • Meeting dates are as follows:

·       Regions 5 and 8: Friday, February 17, 2023, 1:00–3:00 p.m. at the Miller Center in Lynchburg, Virginia

·       Regions 6 and 7: Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 1:00–3:00 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Housing Center in Wytheville, Virginia

·       Regions 3 and 4: Friday, February 24, 2023, 1:00–3:00 p.m. at the Culpeper Baptist Church in Culpeper, Virginia

·       Regions 1 and 2: Thursday, March 2, 2023, 1:00–3:00 p.m. at The Smithfield Center in Smithfield, Virginia


3.              PCMG Spring Symposium – March 11, 2023 – Patrick County Community Center

  • PBS naturalist Patrick McMillan will deliver two presentations – Underutilized Native Plants and Gardening for the Senses — at the Patrick County Master Gardeners Spring Symposium on March 11 at the Patrick County Community Center, just off Route 58 in Stuart, VA. Admission is $10, including mid-morning refreshments. Doors will open at 8:15 a.m. with the program beginning at 9 and running through noon. Early registration is recommended in light of the popularity of the speaker and the limited capacity of the auditorium. Pre-registration forms will be available at various venues in Stuart, as well as on the PCMG Facebook page or by contacting PCMG volunteer Glenda Cobbler at 932 Palmetto School Road, Stuart, VA 24171.

4.              Piedmont Master Gardeners Announce Online Spring Lecture Series – March 2, 9, 16, 30

  • “Gardening for a Healthy Planet” will be the theme of the Piedmont Master Gardeners’ 2023 Spring Lecture Series, to be presented online from 7 to 8:15 p.m. on four Thursdays in March. Admission is $10 for each lecture. To register for the webinars, visit The schedule includes:
  • March 2—Michael Carter Jr., Africulture and Unique Organic Vegetables You’ll Want in Your Home Garden. Michael Carter Jr. will highlight the many contributions the African continent and people of African descent have made to farming and food traditions in the United States. He will also introduce some of the unique plants he grows organically at his family’s certified Virginia Century Farm in Orange County. Carter is the fifth generation of his family to farm this property and is managing director of Carter Farms and Africulture, a nonprofit focused on educating the public about the principles, practices, plants, and people of African descent that have contributed to U.S. agriculture.
  • March 9—Bob Schamerhorn, Attracting Birds and Other Wildlife to Your Garden with Easy-to-Create Water Features. Bob Schamerhorn’s multimedia presentation will demonstrate water’s powerful attraction to birds and other wildlife in every season and will suggest ways to enhance our enjoyment of nature by bringing water into our backyards. Based in Richmond, Schamerhorn is an award-winning nature photographer and a lifelong bird and nature enthusiast. His work has appeared in numerous exhibitions and publications, including Virginia Wildlife and Audubon, the National Audubon Society’s magazine.
  • March 16—Kim Eierman, Designing a Pollinator Victory Garden for a Changing Climate. Kim Eierman, an ecological landscape designer specializing in native plants, will cover the dramatic decline of pollinators due to factors that include climate change and will offer simple strategies gardeners can use to support bees and an array of other pollinator species. Based in Westchester County, New York, Eierman is author of The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline withEcological Gardening. She teaches at the New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, among other places.
  • March 30—Elisa Meara and Alex Thompson, Attractive, Functional, Sustainable Solutions to Managing Stormwater Runoff in the Home Yard and Garden. Landscape designers Elisa Meara and Alex Thompson will show how smart planting and attractive rain gardens can reduce stormwater runoff and filter pollutants that threaten rivers and streams feeding the Chesapeake Bay. A graduate of London’s Inchbald School of Design, Meara hails from the Dominican Republic and is owner of the Native Plant Landscape Design Corp. in Falls Church. Thompson grew up in the English countryside and holds a master’s degree in landscape design from The George Washington University. She strives to create “outdoor rooms that people and nature can love.”

