Native Wildflowers from Seed

On Saturday, September 24, Pollinator Pathway, Kingston Conservation Commission, sponsored a Field Trip to Riverside Gardens in Dover, NH. Leslie and Ken Herd were our generous hosts and showed us around their six acre homestead.

Five Master Gardeners attended: Dawn, Genie, Loretta, Barbara, and Judy. Our interest was in learning more about winter sowing of seeds.

One critical takeaway was that this works best with ‘Class C’ seeds which require stratification (seeds germinate after a period of cold.) Native seeds also don’t mind being close so a packet can be started in one container.

The water jug is cut to open it, drainage holes are needed in the bottom, cap is left off, organic potting soil is used, seeds are planted, and jug is taped back together with duct tape. When she starts them in 4″ pots she also adds some sand to the top, and the 4″ pots are put into one of the frames above. The frames have hardware cloth on the bottom. One frame is used to hold the pots, and a second frame is put on the top to keep critters from snacking on the plants. The jugs or frames are planted mid December and left on the north side of the house through the winter months.

The pots are moved to a sunny spot in May and when they have a set of “true leaves,” they are transplanted into 1-quart pots with 3-4 seedlings per pot. The next year they are transplanted into individual pots.

It was two hours packed full of information and interesting questions from the other participants.

This event was free and advertised through Nature Groupie. If you don’t currently receive their newsletter, here is a link to sign up.


Want to learn more about harnessing the coming cold weather to propagate a diversity of plants from seed? Consider joining Margaret Roach and Ken Druse for a free webinar on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 6 PM Eastern. For more information use this link, and click here to register.

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School Grant Update

Recently Maple Wood School, Somersworth, was fortunate to receive the Carolyn Bassage Memorial School Garden Grant from the Strafford County Master Gardeners Association.

This has allowed us to expand our garden in one important way. While our garden has expanded, we have not been able to add seating to allow for more seamless integration of outdoor education.

Through this grant we were able to purchase two five-foot benches that greatly expand our seating available. These benches are all-weather benches, allowing teachers and students to enjoy the beauty of our garden in all four seasons. The benches are lightweight and easily moveable in order to be used throughout the day, regardless of where the sun or shade is.

The benches can also be moved around in order to have small group work or whole class discussions. Because the benches are backless, we can also have students use them to write on while students kneel on the ground.

In order to ensure that our benches remain in the garden area, we also purchased chains and locks.

We are very excited to have these amazing additions to our school garden and are thankful that the Strafford County Master Gardeners Association could help make it a reality.

Emily Wilson 

Grade 4 Teacher

Maple Wood School

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International MG Conference 2023


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Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market

Save the Date!

Our first Winter Farmers’ Market of the season is November 19th at Wentworth Greenhouses.

From 10-2 p.m., this market will have over FORTY-FIVE vendors offering a variety of delicious local foods including ready-to-eat items that can now be enjoyed at market.

We’ve also made your Thanksgiving menu shopping easier with our local Thanksgiving shopping guide. We’ll have copies available at market or download and print one to bering with you!

Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market
Saturday, November 19th
10-2 p.m.
Wentworth Greenhouses
141 Rollins Rd., Rollinsford, NH

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Let’s Talk Gardens

Thursday, November 10, 12-1 pm

Webinar – Creating Hypnotizing Horticultural Displays 

Speakers: Scott Scarfone and Janet Draper 

Reducing the elements of planting design to the simplest and most basic of design principles can be a powerful approach to creating bold and powerful planting compositions. Powerful plantings respond to our emotions because of their striking application of color, form, texture or placement. Successful compositions are complex in their simplicity and unusual in their context – which presents as exotic or visually arresting. Learning how to recognize and boil down elements of design to its essence is key to success. Power plantings are, thus, those plants that when plants are placed either individually or in grouped combinations stand out from the surrounding landscape. It is their distinctive and prominent characteristics, differing from feel of the surrounding landscape, that capture people’s attention. Under the tenants of the most basic of design principles and philosophies, careful plant selection and strategically placed plants with contrasting combinations can create stunning visual displays. This presentation will explore principles and approaches for creating hypnotic plantings through review of well-designed examples. Imagery will categorized and form the basis of discussions on various techniques that may use employed to create power plantings. Examples of hypnotic powerful plantings from around the globe will be used to illustrate key techniques.

Scott Scarfone is a landscape architect and horticulturist with 30+ years of experience having practiced on a broad range of project types – most notably having designed projects for 21 public gardens across the US and Canada.

Janet Draper is the lead Horticulturist at Smithsonian Gardens’ Mary Livingston Ripley Garden in Washington DC.

Register Here

Thursday, December 1, 12-1 pm

WebinarA Natural History Approach to Protecting Pollinators

Speaker: Gary Krupnick, Research Scientist, National Museum of Natural History

Pollinators are critical to environmental health, our nation’s economy, and our food security. But many pollinators are in serious decline. This presentation will provide insight into the natural history of plant-pollinator interactions and how biologists, gardeners, and community scientists can help protect plants and their pollinators.

Gary Krupnick is a research scientist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where he heads up the Plant Conservation Unit. He advises organizations on IUCN plant listings and represents the Smithsonian on committees for plant conservation and pollination. Gary studies plant conservation biology, plant reproduction, the use of herbarium specimens to determine rarity and endangerment of plant species, and plant-pollinator interactions. He has conducted conservation assessments of the flora of Hawaii and the flora of the West Indies. Along with the American Society of Botanical Artists, he co-curated the traveling exhibition, “Losing Paradise? Endangered Plants Here and Around the World,” a convergence of art, science, conservation, and education. Gary serves on the steering committee of the North American Orchid Conservation Center and is the Vice Chair of the steering committee of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. He is the co-editor of the book Plant Conservation: A Natural History Approach (University of Chicago Press; 2005) and serves as the editor of The Plant Press (newsletter of the U.S. National Herbarium). 

Register Here

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Photography Webinar

University of Delaware
Cooperative Extension

Master Gardener Workshop:

Snap It and App It

Tuesday, November 29, 2022, 7:00 pm

Digital photography is here to stay and there are so many applications that not only can correct common problems, but also transform photographs into works of art!

UD photographer and Master Gardener Michele Walfred will share her “must-have” apps and the dazzling features available to make your snapshots stunning!

This workshop will concentrate on gardening, wildlife, birds and scenery, but the takeaways are useful for any type of photography!

Registration Link

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Wordless Wednesday

The beauty of fall in the garden. Photographer: Jon Batson, MG since 1996

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Maine Botanical Garden

Gardens Aglow returns as a walking event, starting November 19!

Join us for our eighth annual Gardens Aglow with a reimagined design and more than 750,000 LED lights woven through our 14 acres of central gardens.

Advance tickets required. 

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Pollinator-friendly plants

It’s fall and the temps have cooled down up here in the Northeast. That means we’re getting closer to seed catalogues and planning for next year’s garden.

Our Master Gardener friends in Collin County, Texas, generously share this poster with us as we make plans for our 2023 garden.

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