2018 Nassau County Master Gardener Application

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County Master Gardener Program.

The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program  developed by the Cooperative Extension System. Volunteer involvement is critical to the program as Master Gardeners serve an important role by interacting with and educating the community, maintaining the demonstration gardens at East Meadow Farm and providing accurate research and science based horticultural information throughout Nassau County.

The term “Master Gardener” has become synonymous with a knowledgeable individual, provided with  in-depth horticultural training, working to enhance their community and share their knowledge with others. To prepare Master Gardeners for their role in the community, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County provides an in-depth training program. Staff from Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University faculty and local horticulturists serve as the training team for the program.  The cost of the course is $350.00 plus $70 for materials, includes trips, CCE-NC membership & training fees. The non-refundable fee is to be paid upon notification of acceptance with an additional $125 deposit, refunded upon completion of 150 hours of volunteer service.  Application deadline is February 28, 2018.  Scholarships are available, please contact us for details.   Contact us at: Horticulture Center, Demonstration and  Community Gardens at East Meadow Farm 832 Merrick Avenue East Meadow, NY 11554 (516)565-5265 Ext. 14.

To access the application and for full details, visit http://www.ccenassau.org/mastergardener

Thank you to mjigarden for the original information and email. You can read more here.

Gardening Clubs on LI

All over Nassau and Suffolk County are garden clubs where people can get together and discuss their favorite gardening tips and chores. You are bound to find one that is perfect for you, here is a list of the garden clubs located around Long Island. 

American Rhododendron Society

Meets: September – May 

Planting Fields Arboretum, Oyster Bay 

Dues: $40

Bonsai Society of Greater New York

Meets: Monthly

William C. Odol Community Center in H. Garrick Williams Park in Massapequa

Dues: $17 for students, $40 for single, $45 for joint membership

Eastern Suffolk Bonsai Society

Meets: 7PM Second Tuesday all Year

Bellport Community Center

Dues: $40

Fort Neck Garden Club

Meets: 12:30PM First Wednesday of the month

Bar Harbour Library, Massapequa Park

Dues: $20

Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons

Meets: Monthly lectures (Except July and August)

Bridgehampton Community House, Montauk Highway

Dues: $45, $75 family, $10 nonmembers

Long Island Bonsai Society

Meets: 7:30PM Second Monday all year (Except October when the meeting is the third Monday)

Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay

Dues: $40, $45 couples, $10 students

Long Island Cactus and Succulent Society

Meets: 7:30PM third Monday

Kellenberg Memorial High School, Uniondale

Dues: $20

Long Island Dahlia Society

Meets: 6:30PM third Thursday (at the library) 9AM-12PM every Saturday (at arboretum)

East Islip Public Library, East Islip or Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Oakdale

Dues: $20

Long Island DayLily Society

Meets: Call or check website

Planting Fields Arboretum, Oyster Bay

Dues: $35 ($10 local, $25 national)

Long Island Horticultural Society

Meets: Check website for meeting schedule 

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, Oyster Bay

Dues: $35 per family

Long Island Orchid Society

Meets: 7:30PM second Thursday of every month

Knights of Columbus, Hicksville

Dues: $20

Long Island Rose Society

Meets: 7PM second Friday March – December

Plainview – Old Bethpage Library, Plainview

Dues: $25

Merrick Garden Club

Meets: 12:15PM the third Monday of the month (Except August and December)

St. John Lutheran Church, Bellmore

Dues: $40

The Long Island Master Gardeners

Meets: 8:45AM the third Wednesday of the month 

Brookhaven Ecology Site, Holtsville

Dues: $25

Long Island Chrysanthemum Society

Meets: Call for monthly meeting location

Dues: $30

Mid Island Dahlia Society

Meets: 7:30PM First Monday, February – December

Church of the Advent, Westbury

Dues: $15

The Long Island Gesneriad Society

Meets: 12PM the second Saturday, September – June

South Lounge of Hay Barn at Planting Fields Arboretum

Dues: Check Website

Sweet Water African Violet Society

Meets: 7:30PM the first Wednesday, September – November and January – May

West Sayville Fire Department, Montauk Highway

Dues: $10

Suffolk Orchid Society

Meets: 7PM the second Monday, September – June

Emma Clark Library, Setauket

Dues: $15 single, $22 family

Thank you to Newsday for the original information. You can read more here.

