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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 .

About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Massachusetts Horticultural Society LogoFounded 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.

Calendar & Courses

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Mass Hort Classes & Events

Tue Sep 09 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Art in the Garden: September in the Gardens
Tue Sep 09 @ 6:30PM - 08:00PM
Fundamentals of Landscape Design
Wed Sep 10 @ 1:00PM - 03:30PM
Infusing Your Life with Herbs
Thu Sep 11 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Growing Your Own Arrangements
Fri Sep 12 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
PPA Symposium: Exploring Design & Perennial Selection for the Landscape
Sun Sep 14 @ 4:00PM - 07:00PM
Get into the Spirit!
Wed Sep 17 @ 7:00AM - 10:00PM
A Day in Support of the Garden to Table Program
Thu Sep 18 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Urban Forestry
Tue Sep 23 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Art in the Garden: Essence of Autumn
Thu Sep 25 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Vertical Gardening
Sat Sep 27 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
Create Your Own Tropical Terrarium
Sat Sep 27 @10:00AM - 11:30AM
Talk and Taste (Cooking with Cranberries)
Wed Oct 01 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Learn Floral Design
Thu Oct 09 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Garden Herbs and Spices for Home Brewing
Tue Oct 14 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Art in the Garden: Watercolor Landscapes