Washington State University Master Gardeners On the Road Tours
Prospective nursery owner?
Join us for one of our tours to a multitude of different ornamental production firms here in the Pacific Northwest. Suggest one that you would like to tour and we will try to set up a visit.
Since the year 2001, WSU Master Gardeners have organized tours for themselves as well as the general public to area nurseries, garden centers, and public gardens in southwest Washington and northwest Oregon. Tours are designed to offer an educational overview of the horticultural industries and public supported gardens that are commonly found in the Pacific Northwest.
By traveling along side a group of skilled and trained volunteers, tour participants can gain a firsthand understanding of the issues related to ornamental plant production, marketing, pest management, and appropriate plant selection. Field tours are one of the best methods for enabling participants to put into practice in their own yards and gardens the most sustainable practices possible. Guided tours have attracted a diverse audience of participants, some of whom have gone onto to enroll in the WSU Master Gardener program. We have also seen tour participants go on to establish their own horticultural business as a result of touring one of the inspirational establishments that have been visited.
Tours for 2013
The On-the-Road Tour team of dedicated volunteers has organized a full year of events including the following:
- Wednesday, March 20 – Learn about soil and compost. Visit H & H, Orchards; Soil Builders (Ridgefield); Yard & Garden Land, Vancouver; Shorty’s Nursery, Ridgefield. Lunch at the Hockinson Café.
- Thursday, April 25 – A day trip to Morton, Washington. Visit Raintree Nursery (growing fruit trees in containers), Burnt Ridge Nursery & Orchards (trees for west of the Cascades), and Degoede Bulb Farm (tulips).
- Thursday, May 23 – This tour may include iris gardens and a glimpse into beekeeping. Enjoy a Japanese garden at a private home in Vancouver.
- Tuesday, June 18 – Community Supported Agriculture ventures in Clark County offer produce, flowers and meat. Come meet the farmers and see the amazing local operations.
- Sunday, July 14 – Earth-Friendly Garden Tour. Watch for information soon.
- Thursday, September 26 – Visit the gardens of three Master Gardeners and some of their neighbors to see how the lessons learned are applied in diverse landscapes and micro-climates.
- October – Mushrooms, foraging, apples, dahlias are all topics under consideration for this fall tour.
Check back on this web site periodically for further details as they emerge. The Tour Committee advertises the upcoming events through flyers, mailings to WSU WSU Master Gardeners, email, and in the Inspirations section of the Columbian Newspaper.
In previous years volunteers have organized trips to visit the Classical Chinese Garden in Portland, Joy Creek Nursery in Scappoose Oregon, Tsugawa Nursery in Woodland, Washington, and Cistus Design and Blue Heron Herbary both located on Sauvie Island west of Portland. We have toured some the largest commercial ornamental production firms in the Willamette Valley including Monrovia Nursery, Edmunds Roses, and Glen Walters Nursery.
All tours have been thoroughly planned, and pre-toured by organizers, in order to ensure a well-run event. We utilize safe, accessible vans, driven by responsible volunteers, and provide for the comfort of participants by stopping for meals and stretch breaks. In general, tours leave Vancouver in early morning and return by late afternoon. Participants are asked to bring clothing appropriate for the weather and a pair of walking shoes. Don’t forget your camera and notebook to record the details of your trip!
The price of tour registration varies and covers the cost of transportation and insurance. Meals are not included unless otherwise indicated. There is a lunch site selected for each tour, either for enjoying your prepared sack lunch, or a restaurant to enjoy. Pre-registration is required. On the Road Tours are limited to 30 participants and usually fill up quickly. In order to register for a tour contact Erika Johnson, WSU Master Gardener Program Coordinator at 360-397-6060 X 5738 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration for all tours is available online and payment can be made by credit card or check made out to “WSU”.
Music in the Garden
The Tour team has also taken on the role of organizing a series of open garden tours in southwest Washington. Gardens have been selected on the basis of beauty and accessibility. The team arranges for live musicians to play throughout the day as people wander among the landscape and visit with one another. Come join us for a serine and lovely way to spend a summer afternoon!