RSVP here for the 2013 Volunteer Recognition Dinner

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”forms/d/1KXXswFPmYbpaePcBUd9RzaY2gzB5mXEQt2zvjZAn3nI/viewform” query=”embedded=true” width=”760″ height=”500″ /]

New Board Positions!

Open board positions!

Open board positions!

The MGANM board is pleased to roll out several new board positions in the interests of better sharing the volunteer work load and in having more energy (and fun!) at the board level. There are three new full board positions, and four advisory positions (non-voting, board meeting attendance optional but encouraged). Most of these positions will work by supporting existing committees or groups of volunteers in their efforts, though as first year positions you’ll also have freedom to define your roles. Please contact a board member or our coordinator, Matthew Bertrand, with any questions about these positions.

If you’re interested in fulfilling any of the positions or would like to nominate someone, please try to let us know by Sunday, November 3rd. We expect to hold elections at the annual Volunteer Celebration on November 6th.

Position Descriptions

  1. President – The President will preside over meetings of the general membership and the Executive Committee. The President will oversee the enforcement of the by-laws and policies as adopted by the membership of the Association.
  2. Vice President – In the absence of the President, Secretary, or Treasurer, the Vice President shall assume the duties of said office. The Vice President shall oversee all standing committees.
  3. Secretary – The Secretary shall take minutes of all Executive Committee and Association general meetings. At each meeting the secretary will have published or will read the minutes of the previous meeting. A copy of all minutes will be forwarded to the Advisor at the MSUE Leelanau County office. The secretary shall be responsible for maintaining complete records of all Association minutes attendance and correspondence.
  4. Treasurer – The Treasurer will be responsible for managing all Association income, expenses and bank accounts(s) according to the policies and procedures of the Association.
  5. Education/Events – Chairperson will be responsible for the initiation, planning and public relations for educational and other events.
  6. Communications – The Chairperson will be responsible for all internal communication amongst MGANM members and external communications with the public, including the Real Dirt newsletter, the Association website, and other opportunities as they arise.
  7. Development – The Chairperson will be responsible for strategies leading to increased membership and funding opportunities for MGANM and its activities
  8. Advisor – Master Gardener Coordinator – The Advisor will serve as a non-voting, ex- officio member. The Advisor is responsible for assuring the Association carries out its stated purpose in accordance with the educational mission and policies of Leelanau County MSUE and the Michigan Master Gardener program. The Advisor is the liaison between the Association and MSUE.
  9. Advisor – Environmental Stewardship — The Advisor will serve as a non-voting member. The Advisor will serve as a community liaison between the board, association members, community partners, and the public with the goal of improving Environmental Stewardship outcomes in the community.
  10. Advisor – Youth Gardening — The Advisor will serve as a non-voting member. The Advisor will serve as a community liaison between the board, association members, community partners, and the public with the goal of increasing support for Youth Gardening activities in the community.
  11. Advisor – Food Security and Hunger — The Advisor will serve as a non-voting member. The Advisor will serve as a community liaison between the board, association members, community partners, and the public with the goal of meeting community needs for Food Security and Hunger.
  12. Advisor – Beautification/Social Benefit — The Advisor will serve as a non-voting member. The Advisor will serve as a community liaison between the board, association members, community partners, and the public in order to meet community goals for Beautification and other Social Benefits that our gardens provide.

New events for the week of 9/2/13

Part of The Commons still in disrepair

Part of The Commons still in disrepair (by Whitney Miller)

Here are a few events we would like you to know about.

  • 9:30 tomorrow morning (Wednesday 9/4/13) the Herbal Renewal group will be touring the BGS site, including the visitor center.
  • The Art Center’s Art in the Garden grand opening reception  is this Friday at Building 50’s north Mercado from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – the Botanic Garden will have a display so you’re encouraged to drop by, view the artwork and have a snack.
  • As I mentioned, you’re also welcome to join us at the Visitor Center Saturday morning at 9:30 to select tables and chairs.
  • Anyone willing to help with the advertising/marketing piece for our Revolutionary Gardens benefit is encouraged to come to the home of Karen Schmidt this Thursday at 5:30 p.m.  I’ll provide hot dogs, lemonade and homemade pie and we’ll pass out posters and contact information.  Folks will be asked to help by delivering a poster or two to a specified place, contacting a garden club or other group, or following up with a newspaper, radio or TV on a press release.  Anyone who could help would be greatly appreciated.

Serve – Sep ’13 Real Dirt


Learning About Grandma’s World
The Real Dirt is Doing Real Well

Learning About Grandma’s World

Sue Sensenbaugh-Padgett

Grandma's books pic by Sue S-P

My first gardening experience was the “chore” of weeding. Gardening meant sweat and dirt but it also meant spending time with Grandma. When Grandma passed away, I dug into gardening as a way to stay connected to her. In a search for more information on gardening, I scoured Grandma’s book shelves, but found the real treasure in her attic. What I found was a series of garden primers for beginners from 1937. I never imagined what I would learn from these books.

Instead of learning about gardening, I learned about society when Grandma was growing-up. This series was written by Cecile Hulse Matschat and consist of five slim volumes: How to Make a Garden, Planning the Home Grounds, Bulbs and House Plants, Annuals and Perennials, and Shrubs and Trees. The similarities are interesting but unremarkable. Advice such as “plan ahead for your purpose” and the “growth of the plants”, “test the soil” and “use the right plant in the right place” ring with the sound of Master Gardening classes. Plant anatomy and physiology remain unchanged as does the admonition to use pesticides according to the label.

