Garden & Nature News December 2023

fuzzy kiwis growing

Washington County Master Gardener programs

What Grows Here? Exploring Oregon’s Plant Diversity

Tuesday, December 5, Zoom webinar, free

With over 4,700 plant species flourishing in Oregon, OregonFlora offers comprehensive information on each. Explore the reasons behind the state’s rich plant diversity and learn about identification, native species for gardens, and regional plant distribution through OregonFlora’s books and interactive website. Linda Hardison, the director, and research assistant professor at Oregon State University, leads the mission to share knowledge about Oregon’s plant diversity. Join OregonFlora’s initiative by registering at for more information. 

Mason Bees 101

Saturday, January 6, 10 am-12 pm, PCC Rock Creek Campus, Building 4, Rm. 103, 17705 NW Springville Rd, free

Explore the fascinating world of mason bees with Mason Bees 101, a free public class hosted by the Washington County Master Gardener Association. Led by Ron Spendal, an OSU Extension MG Volunteer with over 15 years of expertise, the class delves into the identification and natural history of mason bees. Discover why they are crucial early pollinators in our region and gain insights into their characteristics and activities. No registration is required for this informative session. For more details, visit Find information about accessibility at the venue on the PCC campus map.

Growing Tomatoes and Peppers in the PNW

Tuesday, January 2, 7-8 pm, Zoom webinar, free

Don’t miss the opportunity to enhance your knowledge of cultivating tomatoes and peppers from an experienced gardener! Join us for an informative webinar on growing tomatoes and peppers from seed. Led by Douglas County Master Gardener Bruce Gravens, this session covers the entire process from seeding to storage. Topics include up-potting, soil preparation, planting, sun protection, harvest, and storage. For more details and to register for this webinar, visit the WGMCA website.

The Washington County Master Gardener™ Association (WCMGA) sponsors free gardening-related events across various Oregon locations, promoting sustainable and affordable gardening education.

kokedama planting

Kokedama: The Art of Bonsai without a Container

Tuesday, December 12, 7 pm Register to receive the webinar link.

Weina Dinata demonstrates the art of creating a striking and unique Japanese Kokedama. Kokedama translates in Japanese to “moss ball” and is a centuries old botanical art form of growing a plant without a container from a soil ball, wrapped in moss. It’s free and open to all. Photo credit: Wiena Dinata

Marie Conser Real Estate

Winter Pruning workshops from HOEC

fuzzy kiwis growing

The Home Orchard Education Center helps us learn to grow, tend, and harvest fruit using sustainable, organic-approved methods. “Our in-person workshops support learners of all experience levels and prioritize hands-on opportunities for learning!” 

Visit their website, sign up for updates, and improve the quality and quantity of your home-grown fruit! January topics include winter pruning techniques for figs, grapes and kiwis, apples and pears, and more.

Cedar Mill Garden Club: Monthly Meetings

Third Wednesday of the month, 10 am

The Cedar Mill Garden Club welcomes new members. For information, please contact Cathy Ramsey at

College Scholarship Available!

The Pioneer District Garden Clubs are currently open for scholarship applications, offering up to $2,000 for a student residing in Columbia, Yamhill, or Washington Counties. The scholarship is available to those attending an Oregon College or Community College and majoring in horticulture, floriculture, landscaping, environmental control, city planning, fish & wildlife, or related subjects.

Eligible applicants must be entering their sophomore year or higher, enrolled full-time, and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. For more information or to request an application, please reach out to Marye Steckley at

Treekeepers of Washington County

We work to protect and advocate for trees in urban unincorporated Washington County. Don’t miss our November events! All of them are free. Visit our website to learn more.

Raleigh Park Ivy Pull

ivy on trees

Saturday, December 9, 9 am-12 pm, 3670 SW 78th Ave., Portland, free

Please join us for a second big ivy pull as we remove the roots of the invasive ivy that threatens to overwhelm the sequoia grove at Raleigh Park Elementary School. This event is open to all ages. Come and go any time. Please bring gloves and pruners if you have them, as well as water and snacks. Register through the following registration form. For more information, contact Betsy at

Tree Walk: Mt Calvary Cemetery

Sunday, December 10, 10 am, free

Join Becky Rose as she leads us on a “Decem-e-tree” walk of about 2.5 miles. It will be all on pavement (unless you choose to walk among the headstones—which is necessary to get close to some of the trees). It’s hilly, some sections are quite steep, and we’ll also be going up and down a steep set of stairs. If it’s a crystal clear day, the views can be stunning. If not, we’ll still stop at the viewpoints, and you can come back on a clear day to see them. Register through the following registration form.

Join the on-call Ivy Crew

December-March, times/locations vary, free

While the trees have shed their leaves, the English ivy persists! During winter, deciduous trees face heightened vulnerability to ivy, as the vines continue to grow while trees are dormant. The excess weight of ivy poses a risk, especially during winter storms. To combat this, we invite you to join our on-call ivy crew. Rather than scheduling events far in advance due to unpredictable winter weather, we’ll notify you when there’s a suitable weather window for an ivy-pulling event. Participating in our on-call ivy crew offers a chance to get exercise in the fresh air, meet friendly people, release some stress, and contribute positively to tree health—all in one activity. How can you lose? Register through the form today!

Tree Talk: What to do about trees in wind storms

Thursday, January 18, 6-7:30 pm, Cedar Mill Library Oak Room, free

In high winds, people worry about the safety of their trees or trees in the neighborhood. The fate of one tree does not determine the fate of a neighboring tree, however, as many factors are involved. Certified Arborist Will Koomjian of Emergent Tree Works asserts, “The overall risk posed by trees is incredibly low, but there are ways to identify and mitigate that risk.” Find out the best ways to do that at our next third Thursday talk as Will tells us what he looks for to assess a tree and how to carefully plan for actions that prevent or correct hazards whenever possible. Register through the following online form and visit the Emergent Tree Works website.