Alpine Master Gardener Association
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Listed below are gardening events going on in our area that you may be interested in:


2017 Garden Seminar

To Register Online click here

Click here to view the full brochure


2016 Banquet Awards

New Master Gardener Volunteers

Michelle Roberts, 2016 Master Gardener of the Year, joins previous MGY winners

Master Gardener Volunteer Awardees for volunteer hours

April 27, 2016:  2016 Annual Master Gardener Banquet.  Guest Speaker, Patricial Ruta McGhan will present "Michigan Native Plants".   Why it is important to the ecosystem at large to use Michigan native plants, why pollinators have been having problems and are at risk, how to add native plants to the landscape, how to create a pollinator habitat, the importance of having native plants for birds, soil and sun requirements, and specific native plants to northern Michigan. 

2016 Spring Garden Series at Otsego County Library Free Programs 6:00-7:30 pm

 Saturday, April 30 - 10-a.m.-noon  Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop from . Steve Fouch will be at the Otsego  Conservation District demo gardens to lead a 'hands-on' pruning class of older and newer apple trees. This is offered free as a supplement to the MG Training last fall (optional), but all interested are welcome to attend. Dress for outdoors pruning. RSVP not necessary, but appreciated in case of weather issues or unforeseen changes we need to contact you. Email or text Jeanne or text 989-370-9697. Friends welcome. 


Smart Gardening Series:  These classes are part of the MSUE Smart Gardening initiative, organized by the Alpine Master Gardener Association and sponsored by OWLS (Otsego Wildlife Legacy Society). 

 Composting for the Smart Gardener

Robert Bricault, MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture educator

Where healthy gardens meets zero waste.

Don’t let your green waste pile up!  Smart Gardeners know that using compost in the home garden reaps benefits including healthy plants and increased harvest.  The reward of knowing garden waste is being recycled is also a benefit.  During this lively presentation with MSU Extension Horticulture Bob Bricault, participants will understand how the compost pile works, choosing the right design and equipment, and how to use the compost to foster healthy-living soils 

 Ecological Approaches to Weed Management

James DeDecker, MSU Extension Agriculture Educator

Restriction of synthetic herbicide use in ecological/organic agricultural systems increases the complexity of weed management, leading growers to cite weeds as the greatest barrier to organic production.  To meet this challenge, most organic growers employ a wide range of tools in an integrated weed management system (IWM).  Come and learn how to expand your IWM toolkit for successful organic weed management without synthetic herbicides.

 Greening the Garden…a Smart Gardener’s Journey

Rebecca Finneran, MSU Extension, Consumer Horticulture Educator

If you love plants and garden design, but find yourself making resolutions to “green your garden,” don’t assume that all things beautiful must be put out to pasture.  By harnessing “Smart Gardening” ideas, you can have beautiful garden s that are environmentally savvy and “smart!”  During Finneran’ s presentation you will get ideas for plants and design that are water smart, pest free and low input! 


 Smart Gardening Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners

Ben Phillips, MSU Extension Vegetable Educator

Whether a seasoned or novice vegetable gardener, learn “Smart Gardening” techniques that will help your gardens flourish.  Learn additional ways to make use of cover crops, composting, and flowers to attract beneficial insects within your vegetable garden?  Make use of companion planting techniques that help you expand your space and harvest!  Learn ways to extend your vegetable harvest beyond the growing season.  Join this session and continue to reap summer’s fresh bounty beyond fall!

 Smart Soils: Keys to Building a High Quality-Sustainable Garden

Dr. George Bird, Michigan State University, Department of Entomology

 Garden soil and plant health depend on dynamic relationships between microorganisms (a.k.a. the gardeners friend) on a cosmic scale!  Creating the optimum, robust soil ecosystem depends greatly upon employing “smart” gardening practices.  Join Dr. George Bird in a look at soil microbial properties that are strictly regulated by our own management decisions.  This lively and enlightening exploration of soil will lead us to becoming a much more sustainable gardener.


2016 Gardening Seminar & Luncheon  - Presented by the Alpine Master Gardener Association.  Our presenters are Elly Maxwell and Chuck Martin.  Elly will present "Planting for Pollinators" and "Phenology:  Understaning Mother Nature's Calendar".  Chuck will present "Cultural Practices in Pest Management" and "Michigan's Spring Wildflowers".  

Elly Maxwell

Elly Maxwell has been the entomologist at the Dow Gardens since 2006. She earned a M.S. from Auburn University and a B.S. from M.S.U., both in entomology. Her responsibilities include Integrated Pest Management, beekeeping, tending the pollinator garden and coordinating turf care. A favorite component of her job is Butterflies in Bloom an event which, under her care, has evolved from displaying native-only butterflies to showcasing butterflies from around the world. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm with the public, volunteers, and garden clubs. Most of all she wants to engage and interest children. She created a summer insect collecting class and a sum-mer bug club to inspire youth. She teaches many classes to all ages, both at the gardens and throughout the state.


Chuck Martin

Chuck Martin, Senior Horticulturist-The Dow Gardens, Midland, Michigan & Garden journalist for the Midland Daily News.  Areas of expertise include:  Woody Plants, Perennials, Rose Care and Culture, Native Plants of Michigan, Vines, Invasive Plants, Ground Maintenance, and Pruning.

Chuck has been waking up in the morning and going to work at The Dow Gardens since 1984.  Before his long tenure, Chuck received his Bachelors Degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Michigan State University.  After a few years as a caretaker of an estate garden, he retreated to the University of Wisconsin in Madison and obtained a Master Degree in Ornamental Horticulture.  During his time at the University of Wisconsin, Chuck was selected to do an internship at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts.  To continue his education an MBA was also obtained from Northwood University.  A weekly article on plant varieties and culture for the Midland Daily New is penned by Chuck.  He is extremely grateful to his wife Beth, who also has a Bachelors Degree in Horticulture, for editing all his articles.  Working with the public and volunteers brightens up the days for Chuck. Through his numerous lectures and presentations, many schools, gardening clubs and civic groups have been enriched by his passion and enthusiasm for his work in horticulture.