Archive of ‘Master Gardeners’ category

In August Master Gardeners offer workshops on hostas, insect safari


Sussex County Master Gardeners will offer two workshops in August.  On Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 1 p.m., Master Gardener Vickie Thompson will conduct a workshop on hostas.  Learn about these easy-to-grow, shade-loving perennials known for their beautiful foliage.  See examples of several different colors, sizes and leaf styles.  Also, become familiar with the many uses for this plant in containers and in the landscape.  There will be information on how to plant and care for hostas and what to do when insects or disease attack.

You just have to look! You might encounter a Fritillary butterfly in the garden!

You just have to look! You might encounter a Fritillary butterfly in the garden!

Grownups, kids and grand kids will enjoy a workshop scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m., “You Just Have To Look for Butterflies and Other Interesting Creatures in the Garden.”  A lively presentation and a storyteller will lead up to a jungle safari through the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden. Bring the children or come by yourself.

Both workshops will be held at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, Del.  You must pre-register by contacting Tammy Schirmer at 302-856-2585, ext 544,  or These workshops are free. Come early or stay late to enjoy the Demonstration Garden behind the building.

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. It is Delaware Cooperative Extension’s policy that that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or handicap status. If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.




2013 A Day in The Garden – Sussex Master Gardener Open House

2013 Open House “A Day in the Garden” is scheduled for Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Each year in July, Sussex County Master Gardeners host “A Day in the Garden” in their beautiful teaching Demonstration Garden, located at the Sussex County Extension office at the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown. Directly behind the Carvel facility, the garden pathways that meander around specialty gardens, shade and sun, benches and garden art welcome area gardeners of all ages. It is the time to explore, take pictures, learn about varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and vegetables and that work well in the Delaware landscape. In 2012 our A Day in the Garden was family friendly with a captivating Children’s Garden, which changes each year and encourages inquisitive young minds to interact with the exhibits. At our open house, we’ll show you how to make gardens smart and easy with tools and raised beds that allow gardening to be accessible.

Each year our features change! Come see what we’ve designed, planted and cultivated. There is always something new! Do you have a plant that’s under the weather, or not cooperating with the weather? Bring it to our Sick Plant Clinic mini-workshops, exhibits, services and experts will be on hand. Visit our plant sale and take home a new plant to enjoy in your garden!

July 2013 is still in the planning stages – but we have a date, Saturday, July 13! Meanwhile, you’ll get a good idea by viewing last year’s YouTube invitation and by viewing the slide show of images from our 2012 A Day in The Garden!

See you in July!

Kent-Sussex Master Gardeners open application process for Class of 2013

Master Gardener logo

Master Gardener logo

The application period is open for Master Gardener training in Kent and Sussex counties. Master Gardeners enjoy gardening, have gardening experience, want to learn more about gardening and have a desire to help others in their community. Following an intensive twelve-week training program with day-time classes alternating between the two county Extension offices, the trainees volunteer a minimum of 45 hours during their first year before becoming official Master Gardeners. Training is held every other year in the fall. Classes for the Class of 2013 will begin in September (right after Labor Day and completed before Thanksgiving.

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices.Master Gardeners are part of a vibrant community of individuals dedicated to growing a greener Delaware, with a more bio-diverse and sustainable environment. They extend the home garden outreach of Delaware Cooperative Extension, staffing garden “hotlines” for much of the year, offering information at events such as community fairs, festivals and farmers’ markets, talking to local civic groups and working with youth groups and schools. Many provide workshops on favorite garden topics and are available through a speakers’ bureau to make presentations for community groups upon request. A dedicated group of puppeteers in Sussex County perform an educational version of “Peter Rabbit” to the delight of children of all ages.

There are many opportunities for volunteers. On May 4, for example, Sussex County Master Gardeners will have an information table at the Antique Market at Silver Hill to be held at the Parson Throne Mansion, 501 NW Front Street, Milford; another information table as well as a display of Accessible Gardening tips and tools at the Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale at the James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; and will present their award-winning Peter Rabbit puppet show at Crossroad Community Church’s annual May Fair at 20684 State Forest Road, Georgetown, where there will also be a presentation on Vegetable Gardening in Containers.

