UC Master Gardener Program
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program

Latest Statewide Master Gardener News

Voting is now open for the official 2017 UC Master Gardener Photo Contest!

Following a program wide call for photos, the official 2017 UC Master Gardener photo contest received more than 350 submissions from UC Master Gardeners across that state! Images ranged from beautiful flowers to fascinating creatures in our gardens in five categories.

Narrowing down each category's top five finalist was no easy task. Each categories finalists stood out to the judges because of its interesting subject matter, composition or connection to the program.

Photo finalists selected, now you vote!

Cast your vote by ranking the finalists in order from 1-5 (1 being your favorite).  Online voting will close on July 31, 2017.  Now it's your turn to help decided the winners! (Finalists listed in no particular order.)

California Friendly Gardening:

  • "San Juan Capistrano Native Garden,” by Nina Payne, Ostensen Orange County
  • “Drought Friendly Succulents,” by Monique Moench, Solano County
  • “Quarry Lakes Demonstration Garden,” by Carol Jesse, Alameda County
  • “CA Native Plants,” by Corinne Yoshihara, Napa County
  • “Gardens Gone Native,” by Kathy Ikeda, San Joaquin County

Creatures in the Garden:

  • “Lily and the Swallowtail,” by Tom Furnanz, Calaveras County
  • “Ingurgitating Praying Mantid,” by Sharon Leos, Solano County
  • “Female Native Longhorn Bee,” by Kimberly Steinmann, Sacramento County
  • “Sharp-shinned Hawk Welcoming Visitors,” by Ken Martin, Ventura County
  • “Last Meal of the Condemned,” by Bruce Goren, San Mateo-San Francisco Counties

Incredible Edibles:

  • “Ravishing Radishes,” by Anne McDermott, Orange County
  • “Beta vulgaris ‘Incognito',” by Kathy Ikeda, San Joaquin County
  • “Winter Veggies,” by Randall Fox, Santa Cruz-Monterey Counties
  • “Summer's Bounty,” by Rebecca Schoenenberger, Santa Clara County
  • “Golden Raspberries,” by Bruce Goren, San Mateo-San Francisco Counties

UC Master Gardeners in Action:

  • “Happy to Help,” by Amina Horikoshi, Sacramento County
  • “Water Audit,” by Kathy Ikeda, San Joaquin County
  • “Learning about Critters in a Pond,” by Peggy Chipkin Marin County
  • “Fresh peas taste great!” by Summer Brasuel, El Dorado County
  • “Which one is next?” by Kim Nguyen, Orange County

Outstanding Ornamental:

  • “Looking Up,” by Carol Jesse, Alameda County
  • “Exploding Milkweed,” by Cindy Elkins, Fresno County
  • “Echeveria,” by Jeffrey Blake, San Mateo-San Francisco Counties
  • “The splendor of a brilliant carnivorous plant,” by Marta Kravech, Sacramento County
  • “Good Morning,” by Meredith French, Gold Badge, San Diego County

Click here to vote: ucanr.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bBoOSl4HlGfrpQ1

View all the photos entries

There is no doubt that UC Master Gardner volunteers have a creative side; be sure to check out all the submissions to official UC Master Gardener photo contest on the contest website. Thank you to all those who took the time to participate and share your amazing and inspiring work! Good luck to our finalists!




Posted on Monday, July 17, 2017 at 11:01 AM

Join the fun, participate in the 2017 Master Gardener Conference Silent Auction!   

Silent auction participants placing bids at the 2014 UC Master Gardener Conference. Photo credit: Marcy Sousa

The UC Master Gardener Program conference planning committee is looking for generous people, businesses and UC Master Gardener counties to help make the 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference silent auction a huge success. The committee is seeking high quality silent auction donations the awards banquet happening at the Long Beach Convention Center on Weds. Aug. 23.

The potential 900 conference attendees will have the opportunity to browse and bid on donated baskets and items throughout the evening. Bidders can bid freely knowing their money will be used to offset future conference costs and provide conference scholarships opportunities for UC Master Gardener volunteers.

Themed baskets, local goods, gift cards and handmade items that were donated for the 2014 conference raised $6,400 and provide both full and partial registration scholarships to the 2017 conference.

Donating items is easy 

Volunteers can work with their local program coordinator and fellow volunteers to designate a lead responsible for all future silent auction correspondence and complete the Silent Auction Participation Form. Please complete the survey no later than Monday, Aug. 7 to secure a spot for your donated items. Visit the conference website to learn more details about the silent auction and how to package silent auction donation baskets. 