5.              Grow the Good Life 2023 – March 11, 2023 – Moneta, VA and Zoom

  • The Bedford Area Master Gardeners Association offers its annual Grow The Good Life. Three presentations provide instruction and advice on how to get more out of your garden space without increasing the size of your garden. Grow the Good Life 2023 will take place on March 11, by Zoom and in person, from 9am – 3pm. The in person location is Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 13586 Old Moneta Road, Moneta, VA. Attendance fee: $25 for Zoom attendance $35 for in person attendance (includes lunch). Register in advance with the Sign Up form found on the website:

6.              Disease Alert: Vascular streak dieback on trees and woody ornamentals

7.              HOPE from the Garden – In Harmony with Mother Nature – March 1, 2023 – Webinar

  • Mid-Winter Advanced Education Webinar. Sponsored by Goochland Powhatan Master Gardeners Association and VMGA. HOPE from the Garden – In Harmony with Mother Nature. March 1, 2022, 9:30am – 1:00pm, via Zoom. David Close, Volunteer Engagement Specialist, VA Tech- “Trees Are the Answer’. Beth Mizell, Executive Director of Blue Ridge PRISM – “Native Alternatives for Invasive Plants in Your Landscape”. Ross Braun, former USDA Soil Conservationist – “Soil Science is not Rocket Science”. This seminar is open to all VA EMG volunteers. Register for this event at this link: 


8.              Spring Pruning – March 6, 2023 7:00 PM – Virtual Meeting/Zoom

  • VIRGINIA BEACH MASTER GARDENERS PRESENT GARDENING TALKS: Join us on Monday, March 6, 2023, at 7 pm via ZOOM for a Gardening Talks presentation on: Spring Pruning: Presented by Jason Heizer of Bartlett Tree. We often think of winter as the proper time to prune, but spring flowering shrubs and trees require a different schedule to preserve their flower buds. Jason will talk techniques and timing for pruning a variety of flowering trees and shrubs. Gardening Talks is presented via Zoom and is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. No registration is required. Gardening Talks are one hour. Go to and click on the Zoom link! Check out upcoming Gardening Talks for 2023 as you explore our website!

9.              Share Your VCE Master Gardener College Tips

  • Have you attended VCE’s Master Gardener College in Blacksburg? If so, VMGA would like your advice! What did you bring with you that was vital to staying in an on-campus residence hall? If you stayed at a hotel, what tips do you have for getting to and around campus and getting meals? What did you do in your downtime? Share any tips you have to help other conference attendees have the best experience. VMGA is writing a series of articles and a one-page tips sheet. Please visit to share your information or email


10.           VA Community Engagement Index Survey

  • The Virginia Community Engagement Index is an opportunity to take part in an exciting research study being conducted here in Virginia. As its name implies, this survey will ask you to consider the various ways you engage and contribute to your community — from checking in on a neighbor to volunteering and donating to causes you care about. You will also be asked to consider the challenges we face and how best to meet those challenges through greater levels of civic and community engagement. In short, your insights will be critical to helping leaders in Virginia develop more opportunities for people to give back and strengthen our communities together! This survey is being conducted on behalf of the Virginia Service Commission and will take no longer than 15 minutes of your time. All responses you give will remain confidential. No reporting associated with the results will contain personally identifiable information, and all findings will be reported in aggregate. SURVEY LINK: 


11.           Register Now! Green Spring Extension Master Gardeners 2023 EcoSavvy Symposium, “Feel-Good EcoSavvy Gardening: Good for You, Good for Our World” – March 4th, 2023, 10:00AM-12:00PM – Live Zoom Event (A recording will be available to all registered participants for post-event viewing)

  • Come explore the healing powers of gardening and make the world a better place for you and your loved ones with experts hosted by the Green Spring Master Gardeners: Kathleen Wellington, LPC, Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional, will share the cultural and scientific evidence that gardening restores our physical, mental and spiritual health. Laurie Fox, PhD, Horticulture Associate, Virginia Tech, will then show us how to put this power into practice with gardening techniques to reclaim contaminated soil and groundwater. Registration closes on Friday, March 3, 2023. To register, visit or call 703-642-5173. Cost (updated): $24 in county / $27 out of count. Code: GRF.K8L9 (virtual). A recording will be available to all registered participants for post-event viewing. Participants are eligible to earn up to 2 Landscape Industry Certified continuing education units (CEUs) from the National Association of Landscape Professionals.