Tracy Wootten, horticultural agent for Sussex County, said, “Without these wonderful volunteers, Cooperative Extension would not be able to provide the impressive amount of outreach that is being offered to local Delaware communities.”

The training program includes formal lectures, discussion sessions, tours, workshops, and problem-solving sessions. Advanced training opportunities include state, regional and national workshops, lectures at monthly business meetings, special training sessions, and the shared experiences of a group of skilled, experienced gardeners.

The application can be found online at
Send completed applications to: Kent County Extension Office, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, 19901.

All applications must be received by June 1, 2013. Class size is limited. All applicants must attend a reception on June 20, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Kent County Extension Office. If accepted, you will be notified by letter and will receive further information about classes. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age or national origin. The Delaware Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program is provided in coordination with the University of Delaware and Delaware State University.

For more information, contact Tracy Wootten or Tammy Schirmer in Sussex County, (302) 856-2585, ext. 544 or Maggie Moor-Orth in Kent County, (302) 857-6426, or  the University of Delaware Paradee Center Kent County Extension office at (302) 730-4000.

Sussex Master Gardeners announce winter-spring workshops series for 2013

Master Gardener logo

Community & School Garden Information Event     register online    Thank you!
Saturday, February 9, 2013, 9 a.m. to noon
Information session designed for educators, community members  and gardeners starting or maintaining a community or school garden.

Houseplant Care     register online
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013  7 p.m. Conference Room 3
Presented by Fran Meehan.
Bring your tired, your sick or your just plain lousy looking house plants for a little TLC!   The class will diagnose and help solve your specific plant problems and then cover general house plant growing concerns. We will have an abundance of information available to help you grow beautiful indoor gardens.

Plants with Winter Interest in Your Garden     register online
Thursday, March 7, 2013.
Presented by Eddie Filmyr and Gayle August.   Noon. Conference Room 3.
Presenters will share through photographs and discussion a selection of shrubs, trees and perennials that are stars in gardens in winter. A plant list will be provided for you to use to plan additions to you garden. Come learn and enjoy! 

Tools & Tips    register online
Tuesday, March 12, 1 p.m. Conference Room 3.
Presented by Ingrid Hetfield.
The right tool for the right gardening job makes your outdoor work a breeze. How to select tools for your particular garden, from the houseplant corner to the tree- shaded lot, and all the growing things between, and information on sharpening and maintenance of your hand tools.

Soil Test, Taking the Tests, Using the Results   register online
Presented  Tracy Mulveny
Tuesday, March 26, 2013. 30,  7 p.m.  Demonstration Garden
Learn about soil tests, why you should do one, how to and then how to use the results.

MAHVELOUS Moss   register online
Presented by Mary Hall
Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 1 p.m.
Got moss? Instead of trying to get rid of it, come learn about all of its advantages and the benefits of having it in your landscape. We’ll also discuss its environmental needs and care, companion plantings, and show examples of ways to use magical, mahvelous moss.

The Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden    register online
Presented by  Members of the Garden Committee
Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Noon.
A panel discussion with some of the gardeners responsible for the demonstration garden The discussion will focus on the successes and failures in the garden last year and the plans for the coming gardening season

Growing Healthy Snacks    register online
Presented by Ana Dittel and Linda Peters
Wednesday, May 15, 2013.  7 p.m.
Learn about the nutrition values in small fruits and vegetables that can easily be grown in your garden, how to grow them, and a few recipes to try.

