The above photos are from the 2017 picnic at the I-75 Rest Area where the gardens are planted and maintained by SVMGA gardeners.

HBA Home & Garden Show:March 18, 19 & 20, 2016.  SVMGA volunteers sold soil kits, Baker Creek seeds, cowpots, and raffle tickets for garden paintings at HBA's 2016 Home & Garden Center Exposition at SVSU Ryder Center.  Thank you Gloria Schuler for coordinating all of our volunteers throughout the event; Dan Hill and Bob Schust for trucking in our props, and SVMGA master gardener helpers for sharing their garden knowledge with others through the weekend.

  August 24, 2016. Annual SVMGA Picnic Canceled Due to Weather Precautions                      

      Unfortunately, our August meeting and annual picnic at the Rest Area was canceled due to unpredictable

weather.  Please take time on another summer day to view the beautifully maintained and extensive gardens at

this Rest Area. Gloria Schuler and her SVMGA Master Gardeners have spruced up the Rest Stop gardens at I-75

southbound, south of the Westside Saginaw Road Exit.
       Our past President Gloria Schuler, was coordinator for this project in 2002, after it started as a combined 

project using Master Gardener volunteers from Saginaw, Bay, Midland and Tuscola Counties. Then after there was downsizing at the Saginaw MSUE office, the project then switched to Saginaw Master Gardeners only. Each yea since then she has tirelessly and enthusiastically encouraged us to volunteer for this wonderful project. 
      From the very beginning, nearly all of the plants, including some more exotic cultivars, that have been ordered
for this site were found and grown by Scott Boehler of Boehler’s Nursery in Saginaw.This volunteer

project is an ongoing collaboration between SVMGA and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Gloria and various employees of MDOT have continued to work together to make this Highway gem a success over the past 15 years.​
      Recently, MSUE hosted a project poster contest that was voted on by Master Gardeners attending this year’s

Master Gardener College. Our beautiful and informative poster using photos collected over the years for this I-75

Rest Area Volunteer Project earned an honorable mention! 
      Master Gardener Volunteers have worked at many other rest stops around Michigan, and continue to do so, at the
following locations:                                                                                

  • Clare Welcome Center, Rest Area 634 located on I-27 northbound and southbound, at mile marker 160, where I-27,

US-127, and US-10 converge.

  • Fenton Rest Area 624 located on US - 23 northbound, at mile marker 81, north of the Torrey Road Exit.
  • Linwood Rest Area 626, located on I-75 northbound at mile marker 175, north of the Linwood Road Exit.

The Old Thyme Herb Society also volunteers for this project.

  • Dodge Road Rest Area 631, located on I-75 Northbound, at mile marker 129, north of the West Mt. Morris Rd. Exit.


June 17, 2016.SVMGA won an Honorable Mention for our I-75 Rest Stop Project Poster.

Nov. 30, 2016. SVMGA had much to celebrate during their end of year Holiday potluck tonight. Twelve SVMGA members went home happy with a well earned gold badge for 1000 volunteer hours. (See the new "1000 Hour MGs" page on this website.)  Other MGs won a raffled centerpiece floral by Tom Leinberger or holiday decor by Susan Skutt. SVMGA board gave members a Countdown til Party pumpkin recipe handout. Thank you members who brought food donations for SVMGA's annual Hidden Harvest pickup.

Art & Garden Festival  - June 8th, 2016 at ANDERSEN ENRICHMENT CENTER
Photos:Many visitors appreciated gardening advice from SVMGA Master Gardeners Margaret Jackson, Pat Boudrow, Ken Tarrant, Sue Skutt, Kathy Giffin, Joe Leach, Pat Burnside, and Andrea Czarnik. Shoppers and garden lovers had the chance to ask questions of SVMGA master gardeners about  a variety of topics including a gardening basics presentation by Patty Burnside. Proceeds from the auction were donated to the Lucille E. Andersen Memorial Rose Garden. 


 SVMGA Master Gardeners are here!

Wednesday, May 18th.  Saginaw VAMC - VA2K Healthfair eventattendees visited our 
SVMGA booth with garden questions for our Master Gardeners, Ann Birkam and Andrea Czarnik.


June 26th Meeting at Coalminer Park
 Many unpopular weeds were identified by SVMGA members using Elaine Rappley's "Weeds of the Northeast Guide" during our recent SVMGA general meeting. After all answers were turned in, the Drummonds came away with the small greenhouse on wheels donated by Margaret Jackson's friend. 
              On MI-52 in St. Charles, you will find Coalminer’s Park on the west side of the road. The Park was established by St.Charles in memory of the coalmining industry, which last operated in this region in 1952.  The annual flowers are grown each spring in the St. Charles High School greenhouse before being transplanted to this beautification area.  
                This project originally started in 1975 as an Earth Day project by high school biology teacher Doug Holem.  It has grown into a community-wide project now celebrating its 42nd anniversary. Donations for this project can be sent to: St. Charles High School c/o Beautification Day, 881 W. Walnut St., St. Charles.
                Many of our Master Gardeners have spent countless volunteer hours to beautify the park and trail. The treasure of this rail trail was spearheaded by Jim Garret, a Master Gardener who passed away. The trail is open to bicyclers, walkers, runners, and horseback riders. It runs 11 miles starting on South Center Road near the Shiawassee National Wildlife refuge, and ends in St. Charles at Lumberjack Park. It is connected to the north by the 2.3 mile Thomas Township trail, which ends next to Meijer on Gratiot Road. Most of the rail trail is shaded, 12 feet wide and has many interpretive signs and viewing platforms.                                                                                                                                                                     Submittal by Amy Fitkin