Sign Up For Spring Gardening School 2017!

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County will be holding the 35th Annual Spring Gardening School on April 22nd, 2017! It will be held at Longwood Senior High School in Middle Island from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. This event is a popular was to kick-off the new gardening season; Providing up to date information in all areas of horticulture. Classes are taught by Master Gardener Volunteers and Extension Educators! This year we will have a keynote speaker, her name is Polly Weigand and she is Executive Director of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative. Three classes of your choice are also available for every level of gardener (ranging from beginner to advanced.) Class topics include Low-water gardening, Gardening in deer country, Designing drip irrigation, Creating a rain garden, Organic landscape maintenance, and many more! The fee is $65 per person; early bird registration is $60 before March 1st. Included in your fee are free soil pH testing, plant diagnostic clinic, plant sales from some of the finest nurseries, continental breakfast, delicious boxed lunch, Long Island Gardening Calendar, raffle prizes and door prizes.
Register early, because classes fill quickly! Registration is mandatory; there are no walk-ins. A full listing of classes can be found on the registration form for download here! 

Hope to see you there! 

Master Gardener Events

The Master Gardener Newsletter is a great service to be subscribed to. It let’s us know about future events and classes being held by and for Master Gardeners on Long Island! The Master Gardeners will be holding a Spring Gardening School on April 22, 2017 for Earth Day. They are in need of instructors for workshops in the following topics:

  • Landscape Alternatives to Lawns
  • Fairy Gardens
  • Gardening for the Birds
  • Accessible Gardens: Low-Maintenance Techniques for Everyone
  • Designing Drought- Tolerant Landscapes
  • Engaging Children in the Garden
  • Growing Food in the Winter

This is the 2017 SGS Instructor’s Workshop Description Form to fill out and submit toRobin Simmen no later then November 16. This will give CCE Suffolk enough time to create the registration brochure and send it to all instructors for proofreading before they publish it in January. The workshop description form will be mailed with individual evaluations to all the people who taught in 2016. However, if they want to get ahead on submitting workshop ideas for 2017, they can download the form and get started! They ask if you haven’t taught before, they need you and your ideas! Consider offering a workshop next April at Spring Gardening School. The Master Gardeners also came up with a list of committee chairs and co-chairs (if there is no name listed, they need someone (maybe you!) to step forward and help organize that area.) The listed chair people will be looking for and collecting the names of committee members, so please email them directly to join these committees.

  • Breakfast and lunch monitors – Carol Tvelia, sciencecat@optonline.net
  • Information Packets – ?
  • Indoor/Outdoor signs and maps – Diane Herold, muskratwoods@aol.com
  • On-Site Check-In – Barbara Renner, rennerbb@verizon.net
  • Digital Media Help – Kathleen Cleary, kabrcl@yahoo.com
  • Raffle Prize Donations – ?
  • Information/Big Raffle Prize Sales – ?
  • Spring Gift Basket Sales – ?
  • Plant Sale – Denise Zizzo, DeniseZizzo@optimum.net and Brian Smith, breye.smi@gmail.com
  • Classroom Assistants/Soil Testing – Mary Howe, mhowe6@verizon.net
  • Door Prizes – Barbara Renner, rennerbb@verizon.net
  • Transporting Raffles to School Location – ?

A great way to volunteer your time as a Master Gardener is to help make Spring Gardening School a success! The next meeting to plan is scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd at 1:00PM at Griffing Avenue. They ask you to please RSVP to rls63@cornell.edu

2017 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Course

Applications for the 2017 MG Volunteer Training Course are available online on the Master Gardener Volunteer page of their website at http://ccesuffolk.org/gardening/master-gardener-volunteers. The next training course for new MG Volunteers will be held in 2017, beginning February 1 and ending June 28. Weekly Wednesday evening lectures will be held 5:30-8:30 p.m. at CCE Suffolk, 423 Griffing Avenue in Riverhead. Starting April 1, Saturday morning classes will also be held 9:00 a.m.-noon in the field (weather permitting) every other week at various locations from Amityville to Riverhead until the course ends June 28. The cost of the course remains $375 with an additional $125 deposit, refunded upon completion of 125 hours of volunteer service. The deadline to apply for the 30 seats available is October 31, 2016.

