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Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023

Highlighting JCMGA Experts Presenting at Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens

By Beet 2023 09 September


Last month began our Beet series of three articles on the speakers and their presentations for the upcoming Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens Symposium October 27-28 and November 3-4. This month I shine a spotlight on Jackson County Master Gardener Association’s own experts who are presenters at the symposium. We have a deep and talented bench at JCMGA!


Ronnie Budge 

  • Presentation: Two 45-minute presentations: 1) Unlocking the Mysteries of the Seed Catalog, and 2) Coping with Critters in the Garden
  • Description
  • Every flower and vegetable variety described in a seed catalog, accompanied by a beautiful photo, is so tempting. How do you pick and choose? Learn to decipher the codes and clues in the catalog before you order, so you can grow the kind of garden you really want.
  • Deer, squirrels, gophers and voles – how do you keep them from destroying your garden? Learn what methods will help you control the pests, and what probably won’t work.
  • Speaker Bio: You can take the woman out of the Rogue Valley, but you can’t take the Rogue Valley out of the woman. Although she moved to Seattle last year, Ronnie continues to honor us with her participation in JCMGA. Ronnie lived and gardened a large part of her adult life in the valley. She became a Master Gardener and served as a Practicum mentor for many years. She tended vegetable and ornamental gardens on her property near Jacksonville where she did battle with all manner of “critters”.


John Kobal    

  • Presentation: Rock Gardens
  • Description: Create a unique feature, exclusive to your property. Try a Rock Garden.  Each rock garden is unique to its developer and varies by plant and hardscape variety.  It’s not hard to build one, but does take some planning and forethought.  The plants are usually on the small side, but a well-placed tree can be a welcome addition.  Create living pathways, garden walls, and points of interest using rocks (and plants).
  • Speaker bio: John has 30+ years of gardening experience.  He relocated to the Rogue Valley in 2014, and is a Master Gardener, certified by the Oregon State University Extension in Jackson County.  John has an extensive orchard, an in-ground garden and 18 raised beds used for growing vegetables.  He has three worm bins which compost a majority of kitchen scraps.  John is a garden lecturer for civic organizations, interfaces with several local school gardening programs, is an instructor in the Practicum aspect of the Master Gardener Training Program, is an OLLI instructor, and hosts the garden lecture series at the annual Master Gardener Spring Garden Fair.




Bonnie Englehardt  

  • Title: Masses of Grasses
  • Description:  Overwhelmed with the abundance of ornamental grass options, but ready to delve into this endlessly useful category of plants? Come explore the varieties that are best suited to our region, including many North American natives, and learn about their bountiful benefits-: deer resistance, drought tolerance and wildlife habitat among them.  Tips and information on the best care practices will also be discussed.
  • Speaker Bio:  Bonni Engelhardt is a landscape designer, Master Gardener, and writer.  She loves to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for plants with the community.



Rosenelle Florencechild 

  • Title of Presentation: Fragrance in the Garden   
  • Description of Presentation: When we see a beautiful flower in the garden, instinctively we bend toward the bloom and breathe in. Often we are disappointed. As modern hybridizers work toward increasing pest and disease resilience, scent is sacrificed. This presentation will examine varieties of shrubs – peonies, roses, lavender, and herbs – such as mints, lemon verbena, and pineapple sage – that offer a feast for your nose as well as your eyes.
  • Speaker Bio: Rosenelle Florencechild completed the Jackson County Master Gardener Program in 2013. She served as Head Gardener of the Lavender Garden from 2014-2016. She is a member of the Herb Society of America, the American Rose Society, and several local garden clubs.



Marsha Waite  

  • Presentation: Identifying and Attracting Beneficial Insects to the Home Garden 
  • Description: This class will help students identify, attract and protect some of the best garden helpers in Southern Oregon. Come learn which factors are depleting beneficial insect populations and what we can do to help them survive these challenging times.
  • Speaker Bio: Marsha Waite, a Master Gardener since 1995, has been a Plant Clinic Specialist and an Entomology and Integrated Pest Management instructor for the past 28 years. She has given many classes to garden clubs in Oregon and written articles for the Mail Tribune and Garden Beet. She was given the Jackson Co. Master Gardener of the Year award in 2000, Oregon State Master Gardener of the Year award in 2007, and was the State Behind the Scenes award recipient in 2016.

A Preview of the 2023 Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens Symposium

By Beet 2023 08 August


Planning for the 2023 Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens Symposium is well underway. The symposium will offer 14 different class sessions, four each day on October 27th, 28th, and November 3, and two more on November 4th.  There are many gardening-related topics from which to choose, but the WD/SG Working Group decided on four subject areas: critters in the garden; climate change/ecology; home gardening; and a “grab bag” category.

To increase our audience, we are again partnering with the Oregon State Landscape Board, who will offer our classes for Continuing Education credits in horticulture to landscapers. We are also trying new avenues of advertising, including color ads in both the Ashland and Medford Parks & Recreation Departments’ Fall Catalogs. Because the classes will again be presented via Zoom, there are plenty of seats!