Old February Announcements

12. 5th Annual Prince William Native Plant Symposium – Saturday, February 11,

2023 – Verizon Auditorium George Mason University


Old March Announcements

13. Gardening in the Valley Symposium – March 11, 2023 – Shenandoah University, Winchester

  • Save the date for the Gardening in the Valley Symposium. The symposium will be held at Shenandoah University, Henkel Hall. Check our website for more information. Topics this year include, The Ecology of the Garden, The Journey from the Vineyard to the Tasting Room, Intentional Garden Design, The Best Flowers for the Best Life and Fungi of Appalachia and Home-Grown Mushrooms. Cost will be $65 per person and proceeds go to our NSVMGA Memorial Scholarship Fund.


14. In Your Own Backyard: 2023 Gardening in the Northern Neck seminar – Saturday, March 25, 2023 – White Stone, VA

  • The Northern Neck Master Gardeners (NNMG) have announced the date and theme for the 2023 Gardening in the Northern Neck seminar (GNN). The theme of the 2023 seminar is “In Your Own Backyard.” Gardening in the Northern Neck will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the White Stone Church of the Nazarene, 57 Whisk Drive in White Stone. This will be the 29th Gardening in the Northern Neck Seminar. Speakers will be Heather Holm, a biologist, pollinator conservationist, and award-winning author; Barbara Pleasant, an avid gardener and award winning author; and Edward Olsen, Virginia Cooperative Extension Horticulture agent for Henrico County. The fee for the seminar is $50. Lunches will be available for an additional fee. Additional information is available at Registration forms will be available on February 1, 2023, at


Old April Announcements

15. MGACRA Spring Symposium “Flower Power: From Roots to Blooms” – April 1, 2023 — Gari Melchers Home & Studio, 224 Washington St., Falmouth, Virginia, 22405.

  • The Master Gardener Association of the Central Rappahannock Area invite you to join us for our 11th Annual Spring Symposium “Flower Power – From Roots to Blooms” . Spend the day with us learning how to grow beautiful flowers in your garden. We have three guest speakers: back by popular demand – Bryce Lane presenting two sessions “Understanding Garden Soils” and “Accenting Your Landscape With Color”, Stacy Chapman “Westwind Flowers – From our Field to Your Vase”, and Nancy Berlin “Container Gardening With Northern Virginia Natives.” All attendees will be able to explore the gardens at the Belmont Estate, spend time in their outstanding museum gift store, and visit with fellow Master Gardeners. Tickets are $80.00 which includes a full day of thought-provoking lectures focusing on purposeful gardening and includes morning coffee/tea & light breakfast, a delicious buffet lunch, and afternoon cookies. Registration is now open. You can register online at


Old June Announcements

16. International Master Gardener Conference 2023 – June 18 – 22, 2023

  • Registration is open for the 2023 International Master Gardener Conference in Kansas this June. Early registration of $397 runs through March 1. It includes 5 keynote speaker presentations, 8 rounds of concurrent sessions, a trade show and 6 meals. If you enjoyed our 2021 virtual conference in Virginia, you’re sure to love the opportunities that are available during this in person conference! Learn more at


17. Save the Date! MG College 2023: June 8 – 11, 2023

  • Save the date for Master Gardener College 2023! MG College will take place on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg from June 8 – 11. Tree Steward training will begin the day before on June 7th. More information about sessions, tours, and speakers will be announced through our Master Gardener College In Season in the coming months. We look forward to seeing many of you in June!


Posted in biweekly update.

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