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Master Gardener FAQs

Who are Master Gardeners?

Master Gardeners are passionate gardeners and dedicated volunteers charged with the mission of improving the practice of horticulture and developing the public’s understanding and enjoyment of plants and the environment. The majority of Master Gardener Programs are sponsored by state-university extension. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society is one of the few nonprofit horticultural organizations in the U.S. that is affiliated with a Master Gardener Volunteer program.

The Massachusetts Master Gardener Association (MMGA) acts as a bridge between the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the community. The program’s experienced and trained volunteers provide invaluable horticultural information and resources to the gardening public through their outreach work answering gardening questions for callers to the HelpLine, running informational booths at community events, giving garden lectures through the Master Gardener Speakers' Bureau, and acting as docents at MassHort events and sites. Master Gardeners also help facilitate the execution of educational programs sponsored by MassHort.

What are the benefits of becoming a Massacusetts Master Gardener?

The satisfaction and reward that comes from extending your knowledge and awareness of plants and the environment to others is one of the greatest benefits of this program. Additional benefits include opportunities to interact with fellow MGs, exchange gardening information, plants, and stories, further your own horticultural education, and attend advanced training sessions, garden tours, social events and regional and national conferences.

How does one become a Master Gardener Volunteer?

Individuals who successfully complete the Master Gardener Training Program Class and fulfill sixty volunteer hours become Certified Master Gardeners. Once certified, the individual continues to volunteer and to further his or her horticultural knowledge.

What are the requirements for acceptance into the program?

There are two basic requirements. The first requirement is to possess a passion for plants and the environment. The second requirement is to pledge a commitment to volunteer as a MassHort Master Gardener. While it is helpful, gardening or horticultural experience is not required.

What does the training process consist of?

The training, which meets once a week for 13 weeks, consists of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on-learning opportunities covering an array of horticultural subjects such as pruning, soil, garden design, turf, plants, insects and diseases. Candidates are required to complete the course satisfactorily before initiating the volunteering phase. The training class is offered in the spring and the fall. (read more).

What is the application process?
The candidate completes an application form and submits it accompanied with a nonrefundable deposit.  For questions or further information, please e-mail the Education Coordinator, Sonja Johanson, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Mass Hort logo newFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

2016-2017 Calendar & Courses

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Mass Hort Classes & Events

Fri Dec 02 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Wed Dec 07 @ 4:00PM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Fri Dec 09 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Sun Dec 11 @10:00AM - 06:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Wed Dec 21 @ 1:00PM - 03:00PM
Winter Solstice Walk
Mon Jan 09 @ 9:00AM - 04:00PM
Introduction to Vectorworks: UMass Stockbridge School Credited Course
Thu Jan 12 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Introduction to Fermentation
Tue Jan 17 @ 1:30PM - 03:00PM
A Gardener's Travels: The Royal National Rose Society's Garden of the Rose
Wed Jan 18 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
Designing the Winter Landscape
Tue Jan 24 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Digital Photography: Capturing Botanic Images
Thu Jan 26 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Growing for Container Succulents
Tue Jan 31 @ 1:30PM - 03:00PM
Tour: Wellesley College’s Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses
Thu Feb 09 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
DIY: Dish Gardens
Tue Feb 14 @ 1:30PM - 03:00PM
Home Garden Remedies: The Good, the Bad, and the What Were You Thinking?
Thu Feb 23 @ 9:00AM - 04:00PM
School Garden Conference: Beyond Education