Agriculture, Food & Environmental Systems In-Service Conference at Cornell in Ithaca Open to MG Volunteers

Registration for the 2016 Cornell Cooperative Extension conference is now open! The deadline to register is October 7. You can complete a registration form by visiting the Ag In-Service website at http://cce.cornell.edu/page/inservice and clicking on the “Registration” tab. This conference is open to all CCE educators, volunteers, and community partners. Note that in addition to horticulture, there are other subject tracks such as invasive species, environment and natural resources, etc. You can register for any track in any given session.


Master Gardener Volunteers Needed 

Please contact rls63@cornell.edu to volunteer for any of these projects:


The Seniors Center in Aquebogue at 60 Shade Tree Lane

would like MG Volunteer assistance to plant an herb and/or vegetable garden with hopes that the kitchen staff could use plants from the garden to prepare lunch for senior citizens. Sponsored by the Riverhead Recreation Department, this Senior Center would like it to become an intergenerational garden where classes on using culinary, medicinal, or fragrance herbs could be scheduled for the public at large.
The Riverhead Free Library is looking for assistance in redesigning and replanting the gardens on their grounds. Your expertise will be recognized by plaques confirming your hard work. Please stop by and take a look at the potentially beautiful area surrounding the building. The library is looking for mostly native plants and easy care growth that will invite patrons to tour the presentations.
Long Island Maritime Museum (LIMM) depends on a small group of MGVs to maintain its modest-sized main garden, Long Island native plant/butterfly garden, and Bayman’s Cottage garden. They could use some additional help with weeding, trimming, and watering. LIMM runs a summer camp program for K-6, has regular visitors and large gatherings such as the Seafood, Pirate, and Kite Festivals. If you’re in the West Sayville area and can devote an hour or so a week, they would love to have you join them.

Meadowcroft, the gardens of the John Ellis Roosevelt estate supported by the Bayport Heritage Association on Middle Road near the Sayville-Bayport border, seeks MG Volunteers to work once a week on Friday mornings for a couple of hours, from June to September. Meadowcroft consists of a rose garden, perennial garden,annual garden, herb garden, and vegetable garden. Bring gardening gloves, bucket for compost additions, kneeling pad, any hand garden tools you may have, and a desire to dig in. They will supply herb flavored water (bring a drinking vessel), pleasant conversation, and MGV camaraderie.

Mercy Haven’s Growing Together Community Garden was created in 2012 and has harvested thousands of pounds of fresh produce that goes directly to its residents, garden members, and  food pantries. The Garden is located in Brentwood, Long Island, behind the Mercy Enrichment House, a central gathering space for affiliates of Mercy Haven, a nonprofit agency that provides housing and services to Long Islanders who are homeless, living with mental illness, or living in poverty. Mercy Haven is always looking for volunteers who can not only gain the benefits of the harvested produce, but also the benefits of working together and creating a healthier community.

Maureen’s Haven and ADD (Aid to the Developmentally Disabled) in Riverhead have joined forces to create a new community garden downtown on Lincoln Avenue. This new open green space benefits group home residents of ADD and participants of Maureen’s Haven Homeless Outreach, and provides common ground for growing plants that feed, heal, and offer aesthetic pleasure. The new community garden is a place where everyone in the community can garden for nourishment and pleasure. MG Volunteers are requested to assist with this exciting new green space in Riverhead.

The Mount Sinai Garden Club, which meets at the Heritage Park in Mount Sinai on the first Thursday of every month at 7:15 p.m., is looking for Master Gardeners to speak on the following subjects: composting, ticks,vegetable gardening, creating a plant maze, transplanting, rose care.

Bridge Gardens, the botanic garden in Bridgehampton, invites MG Volunteers to get involved in its weekly routines of weeding, watering, planting, harvesting, and pest management in its ornamental and vegetable gardens. Bridge Gardens can offer MG Volunteers experience with herbs, roses, annuals, perennials, and shrubs and trees, both native and exotic. The staff are flexible about work schedules. If you are interested, please feel free to contact Rick Bogusch, Bridge Gardens Manager, at 631-537-7440.