We have booked 14 spectacular speakers, a few of whom you may already know and others who are new to WD/SG. This month, and for the next two months, we will be showcasing the bios of several speakers in the Garden Beet.

The schedule of classes and registration information will be available in mid-August. You will be able to register and pay online through PayPal at the  website. Watch for the MailChimp announcement in August.



2023 WD/SG Sessions

Taking a Walk on the Wildside… In Your Own Backyard

Andony Pelathopoulus, Presenter


Last year, Andony talked about how Oregon is leading the nation in cataloguing its bee biodiversity. All of this data has provided great insights into the top bee-attractant plants for your garden. In this lecture, we talk about what we are learning from the Oregon Bee Atlas in terms of best plants for bees in southern Oregon.

Andony Melathopoulos is an Associate Professor of Pollinator Health Extension in the Department of Horticulture at OSU. He leads the Master Melittologist and Bee Steward Programs and hosts the podcast PolliNation.



Succulent Gardening for Drought Resilience

Annie Schreck, Presenter

Looking for easy, drought-tolerant plants that can bring color to your garden and attract pollinators? Explore why succulents are ideal for low-water landscaping and learn how to incorporate them into a stunning, low-maintenance rock garden.


Annie Schreck is the researcher and editor-in-chief for Mountain Crest Gardens, a family-owned, online nursery that grows succulents in Northern California. She found her passion for horticulture as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. Upon returning to the US, she worked in a native plant nursery in the Willamette Valley and earned her certification in Permaculture d Design. She now takes great pleasure in researching and writing about succulents, talking plants with novices and experts alike, and helping people cultivate resilient, waterwise plants at home and in the landscape.



Masses of Grasses

Bonni Engelhardt, Presenter

Overwhelmed with the abundance of ornamental grass options, but ready to delve into this endlessly useful category of plants? Come explore the varieties that are best suited to our region, including many North American natives, and learn about their bountiful benefits such as deer resistance, drought tolerance and wildlife habitat, among others.  Tips and information on the best care practices will also be discussed.

Bonni Engelhardt is a landscape designer, Master Gardener, and writer.  She loves to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for plants with the community.



Fire Adapted Landscaping Best Practices and Understanding Defensible Space

Brian Hendrix, Presenter

Designed to help gardeners improve their understanding of what ‘being firewise’ really means for gardens and landscaping around the home. Learn how various wildfire risk reduction activities can improve the survivability of a home in a wildfire event. Terms and activities relating to wildfire mitigation will be introduced, as well as some basics of effective plant spacing and maintenance for improved defensible space, and differences between a firewise versus a flammable plant. We’ll offer examples from local homes and help prioritize actions related to vegetation maintenance for wildfire preparedness.

Brian Hendrix is the Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator for Ashland Fire & Rescue. He is a Certified Wildfire Mitigation Specialist. Before taking over the FAC Coordinator role in 2021, Brian was the Weed Abatement Coordinator and a Wildfire Mitigation Assistant for AF&R’s Wildfire Division.




Irrigation Systems: Common Problems & Solutions for a Water Wise Landscape

Cody Scoggins and Aaron Adachi, Presenters

Irrigation systems provide us with a convenient way to water our landscapes more evenly and at the most optimal times of day (early morning and late evening). However, these systems also need regular maintenance to ensure that water is being used as efficiently as possible.  This presentation will cover common problems that can occur in irrigation systems and best practices for creating a thriving water-efficient landscape.


Cody Scoggins is the Water Efficiency Coordinator for Medford Water Department. He has a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management. He’s part of a committed team who thrive on being good stewards of our water and a reliable resource for those who look to be good stewards themselves.




Aaron Adachi is a Water Efficiency Technician for Medford Water Department. With a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Aaron chose to come to Medford Water for the opportunity to implement lasting change in the surrounding community with the skills that he learned from the private sector.

Winter Dreams Summer Gardens 2023

By Beet 2023 06 June



~~~~~ Exciting News! ~~~~~

The Jackson County Master Gardener Association is back, virtually!

Dates: Fridays, October 27 and November 3 and

Saturdays, October 28 and November 4, 2023


Comfort of your own Home via Zoom

Dig into four days of virtual garden immersion seminars taught by 14 presenters, all designed to help you plan next year’s spectacular garden. 2023 Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Symposium is an ideal time to take stock while learning with experts about Gardening in Our Rogue Valley Climate.


Cost: $30. Pick your favorite topics or watch them all. Most sessions will be recorded and available for a limited time for paid participants.


Make it a family reunion & invite friends, family

and all your known far flung Gardening Enthusiasts!


Stay tuned — Details to follow



OSU Extension Service prohibits discrimination in all its programs, services, activities, and materials.  Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made 7 days prior to the event by calling the Extension office 541-776-7371.