Bicycle the THE RAIL TRAILS this summer...take a break at Coalminer Park and nearby restaurants in St. Charles, MI For more info, link to: http://www.traillink.com/trail/saginaw-valley-rail-trail.aspx

Oct. 26, 2016. Patricia Bilbrey from the Bay County Gypsy Moth Suppression Program gave a talk about various invasive insects and their damaging presence in regions near to or within our state. The Gypsy Moth Suppression Program cooperates with
the  Michigan Department of Agriculture’s grant program for gypsy moth suppression to ensure maximum reimbursement of

treatment and administrative costs and coordinates aerial applications by helicopter to control outbreaks in infested wooded and residential areas in Bay County.  Patricia states that by planting diverse tree species, many of the problems with invasive insects are easier to control. She also discussed the Gypsy Moth, Emeral Ash Borer, Asian Longhorn Beetle, 
Asian Lady Beetles, and the East Asian Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, among others.

On Saturday, January 28th at their annual meeting the Historical Society of Saginaw County announced that the Volunteers of the Year for 2016 were some of our very own SVMGA master gardeners.  Recognized for their design and maintenance of the gardens surrounding the Castle Museum and pictured below (from left to right) are:  Pat Washburn, Mary Ahrens, Sharon Rood, and group leader, Bonnie Stewart. Also recognized but not available for the ceremony was Chris Walker.  The awards were presented by the Society's new Executive Director/President, Jonathan Webb.

 July 27, 2016. SVMGA's Meeting & Garden Walk at Deborah Keller's Place

Deborah strives to plant a variety of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals so that something is blooming from spring’s earliest days to deep in the fall. Most of the
perennials she has are carefully and clearly labeled.
       One advantage of being a member of our organization is learning from other members and putting their ideas into practice. Using the design created by Judy Henning’s husband for growing seedlings on a rack, Deborah has built two of these racks and grown many of the annuals that you will see in her yard.
View the instructions on how to build a PVC rack on the Garden Tips Webpage.
      Many of Deborah's annuals have intriguing names, such as “Dragon’s Breath” Celosia, and Zinnias “Crouching Tiger” and “Hidden Dragon”.                                     
Submitted by Amy Fitkin

The photos below are from our summer picnic at Coalminer's Park in Saint Charles.  Our guest speaker was  our new MSUE  District 9  Director,  Mark Rankin.

September 28, 2016.  Judy Henning's Memorial Tree was successfully planted this evening.  Our SVMGA gardeners joined Richard Henning in a traditional round of shoveling dirt around the base of the beautiful Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides). Sheila Hempsted presented a beautiful recognition plaque for Judy's 10,000 plus volunteered master gardener hours.  View the Henning Memorial webpage. Tom Leinberger created a keepsake arrangement for this day. 

Aferwards, Jason Erickson captivated our group in his informative presentation about pond, rock, and water gardening accents and care.                  

2016 Annual Plant Exchange

May 25, 2016. 

Thank you Todd & Sue Drummond for your hospitality and hosting SVMGA's annual plant swap.  Our master gardeners enjoyed a pleasant evening adopting plants and listening to snippets of gardening talk including Todd and Sue's vegetable garden advice. We'll definitely have to try out their supersized Roma tomatoes.



October 13th!  Can you imagine?  The smiles on these faces result from hours weeding and then, for the first time in the history of the Saginaw Art Museum gardens, spreading mulch to retain moisture and contain weeds. With support from Saginaw Valley Master Gardeners, Woman’s National Farm and Garden - Saginaw Branch, and the monies budgeted by the museum, we have planted many new perennials this year along with the annual flowers, but now have also added mulch. For October, these gardens are still looking quite beautiful.  It has been quite an effort this growing season and for many years previously by many people who volunteer frequently and occasionally.  All are welcome to work along with us.

Volunteers pictured above: Chris and Beth Walker, Donna Kieselbach and Janie Gugino Not pictured: Joan Hirschenberger and Kathy Meinschein Lewis 

SVMGA's April 27th Meeting at Reder Landscaping:April 28, 2016.  

Steve Baillie, our speaker from Reder Landscaping, (3805 Rockwell Dr. in Midland) introduced SVMGA members to the basic elements of garden design if you ever wished to add LED or incandescent lighting features in your garden space.  He distinguished between LED and incandescent lighting by pointing out how LED lighting installation costs may seem higher in comparison to traditional lighter.  However, an LED lighting system saves you money in the long run for replacment costs because the bulbs last over 60,000 working hours.   Fast connectors and low voltage wiring also make installation between LED fixtures much easier over a longer distance without cutting any wiring.
       SVMGA members caught up with our meeting business in a convenient conference room.  After a brief refreshment break, speaker, Steve Bailee, led us around the outside front garden, and fountain areas nearby a cozy fireplace setting.  Our members enjoyed an enlightening evening with pleasant weather for a change.  

March 23, 2016. How to Grow Edible Mushrooms with Denise Ekett.  Twenty master gardeners including Sheila Hempsted and Sheila Hill braved snowy conditions just to learn how to grow mushrooms on logs with Denise Ekert tonight.