William Rall Elementary School in Lindenhurst received a grant to install a Tisch Garden, which has been planted, and is looking for MG Volunteers to help start a gardening club to teach young students about gardening.
The Education Garden at Bethel Hobbs Community Farm in Centereach grows flowers to attract pollinators and beneficial insects for the farm, and welcomes MG Volunteers who want to help with this effort. Fresh vegetables grown at the farm are donated to Long Island soup kitchens and food pantries.
The Farm at St. Peters, a beautiful hidden oasis behind St. Peters by the Sea Episcopal Church off Montauk Highway in Bayshore, is looking for volunteers to assist with bed preparation, planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting. This CSA serves 20-25 member families and could use some MG Volunteer assistance.
Long Island Harvest has many opportunities to help promote food security by creating school and community gardens, encouraging farmers to grow an extra row, doing field gleanings at the end of the growing season, and teaching people how to grow healthy food. Help is also needed to repair their greenhouses behind their warehouse in Hauppauge.
Thank you to CCE and Master Gardener Volunteer Newsletter for the original information.

Glover Farm

Here are some photos from when we visited Glover Farm! Jim Glover was kind to give the Master Gardeners a private tour. Jim is the guy in the center of the photo, wearing the straw hat. They have 23 acres on their nursery grounds in Cutchogue. They grow out of the ordinary varieties, and the gardeners were excited to be able to shop there. Jim is also focusing on growing natives for our Long Island area. I was smitten with this colorful sedum.

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Landcraft Garden Tour

This week we went on a Master Gardener tour of Landcraft Gardens in Mattituck. The grounds were strikingly beautiful and breathtaking. All of the landscaping was done with a meticulous hand, it was perfectly executed. All of the grass was cut and was bright, it looked perfectly mowed.  Here are some photos of the grounds!

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Islip Historical Society Garden Walk 2016

This weekend on June 25th at noon, the Islip Historical Society will be hosting a garden walk. You can either purchase tickets online or at Caroline’s Flower Shoppe on Main Street (between 11AM and 1PM.) Once you have purchased your ticket(s) you must redeem your Garden Walk Booklet at Caroline’s to know where the gardens are located. Tickets are $15, and are non-refundable. The rain date is set to be June 26th from 12PM-4PM. Project Bloom will have a booth set up at one of the gardens with loads of free plants grown for the garden visitors. Stop in and say hi!

You can buy tickets here!

To see pictures from last year, you can visit Islip Historical Society’s Facebook page! Click here!

Planting Fields

On Tuesday June 21st, we attended the Summer Twilight Tour at Planting Fields Arboretum. It was hosted by LINLA (Long Island Nursery & Landscape Association.) We were taken on a tour of the gardens, with Vincent Simone as our tour guide. After the walk through the beautiful gardens, we were treated to a light dinner and learned how Vincent and his staff are improving the gardens and their own practices to become more sustainable. It was a great way to spend the Summer Solstice with an incredible tour and spend time among fellow garden lovers.

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Register now for Spring Gardening School!

The Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County (CCE) is hosting the annual Spring Gardening School on Saturday, April 16th,2016 from 8:30AM to 4:00 PM. This school has been organized by Master Gardener Volunteers for the last 34 years, it is a fun day of learning and fun for hundreds of gardeners!

The class will be held at Patchogue-Medford High School in Medford, NY. All classes will be taught by the Master Gardener Volunteers as well as Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators. The day will consist of workshops held during three sessions and offers classes for beginners to advanced gardeners. There is a new keynote session this year with an address on Grow More with Less: Sustainable Gardening Methods by Vincent Simeone, Director of Planting Fields Arboretum. Some of the classes you can sign up for include: Choosing the Right Trees, Gardening with Chickens, Design & Install Drip Irrigation, Pruning Roses & Hydrangeas, Seed Starting Demystified, and many, many more.

The fee to attend is $65 per person, which includes free soil pH testing, a Long Island Gardening Calendar, a plant diagnostic clinic, gardening exhibits, and an early plant sale from some of the finest nurseries on Long Island; continental breakfast, delicious boxed lunch, raffles, and door prizes. Pre–registration is mandatory; first come is first served. Here is a registration form with a full schedule of classes and their descriptions for you to download and send to us. We look forward to seeing you there!

Robin Simmen is Community Horticulture Specialist for CCE Suffolk. She can be reached at rls63@cornell.edu or at 631-727-7850 x215.

Thank you to Cornell University for the original information. You can read more here.