If you are a business and would like to donate items for the silent auction please contact Ann Daniel, statewide fundraising coordinator, anndaniel@ucanr.edu or (530)750-1387. We are happy to accept gift certificates, event and/or season tickets, travel vouchers, gardening tools, gloves, hats, gardening accessories, books, photography equipment, close-focus binoculars, pocket microscope, etc.

All individuals, businesses and organizations will be recognized for their donations at the silent auction on table signage and bid sheets for their support of the program.

Proceeds from the silent auction are used to help UC Master Gardener volunteers with financial hardships attend the conference through scholarships.

Help support a program you love!  

Leah Haynes, Program Coordinator in Ventura County and silent auction chair is excited to be a part of the 2017 conference committee and is looking forward to the conference. Haynes is particularly excited about providing an opportunity to UC Master Gardener volunteers to bid on items and support a program they love while creating future learning opportunities and scholarship funds.

“What an excellent opportunity to create a basket that showcases your county's agricultural profile,” says Haynes, “think big and beyond the basket. Let me know if you need my help in creating a theme for your county's basket. I truly appreciate your support for the work we DO!”

Questions? Contact:
(Please include county name and Silent Auction in subject line for all email communications)

County programs contact: 
Leah Haynes
Program Coordinator, Ventura County
Phone: (805)320-4134
Email: ljhaynes@ucanr.edu

Businesses, organizations or individuals contact: 
Ann Daniel
Statewide Fundraising Coordinator
Phone: (530)750-1387
Email: anndaniel@ucanr.edu

  • Are you an artist with a unique masterpiece that reflects the beauty of your county? 
  • Do you have a family member, friend or neighbor that creates gifts for the garden?    
  • Did you purchase too many garden tools that you will never use?  
  • Do you have a vacation home a fellow UC Master Gardener could enjoy? 
  • Did you receive a gift card or two that you will never use?   
  • Do you make beautiful birdhouses or decorative items to adorn the garden?   

Many Hands Make Light the Work!    

Register to donate a silent auction item:

Learn more about the conference: 

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 9:52 AM

Gardens Galore on 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference Tours!

There is still plenty of time to sign up for one of the five fantastic garden tours that showcase some of the finest gardens in Southern California. Four day-long tours are offered Aug. 22, and one half-day tour is scheduled the morning of Aug. 23 which concludes in time to attend the welcome and enjoy the engaging key note speakers. The UC Master Gardener Conference tours were designed to give participants a behind-the-scenes look at how these gardens operate and have the opportunity to meet garden curators and UC Master Gardeners who are involved with these gardens.  Come and learn a little about the history of these beautiful locations in both Los Angeles County and Orange County.

Explore the Huntington Botanical Gardens
Spend the day at this 120-acre estate, home to more than a dozen world-class gardens. While the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is closed to the public on Tuesdays, they will open the gardens especially for UC Master Gardeners. Participants will meet with garden curators, visit the Huntington Ranch where UC Master Gardeners share information on edible gardening, and explore the Huntington's fabulous Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Australian Garden, Herb Garden, Desert Garden, and more.
Go California Native!
Visit Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens (RSABG), the largest botanic garden dedicated to California native plants. Spread across 86 acres in Claremont, the Garden displays about 2000 taxa of California plants and includes those native to the California Floristic Province as a whole. Enjoy a docent-led tour of the gardens and time to explore on your own, plus lunch at the outdoor classroom with a presentation by Peter Evans, director of horticulture at RSABG. 
Community Engagement with Gardens and Nature
Spend the morning visiting school and community gardens that showcase Los Angeles County UC Master Gardener activities. In the afternoon, visit the gardens at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, meet UC Master Gardeners and museum staff who bring the garden education programs to life. The 3.5 acre garden was designed with an eye towards attracting wildlife and studying nature in the city, including plants that offer food and shelter for wild animals. 
Dramatic Gardens from the Desert to the Sea
Tour the the South Coast Research and Extension Center and experience a variety of activities from demo landscapes to youth gardens, fruit tree field research projects to chickens and beekeeping topped off by a special luncheon. Travel next to the coast for a personalized tour of Sherman Library and Gardens. This 2.2 acre horticultural retreat offers a museum of living plants, displayed in a setting of gardens, patios and conservatories blooming with seasonal flowers and bubbling tile fountains. Finish the day at nearby Roger's Gardens, a destination home, garden and landscape design center. Shop to your heart's content!
Los Angeles Farm and Garden History
Did you know that the roots of California's abundant agriculture can be found in Los Angeles County? Explore our surprising farm and garden heritage with a morning visit to the Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach. Tour the gardens, which include specimen trees that date back to the mid-19th century, as well as lush 1930s-era landscaping designed by well-known landscape architect Ralph Cornell. Learn about California's farm and garden history from UC Cooperative Extension Advisor Rachel Surls and Los Angeles County UC Master Gardener Judith Gerber, co-authors of the recently published book “From Cows to Concrete: the Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles.”

