Summer is finally here!
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President's Letter

Lazy Summer Days
By Michele Worden, AEMG

Summer seems to finally have arrived!  The plants have enjoyed their cool rainy days, but I am happy to feel some warm sun on my face and enjoy summer evenings on the porch.

July is a time to enjoy gardens.  Coming up is the Friendly Garden Club’s 37th Garden Walk on July 19,  MGANM is sponsoring the event again this year.  We are hoping to have a table at the event and we’re seeking volunteers who could set up, answer questions about the Master Gardener program and MGANM, and take down at the end of the day.  Please contact us if you can help. It’s an effective way to grow our Master Gardeners in the region.   

You may have seen the Facebook posts about the Master Gardener Project of the Downtown Planters.  Nate and I were contacted by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to help beautify downtown by planting the large planters along Front Street.  Their previous perennial plantings did not survive the winter.  I think the DDA was inspired to ask us because of the beautiful pollinator garden projects MG’s have led at Clinch and Hull parks.  Long story short, we got a project approved rapidly for pollinator plantings in the containers downtown. Rebecca Finneran gave us some annual plant suggestions she thought would do well.  

We worked with Garden Goods to acquire the plants (with some substitutions because of availability).  Garden Goods staged the potting soil and plants, and we planted.  Many thanks to the wonderful volunteers that came out last Sunday!   This project came together start to finish in 5 days. We are hoping to get some educational signage soon.  

Coming up on August 6th we have a fun member activity.  We have scheduled a tour of Harbor View Lavender Farm with an optional lavender craft and dinner at Old Mission Tavern nearby.  Should be a fun event to learn about lavender farming and enjoy within the company of fellow plant nerds.   The farm has the most amazing lavender ice cream too! More info will be coming in an email.

Lastly, I want to share that you can now access the membership software with events, member directory, and online renewal directly from the main website, You can log your Master Gardener hours and take care of all your membership needs in one place.

Thank you for all you do!

Hospice House garden volunteers. Photo by Gayla Elsner


Munson Hospice House Rose and Perennial Gardens
By Gayla Elsner, MG

Volunteer work in itself often gives us a very satisfying feeling. There is something about helping others that does a little something on the inside of us. In the following article, Gayla Elsner and her group of Master Gardeners know first-hand how rewarding volunteer work is as they joined the Munson Hospice House volunteers in a major clean-up project on the grounds, in an effort to revive the gardens. As a result of their work, hospice patients can now enjoy a closer look at the gardens and the wildlife surrounding them.

Tomato seedlings, by Michele Worden


Supporting our Pollinators: MGANM June Meeting Notes
By, Nancy Larson, MG

The June MGANM meeting was a big success. As it turns out, a lot of people want to help support our pollinators. In the following article, Nancy Larson discusses the guest speakers and their suggestions on how we can all help.

Supporting Our Neighbors
By Michelle Worden, AEMG

Food gardening is an important part of our community. Michele Worden raises the awareness for the need to grow extra fruit and vegetables for those people in our community experiencing food insecurity. Read more here about the Growing Together Program and other food donation opportunities.

News & Events

There are so many wonderful events and workshops happening in our community that we simply cannot list them all. Please be sure to check directly with the websites and Facebook pages for these organizations and the events that they offer:

Botanical Gardens at Historic Barns Park, Boardman River Nature Center (Grand Traverse Conservation District), Plant it Wild, Wild Ones, NW Michigan Invasive Species Network, NW Michigan Horticulture Research Center, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Saving Birds Thru Habitat, Benzie Conservation District, Leelanau Conservation District, and Leelanau Conservancy.


The educational meetings are held at The Boardman River Nature Center, 1450 Cass Road, Traverse City unless otherwise noted.  They are open to the public. A $5 donation from non-members is appreciated.   

Thursday, July 18th, 12:00-7:00 pm Friendly Garden Club 37th Garden Walk.  
“A Garden Holiday” will feature five beautiful and unique gardens located in the Holiday Hills area. The Garden Walk runs from noon until 7:00 p.m. rain or shine. Tickets are $10.00 pre-sale and $12.00 the day of the walk. Tickets are available from the Traverse City Visitors Center, garden club members, and many local nurseries. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at Come and enjoy a Garden Holiday by touring beautiful gardens, and enjoying complementary refreshments. New this year will be four educational events at four of the garden walk locations. Time and location of these events are on your ticket. Please check their website at and their Facebook page for more information.   

Tuesday, Aug. 6th, 6:00 pm Tour of Harbor View Lavender Farm. 
Learn all about lavender, and enjoy a group dinner afterward at Old Mission Tavern.  17770 Center Road, Traverse City.

Tuesday, September 3rd, 6:00 pm Designing with Native Grasses with Garret Noyes of Birdsfoot Native Nursery

Tuesday, October 1st, 6:00 pm Houseplants in Winter by Plant Masters of Suttons Bay

Sunday, November 3rd, time TBD Volunteer Recognition Luncheon

Trillium erectum, red Trillium. Photo by Whitney Miller


The WHY of Native Plants
By Cheryl A. Gross, AEMG and Plant it Wild President

Native plants are integral to our Michigan ecosystem and not many people know this better than Cheryl Gross who focuses on native plants in her Master Gardening endeavors. Educating people on the importance of native plants is an ongoing effort that Cheryl takes in stride. In this article, Cheryl shares her knowledge on the topic.

Native Grasses and Flowers…an ecosystem
By Cheryl A. Gross, AEMG and Plant It Wild President

As Cheryl continues her effort toward educating the community about native plants to Michigan, she never falls short of interesting facts. In the following article, Cheryl shares thought-provoking insight into meadows and grasslands. 

Tomato plants grown in garbage cans June 2013, Summit NJ. Photo by Tom W Sulcer


Planting in Pots
By Val Stone, MG and Coordinator for Northwest Food Coalition

Many folks living in condos or apartments do not have access to a full-size garden but still have the desire to grow their own. It’s not impossible to do, we just have to get a little creative sometimes. For some ideas, Val Stone has written a fun article that discusses planting your vegetables in pots.
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