The truly interesting aspects of the series came in the differences. For books directed at beginners, there was a high level of assumed plant knowledge. Fertilizers were very different. Today we would use the term organic or green for the humus based fertilizers but Matschat simply refers to the family compost pile. She does refer to the more expensive artificial powders that are “… of little long term use.” This points to the pre-WWII period, a time when artificial nitrogen was still expensive. Also the spray Matschat recommends contains lead. Purchasing seedling or even seed starting soils is referred to as an “…expensive indulgence available in a few areas.” The largest change is seen in the advice on planning a home grounds. The list of items needing space include coal wagons, grocery deliveries, compost area, garbage incinerator, and laundry area (outdoor washing and clothes lines). Even an area for chickens must be added. Today we don’t have coal and grocery deliveries and trash is sent to the landfill. But compost piles and chickens are reappearing. The changes aren’t linear but more of a cycle. In the end, I found so much in these books to help me form a deeper connection to Grandma.

The Real Dirt is Doing Real Well

Whitney Miller

We, at The Real Dirt, would like to thank all of our readers for your patience and understanding while we’ve been undergoing our changes. Although at times it has not been easy, the end result is exactly what we had envisioned: an interactive, fun, and fresh newsletter.

During our transition, we have been keeping a close eye on the statistics that are offered through this new platform, and boy are we excited! On average, we have almost triple the amount of people actually reading our newsletter than industry average for non-profit organizations. We also are more than quadrupling the average number of people who click on an article to read further. WOW! Having such great reader interaction with our newsletter keeps us excited for each publication, so keep it up!

We are also looking forward to growing our audience. Please feel free to forward our newsletters to your friends. At the bottom of each newsletter there is a button labeled “Forward to a Friend”. If you use that, then we know that you enjoyed the information enough to share it (it does not tell us to whom it was sent). New readers can sign up to receive our publications on their own by using the “Update Preferences” link at the bottom, and current readers can “Unsubscribe” if they wish. If you use Facebook, you can “like” each individual publication and comment on them. We would love to hear your feedback via Facebook!

Finally, we always welcome your comments, suggestions, and photos. We strive to use any reader-submitted photos in our publications, so you could be a “published photographer”!

Beautify – Sep ’13 Real Dirt


Hydrangea Macrophylla, "Peppermint Pattie"

Hydrangea Macrophylla, “Peppermint” Pattie”

Meeting Peter Hatch
Garden Photography

Meeting Peter Hatch

Sue Sensenbaugh-Padgett

A native of Michigan, Peter Hatch received an English degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an A.A. in Landscape Gardening from Sandhills Community College South Pines, North Carolina.  From 1974 to 1977, he served as Horticulturist at Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Hatch currently lives in Albemarle, Virginia, where he gardens, lectures, consults and writes about garden history. As the Director of Gardens and Grounds for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Hatch was responsible for maintenance, interpretation, and restoration of the 2,400-acre Monticello from 1977 to 2012.  During this time, he initiated a variety of tours and educational programs serving 35,000 visitors annually, including the Evening Conversations series honoring the legacy of Thomas Jefferson.

As a writer, Hatch authored and edited books about Jefferson’s gardens, including A Rich Spot of Earth that has received numerous awards and is currently in a third printing, and articles for numerous magazines.  He also lectures appearing in more than thirty-five states.  We are privileged to have him join us as a speaker at the Revolutionary Gardens Conference.

Garden Photography

Nancy Denison

Whether you are a Master Gardener or a photographer or even just a “smart” phone owner, taking photos can be an everyday occurrence.  When this MG travels, I am always looking for unique patterns in various structures, especially flowers and plants.  On a recent two week adventure to Maui, I was in botanical Heaven, discovering  several  arboretums and many new flowers and plants I had not seen before.  Bless my husband for stopping at The Garden of Eden- halfway between Kahului and Hana, Kahanu Garden, and Hana Maui Gardens, both near the Hana Airport,  Here are just a few photographs with my disclaimer that I did my best to track down botanical names and varieties but as I am not an expert, there may be unplanned errors.   Enjoy!

*If you would like to see other photo submissions from our readers, click here*

Eucalyptus "Deglupta"

Eucalyptus “Deglupta”

Eucalyptus "Deglupta"  Rainbow Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus “Deglupta” Rainbow Eucalyptus

Tillandsia Silversword

Tillandsia Silversword

Cordyline fruticosa, Ti

Cordyline fruticosa, Ti

Mednilla Magnifica

Mednilla Magnifica



Etlingera "Elatior"

Etlingera “Elatior”

Alpinia Purpurata, Red Ginger

Alpinia Purpurata, Red Ginger

Heliconia "Sexy Pink"

Heliconia “Sexy Pink”

Heliconia "Citicorum"

Heliconia “Citicorum”

Noregelia "Unknown"

Noregelia “Unknown”


Join Our Newsletter

Sign Up Today!

Michigan Garden Hotline

9am to Noon, M-F Year round
Also 1pm-4pm in Spring/Summer


Log Your Hours