Click here to register for the conference.
Already registered for the conference but want to add a tour?
Click here to register for a tour only.

Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 1:57 PM
  • Author: Valerie Borel

Call for Entries: UC Master Gardener Photo Contest

Oh Snap! It's time to show off your photography skills!

Attention UC Master Gardener volunteers! The UC Master Gardener Program invites you to capture and share your creativity in the garden. Enter the Official 2017 UC Master Gardener Photo Contest for a chance to win great prizes and receive recognition among the entire UC Master Gardener community.

UC Master Gardener volunteers can showcase their amazing photography skills and submit a photo in any of the five contest categories:

  1. California friendly gardening
  2. Creatures in the garden
  3. Incredible edibles
  4. UC Master Gardeners in action
  5. Outstanding ornamental

How to enter

Entry is free and open to active UC Master Gardener volunteers. Entries must be submitted electronically by midnight on Friday, June 30, 2017 using the online photo contest submission form. Only one entry allowed per category per participant. Please read and review the official photo contest participation guidelines before entering.


Photographs will be judged on the overall image quality, subject, originality and composition. First, second and third place category winners will receive a gift certificate, professional print of their winning shot and be featured on the 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference website. Winners will be celebrated and displayed in a photo gallery at the 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference in Long Beach, Aug. 22-25.

The first place winner of each category will be entered into the “Gardeners Choice” contest, to be voted on at 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference in Long Beach, Aug. 22-25. The winner will be announced on Aug. 25 and awarded a $75.00 gift certificate.

More information about the 2017 UC Master Gardener Photo Contest and the 2017 UC Master Gardener Conference can be found online. We can't wait to see your beautiful photos!

Questions? Contact: 

Marcy Sousa
Program Coordinator, San Joaquin 
Phone: (209) 953-6111
Email: mdhachman@ucanr.edu


Posted on Monday, June 5, 2017 at 8:34 AM

VMS Reappointment Process Begins June 1

It's reappointment time for the UC Master Gardener Program! Before the reappointment process begins we would like to say thank you. Our dedicated volunteers are the heart of the UC Master Gardener Program and we couldn't make such an incredible impact in our communities without you.

We hope you consider joining us as a volunteer again this upcoming program year. If the answer is yes, just follow the simple steps to reappointment below. Reappointment starts June 1 and is completed in the Volunteer Management System (VMS). Questions about reappointment? Contact your Program Coordinator, Advisor or County Director. 

Step One: Select “Complete Agreement Now” in VMS

  • Log into VMS, vms.ucanr.edu
  • Select “Complete Agreement Now” from prompt box at top of VMS home screen

Step Two: Complete all three sections to fulfill county requirements for participation

Step Three: Verify Date Completed Displays and Print a Copy for your Records  

Quick Tips and FAQ's:

Who must complete the reappointment process? 
The Appointment process is mandatory for all UCCE Master Gardeners / Master Food Preservers, including:

  • Active
  • Limited Active
  • First-Year
  • Gold Badge
  • Platinum Badge

How many hours do I need to volunteer for reappointment? 
The minimum hours required to remain a certified UCCE Master Gardener / UCCE Master Food Preserver are:

  • 25 hours - Volunteer
  • 12 hours - Continuing education

Note: First year UCCE Master Gardeners / UCCE Master Food Preservers are required to complete a minimum of 50 volunteer hours (no continuing education requirement) before the next certification cycle.

What is the date range for calculating hours for reappointment? 
The program year is July 1-June 30th. Hours currently being reported during the reappointment period are from July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. 

Where do I send my payment?
That statewide office does not collect fees or payment directly from volunteers for reappintment.  Please check with your county coordinator, director or advisor about fees and where and how to submit payment.


Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 8:28 AM

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