Established by volunteers in 1984, the Master Gardener Association of Wayne County (MGAWC) is dedicated to:

  • Distributing current research-based gardening information
  • Increasing environmental awareness
  • Promoting gardening activities
  • Supporting volunteerism

in southeastern Michigan with affordable and accessible activities.


Save the Date:  Saturday, September 24, 2016

Growing with Master Gardeners at UM-Dearborn

Please check back later (early September) for registration options for the 27th conference


8:00 - 9:00 a.m. -- Check-in, Shopping, Refreshments, Restrooms & Displays

9:00 - 10:15 a.m. -- Welcome, Introduction, Morning Keynote, & Conference Orientation

10:15 - 10:30 a.m. -- Break, Restrooms, Shopping, Refreshments & Displays

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. -- Class #1 Options

Gardening Safer and Longer -- Protect your most valuable garden tool--you. Learn body mechanics and joint protection so you can enjoy working in the garden for years. A licensed physical therapist and long-term active gardener will provide easy-to-understand information and tips you can use immediately.

Renee Cottrell is a licensed physical therapist and the long-term president of Tollgate Garden Volunteers. She is active in organizing volunteer activities and tending several  gardens at MSU Tollgate Farm in Novi. For her dedication to Tollgate Renee received the Ginger Meyer Award.

Eight Months of Color -- Start planning a more colorful and longer blooming garden and refine your plant wish list with a month-by-month, March through October, photo-show-n-tell of plants that perform well in southeastern Michigan. The class includes a two-page handout and instructor comments on the tradeoffs of benefits and drawbacks of various plants.

Pam Fiani has been teaching gardening, landscaping and horticulture classes in southeastern Michigan since 1990. She was a senior instructor for the Michigan School of Gardening when it launched in 1996 and assisted in developing the school’s curriculum. Pam received the Michigan School of Gardening’s certificates of gardening fine arts in 1998 and landscape and garden design in 2003. Specializing in perennial gardens, Pam has been designing commercial and residential gardens and landscapes for over 25 years. She has a master’s degree in art education from Wayne State University.

11:30 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. -- Box Lunch, Shopping, Restrooms, Displays & Gardens

12:40 - 1:40 p.m. -- Class #2 Options

Dahlia Envy -- Celebrate Dahlia season with an introduction to dahlia forms, a discussion on growing dahlias, and suggestions for how to enjoy winning blooms and impressive flowering displays in your garden. 

Keith Berven, Ph.D., is the President of the Southeastern Michigan Dahlia Society,, and a member of both the Michigan and West Michigan Dahlia Societies. He has been growing dahlias for nearly twenty years and showing them at local, regional and national Dahlia shows. Dr. Berven is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Oakland University in Rochester. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland.

Michigan Ecosystems  -- Learn about Michigan’s uncommon plants, extraordinary places, unique diversity and special habitats such as dune, limestone plain and prairie. This class will include discussion of Great Lakes endemics (found here and nowhere else in the world), the Great Lakes Gardens at Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor,, and the artful use of native plants in general as exemplified by landscape architect Jens Jensen’s work at the Henry Ford Estate-Dearborn,

Robert Grese is the Director of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor,, a professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Michigan, and the Theodore Roosevelt Chair in Ecosystem Management. He was recently voted an honorary member of the Garden Club of America and continues to serve as a honorary director of the national organization Wild Ones. The Ann Arbor Chapter of the Wild Ones gives its annual Bob Grese Deep Roots Award to the member who has furthered the group’s mission through words, deeds and leadership. He is currently researching how gardens such as the Gaffield Children’s Garden at Matthaei can help reconnect children and families with nature. Bob earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in landscape architecture at the Universities of Georgia and Wisconsin.

Fall Gardening Update -- Join a discussion of various hot garden topics including a look back and a look forward. Understand weather conditions in a broad context, learn the latest information about the top problems that gardeners are dealing with this year, and find out where to get accurate in-depth information for yourself and others. There will be time for answering audience members' gardening questions.

Dean Krauskopf,Ph.D., is the fifteen-year host of The Gardening Show on News/Talk 760 WJR-AM,, where he answers questions about lawn care, tree problems, gardens, crops, pests and other gardening concerns. After nearly thirty years on staff at Michigan State University, Dean retired as the Integrated Crop Management Agent for Southeastern Michigan. He taught many Master Gardener training classes and is the inspiration for MGAWC's Dean Krauskopf Award for volunteer contributions to community education. His doctorate in horticulture is from North Carolina State University.

1:40 - 1:55 p.m. -- Break, Restrooms, Shopping, Refreshments & Displays

1:55 - 3:15 p.m. -- Introduction, Afternoon Keynote, Door Prizes & Evaluations

3:15 - 4:00 p.m. -- Shopping & Gardens

Net revenue from the conference helps to fund MGAWC grants and scholarships.


Let's Support 2016 Let's Go Gardening Garden Centers

On Saturdays in May, MGAWC volunteers were at the point of sale to answer questions about gardening. Each year, the goal is to set gardeners up for success this season. Please let these garden centers know that MGAWC appreciates their support.

  • Barson’s Greenhouse, 6414 Merriman Road, between Ford & Warren, in Westland

  • English Gardens, 22650 Ford Road, at Outer Drive, in Dearborn Heights

  • Ray Hunter Florist & Garden, 16153 Eureka Road, between Allen & Dix Toledo, in Southgate

MGAWC membership meetings

Held on the second Thursday evening, September through June, 2016 membership meeting topics include garden tools, eight months of color in the garden, maple syrup, the annual spring opener with Dr. Dean Krauskopf, plantings to attract beneficial insects, and the ecological revival of the Detroit River.

Stewardship Saturdays

Volunteers are welcome to tend the UM-Dearborn Natural Areas on the third Saturday afternoon of each month.

What we're up to

Follow up info

Notes from Gail's outstanding January program on Tools,  Pam's wonderful February presentation on Eight Months of Color, and links from Dr. Dean Krauskopf's garden season opener are all in "Summaries & Follow-up Info from Meetings" under "Education" along the top.

The December potluck was a fun night of eating, socializing and enjoying music together. Everyone went home with at least one gift. Group photo above and a few more pictures under "Photos" along the top.

Info about the Calendar Garden, the pictures that were cycling during the December potluck, and a link to lots of pictures are in "Summaries & Follow-up Info."

Where and when we meet

MGAWC members at the International Master Gardener Conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa. 

MGAWC members at the International Master Gardener Conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa. 

We have a Facebook Page, come check it out!