Hypertufa    register online
Thursday, June 13 and June 20, 2013.  Limit 20 Participants    Cost $15
Presented by  Jackie McPeake  
Hypertufa is a mixture of cement, sand and water, formed into a mold to make a container for a plant or a garden ornament (mushroom). It is lighter than terra-cotta and can withstand winter weather. At the conclusion of this hands-on workshop you’ll have made a pot or mushroom to take home. Bring Heavy-Duty Latex Gloves

Herbal Vinegars     register online
Tuesday, June 25, 2013. 5:30 p.m.
Presented by Donna Fellows and Emily Peterson and Susan Trone
Spend an afternoon discovering herbs and their use in flavored vinegars.  Learn selection and preparation techniques which will allow you to go home with your own special blend.

UD Blue Hens Can – southern Delaware drop off locations

The UD Freshmen Class here in Georgetown and Sussex County Master Gardeners are working together to promote the Blue Hen’s CAN campus-wide food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.   I am inviting staff to participate.   If you participate in the food drive, drop off your items with Tammy and register for the three prizes that will be given away as part of the event.   We will need items by 12 noon on Friday, Nov. 16 to get your names up to Newark and entered in the drawing.  The students have decided to collect food items until Tuesday, Nov. 20., if you do not make the Nov. 16 deadline. (collection bin located in the master gardener office).
Individuals who donate will be entered to win:
UDairy Creamery ice cream gift basket;
Authorized Campus St
$100 iTunes gift card from UD’s Apple store; or
Wool blanket, made from wool of UD sheep, a $100 value
This link below will take you to the UDaily article about the Blue Hens CAN food Drive in Newark.  Suggestions for items needed:
•           Canned sweet potato or yams
•           Canned corn, green beans, peas or mixed veggies
•           Cranberry sauce
•           32oz shelf stable milk or instant milk
•           Boxes pudding
•           Canned pumpkin
•           Turkey roasting pans
•           Pie crust mix or gram cracker crust
•           Canned or jarred fruit, including applesauce
•           Family sized juice can/bottle or mix
•           Coffee, tea or coco mix
•           Family sized breakfast cereal or oatmeal
•           Pancake mix with syrup
•           Canned meat or family sized canned ham
•           Cornbread mix or other bread/muffin mixes
•           Canned or packets of gravy
•           Stuffing
•           Instant mashed potatoes
•           Macaroni & cheese
Please feel free to invite others you interact with to participate.  There is information on a yellow sandwich board in the lobby and flyers by the mailboxes. 
Thank you for your consideration.  I appreciate your support of the Food Bank of Delaware, Sussex Master Gardeners, UD freshmen students here in Georgetown and those who are hungry here in Sussex County.

Cooperative Extension agents and volunteers interviewed at the Delaware State Fair

We just love these interviews filmed live at the Delaware State Fair.  If you’d like to know a fraction about what we do and how the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension forms great partnerships with volunteers, colleagues at Delaware State University and other Extension offices…take a look at these “on the spot” videos by our friends at Catch it Live!

Bill Brown talks about Cooperative Extension, his role as state poultry agent and other Extension programs:

Video streaming by Ustream
Tracy Wootten and Maggie Moor-Orth (and a couple of volunteers) talk about the Delaware Master Gardener Program:

Sussex Master Gardeners announce summer/fall workshop series

The Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce their Summer/Fall 2012 workshop schedule. The workshops will be held at the Elbert N. & Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown.  Please preregister by contacting Tammy Schirmer at 302-856-2585, ext 544,  or  Workshops are free unless otherwise specified. Schedule:

Livable Lawns   register online
Monday, July 30, 2012, Noon, Conference Room 3
Presented by Valann Budischak.  The goal of the Delaware Livable Lawns initiative is simple – reduce fertilizer and pesticide runoff from lawns. This workshop will provide the necessary information needed to maintain a healthy, beautiful, lawn while partnering in the protection of the environment.

Hypertufa  register online
Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 9 a.m., in the Demonstration Garden and
Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 9 a.m., in the Demonstration Garden
Presented by Barbara Busch.   Hypertufa is a mixture of cement, peat moss, sand and water, formed into a mold to make a container for a plant. It is lighter than terracotta and can withstand winter weather.  At the conclusion of this hands-on workshop you’ll have made a pot to take home.  $15 charge for materials, limited to 12 participants (each session).  Bring Heavy-Duty Latex Gloves. Please make checks payable to Sussex County Master Gardeners.

