Master Gardeners Announcements

Eastern Shore Master Gardeners Training and Garden Symposium
Posted on 08/27/2019
Eastville Master Garden

 ESVMG 2019 Garden Symposium Coming in October

ESVMG logo

Have you always admired a lovely garden but are not sure how to define your own style? Or, perhaps, you are even more concerned than ever about creating a landscape that responsibly responds to the challenges of climate change, water quality and invasive plants. Either way, you will be excited to learn of an upcoming program which will be just the thing for you!

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Master Gardeners (ESVMG) announces their second Garden Symposium which will offer lectures on a wide range of gardening topics by accomplished garden speakers. The symposium will be held on Saturday, October 19, at the Cheriton Fire Station, 21334 Bayside Road. The daylong event begins at 8:00 am and includes five lectures, lunch and a lively raffle of local artisan items.

Lecture topics include “The Landscape Revolution: Foodscaping with Natives” and “The Landscape Revolution: Perennial Combinations” presented by Brie Arthur, a recognized speaker and passionate leader in the foodscape movement.  Brie will discuss the thoughtful design and management of landscapes which address pressing environmental concerns.
 In this lecture, she will teach you how to create a purposeful outdoor space using a combination of native plants, her favorite perennials and seasonal food crops. These combinations are designed to create beauty, pollinator activity and yield – whether it be flowers or vegetables.

Hampton Roads’ own Marie Butler, former Landscape Coordinator at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, will speak on “Plant Selection for Design.” With her experience working alongside zoo animals, she will delight the listener with her descriptions of what giraffes have to say about site analysis, how peacocks add color to the landscape and much more.

Attendees will be excited to learn how to repurpose personal items to “Make Your Garden Your Own” and how to use “Foliage First” as the basis of garden design. These topics will be presented by Dan Benarcik, horticulturalist at Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, PA. Dan is also the Regional Director of the Garden Writer’s Association and is a recognized speaker in the Mid-Atlantic area. To make your garden your own, Dan will give you advice on using garden furniture as a design element and using ornamental containers and floral combinations to reflect your unique personality. In “Foliage First” he will describe how to create a strong foliar background that carries the garden during times when the flowering plants are at a minimum. Woody and herbaceous plants along with tropicals are discussed in this garden study.

Tickets are on sale now for $70 (increasing to $85 after September 15) and include lunch in addition to the sensational program. Drinks and snacks will also be available during breaks when there will be an opportunity to visit the raffle table and to browse the books available for purchase.

To read more about the upcoming event and download a registration form, go to You can also contact ESVMG through email at for a registration form or call (757) 678-7946, ext. 29.

Reservations are limited to 100, so book yours soon!

Eastern Shore Master Gardeners seeking new members

Garden tools

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Master Gardeners are seeking new members and encourage residents of Accomack and Northampton Counties with an interest in gardening to join the 2019-20 trainee class, which will begin Wednesday beginning October 2nd and continue every Wednesday from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. until November 13th, and then resume January 15-February 26 at the Virginia Tech Agricultural and Research Center, 33446 Research Drive, Painter, Virginia 23420. The cost to attend this program is $100, which includes the Master Gardener Handbook used throughout the course and as a reference book in the future.

The Master Gardener program is sponsored statewide by Virginia Cooperative Extension and locally by the Accomack County Extension Office. Master Gardeners are volunteer educators who provide research-based information from Virginia Tech and Virginia State Universities for the local community. All members of the 2019-20 Master Gardener Trainee Class will receive over 50 hours of intensive classroom training and must pass a final examination before being certified as “Master Gardener Interns”.

Upon completion of the classroom training, all interns are then required to volunteer a minimum of 50 hours during the first year on any Master Gardener projects located on the Eastern Shore to become a Virginia Cooperative Extension (EMG) Master Gardener.

The Master Gardener program provides invaluable training and educational opportunities for the interns. The volunteer aspect of the program allows the members to dedicate their time and talents to educate the community and enhance and improve the Eastern Shore of Virginia by utilizing the science and art of horticulture.

Interested parties can contact ESVMG Hotline 757-678-7946, ext. 29; E-mail:; or website for further information.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Theresa Long Pittman at 757-787-1361 ext. 14 during business hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.