knows that under
the cloak of winter,
lies a miracle.
Master Gardeners … are volunteers trained by Washington State University Extension to provide science-based information to home gardeners about best gardening practices.
Our Foundation … supports the Master Gardener Program through fundraising, organizing educational events, managing demonstration gardens and more. Learn more by visiting the Who We Are page.
Hovander Park and Our Demonstration Gardens Closed Due to Flooding
For a few days in the week of November 14,2021, the Nooksack River reclaimed its flood plain – including the Whatcom Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens at Hovander Homestead Park. The flooding, historic in level, left our gardens, greenhouses, storage sheds, and fences damaged and equipment scattered across the park. Over the coming weeks, Master Gardener teams will begin damage assessment, cleanup and repair. However, we will be keeping our eyes on the weather as November is just the start of the flood season.
In 1894, Swedish architect, Hakan Hovander, bought a farm in what is now Hovander Park because he wanted to take advantage of the Nooksack River – both as a water source in summer and as a depository of rich silty soil by winter floods. Now, however, we find that our winter rains can cause massive and destructive flooding due to their increasing intensity. We will use this latest event as a learning experience and future teaching opportunity by studying what changes to garden layout and planting might lessen the impact of future floods.
When you next visit the Park, watch and learn from our efforts. If you wish to support them, go to the Donate link above. And, if you wish to support recovery efforts throughout Whatcom County, give to the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Resilience Fund.
Become a Master Gardener!
Master Gardeners share their passion for gardening with the Whatcom County community and provide research-based information to home gardeners about sound and sustainable gardening practices.
The Washington State University Extension in Whatcom County offers an intensive training program leading to certification as a Master Gardener. You don’t have to be an expert gardener to apply, but must have a desire to give back to the community through gardening.
Training for the next cohort of Master Gardeners is scheduled to begin in February of 2022. The application deadline was November 30, 2021
More information about the Program is available here
Got Gardening-Related Questions?
Even though temperatures are cooling and the full swing of planting season is winding down, there will always be questions. You can contact our Plant Clinic, or read our “Your Garden This Month” column below for useful tips and advice. You can also visit the WSU Extension website for links to many sources of gardening-related information. And continue to check our website for new information and gardening-related inspiration.
to the recipients of these two honored awards:
John Van Miert Master Gardener
of the Year Award
Someone who has demonstrated extraordinary dedication and service, contributions of time and effort, and compassion to their fellow Master Gardeners and the community.
A Master Gardener who worked tirelessly in the Demonstration Gardens, creating new gardens, executing new activities, mentoring, and inspiring volunteer teamwork.
2021 Master Gardener Photo Contest
There were 35 entries submitted by 22 different Master Gardeners, in three different categories.
Here are the winners:
To see a gallery of all the entries in each category, go to:
Whatcom County Master Gardeners maintain two Demonstration Gardens where you can view plant varieties, learn about sustainable gardening techniques, and experience history in two beautiful Whatcom County Parks.
Hovander Homestead Park Demonstration Gardens: Bring your family and enjoy the children’s garden, vegetable garden, pollinator garden, and much more at this lovely park in Ferndale. Learn more here.
Roeder Home Demonstration Garden: Experience this beautiful and unique urban garden at one of Bellingham’s historic landmark homes. Learn more here.
Pruning questions? What is eating the leaves on my pear tree? What to plant in this spot?
If you need help in solving gardening challenges or problems, contact the WSU Diagnostic Plant Clinic and let trained Master Gardeners assist you in diagnosing a problem, and getting the information and answers you need.
Ways to Get Involved
Master Gardeners do so many beneficial things in the community – growing vegetables and fruit for food banks, educating children, staffing Answer/Plant Clinics, engaging youth with gardening, taking care of demonstration gardens, mentoring new gardeners and much more. Find out how to help support these activities by donating or becoming a Master Gardener.
Your Garden in January
Plan Your Veggie Garden
Each winter as you begin planning next season’s veggie garden, you need to make some tough decisions on what fruits and vegetables to grow. One focus might be types that are highly perishable or expensive to purchase. Another is varieties that are difficult to find at your grocery or farmers’ market. A third might be foods that are extra good for your body or those that you eat frequently. And of course, varieties that grow best in our area.
The Whatcom Master Gardener Foundation is grateful to all the organizations that have supported our activities. Those local businesses shown below have contributed money, goods, and/or services worth $50 or more, within the last two years.