Flavor Up Your Herbs    register online
Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 1 p.m., Kitchen & Conference Room 2
Presented by Betty Lou Suter.  Welcome to our “Herb Garden” and “Kitchen of Samples.” We plan a walk through the herb garden; see a wattle?….knot?, many culinary and cosmetic herbs, then off to the kitchen for herb ideas for gifts and culinary uses. Sample some goodies made more delicious with herbs; rosemary shortbread, pansy rollups, just to name a few! YUM! Limit 15.

Buzz About Bees   register online
Thursday, September 20, 2012, Noon, Conference Room 3
Presented by Shelley McNeal.  Bees are a fascinating, social, and endangered group of insects. This talk will focus on the wonder of bees, recent threats to their survival, and the efforts being made to protect them. Shelley will describe her experiences as a beekeeper. Included are landscaping practices that homeowners can easily adopt to help protect our pollinators.

Peter Rabbit is NOT my Friend  register online
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 7 p.m., Conference Room 3
Presented by Tracy Mulveny.  This workshop will discuss the five most common animal pests in our gardens, deer, rabbits, groundhogs, moles and voles. Some ideas on how to eliminate or co-exist with them will be presented. New ideas are always welcome so bring your own success stories to share.

Raised Bed Construction and Gardening   register online
Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 1 p.m. Conference Room 3.
Presented by Mike Deshaies.  Raised beds have many advantages over traditional garden beds; their soil tends to warm earlier in the season, they tend to have better drainage, the gardener has more control over the soil in the beds, and the placement and design of raised beds can make for easy access. Building a raised bed is a not-too-difficult project that can quickly increase the size and quality of the growing space. This workshop will provide tips and ideas for constructing raised beds for your garden.

Containers for the Holidays  register online
Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 6:30 p.m. Conference Room 3.
Presented by Mary Sue Colaizzi.  There is no reason to put your garden containers away for the winter. Summer containers do not have to look like a “pot full of dirt” during the winter months. With a little imagination and design savvy your containers can offer beauty and pleasure all year round. Come learn how to make a four-season container to get you through the winter blahs.

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. It is Delaware Cooperative Extension’s policy that that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or handicap status. If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

A Day in the Garden – Sussex County Master Gardener Open House Sat. July 14, 2012


Sussex Master Gardeners invite the public to “A Day in the Garden”

When:  Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where: Demonstration Garden, behind Carvel REC, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown

What: Sussex County Master Gardener Open House – annual event

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Parking: Free and ample!

Cost: Free to the public

Come get inspirational ideas for your garden – colorful photo opportunities abound in this annual open house of increasing popularity, more than 300 Sussex County residents and their families are anticipated to attend this open air event that will provide a multitude of events including:

  • Plant sale
  • Regular showings of the award-winning production of  “The Adventures of Peter Rabbit in Farmer McGregor’s Garden” which delight children
  • Expert advice at the Plant Clinic for vegetable and flower garden!
  • Demonstration Garden labeled with native and non-native plants that are idea for Delaware’s climate and growing conditions!
  • Garden Smart Garden Safe demonstrations on accessible gardening techniques and resources including tool demos and raised beds, etc.
  • Mini-workshops on:
    •  Making Herbal Vinegar and Flavored Honey
    • Shade Gardens
    • Five Ways to Save in the Garden
    • Free Tool Sharpening
    • Much, much more

The Plant Sale is a popular feature! There's nothing like a plant grown with love by a master gardener!

Talk with our Cooperative Extension experts and volunteer Master Gardeners who can provide advice, resources and inspiration for growing flower and vegetables and discovery of nature in Sussex County, Delaware. Did you know that in 2011, Master Gardeners donated nearly 6000 hours of service to their community. Many of those hours are spent planning and developing this beautiful teaching garden! We hope you will join us!



Visit the Open House “A Day in the Garden” website: (include photos from 2011 Open House event).


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