Becoming Resilient, Gardening

Who are Tennessee Master Gardeners?

Tennessee Master Gardeners?

Tennessee Master Gardeners are trained volunteers that help the local Extension Service share the latest and greatest gardening information with the community!  All volunteers are trained 40 hours in horticultural classes and receive 40 hours of hands-on experience through volunteer community service with their Extension office.

State-wide, there are approximately 2,000 active Master Gardeners in 46 counties. Master Gardeners who continue to participate in the program after completing their initial training provide at least 40 hours of service annually and continue to learn through a minimum of eight continuing education hours each year they receive. Nationally, there are approximately 80,500 active Master Gardener volunteers in the US and Canada with an estimated 3,365,870 volunteer hours provided annually (2005 statistics).

The Master Gardener Program is offered by The University of Tennessee Extension. Its main goal is to increase the availability of horticultural information to improve quality of life with community garden/landscape programs. This is only possible through the training and utilization of local volunteers. These volunteers, known as Master Gardeners, aid the Extension Service by running plant clinics; answering phone requests for horticultural information; establishing and maintaining demonstration gardens; working with the handicapped, youth, the elderly, and other special groups in the community; designing and implementing community involvement projects; as well as coordinating Master Gardener training programs.

What does a Master Gardener do?
Some examples of activities include:

  • Developing educational programs/activities related to urban horticulture
  • Conducting educational seminars
  • Providing Plant Clinics
  • Writing news articles
  • Creating Demonstration Gardens
  • Conducting fundraising for better environmental projects
  • Some Recent educational programs provided by Memphis Area Master Gardeners:
  • Bradford Woods Outdoor Classroom
  • Spring Fling Community Seminars
  • Community Presentations on:
  • “Perennials”
  • “Safety in the Garden“
  • “Container Gardening”
  • “Computer Enhanced Gardening 101”
  • “Spring Ephemerals”
  • “Fruits, Vegetables, Figs for the Urban Garden”
  • “Talking Dirt-Soil Basics & Compost”
  • “How Your Plants Grow”
  • “Tomatoes & Other Nightshades“
  • “Tools, Picks, & Pans”

Memphis Area Master Gardener volunteers provide services for the community:

  • Habitat for Humanity House Landscaping
  • Oaklawn Garden restoration
  • Plant a Row for the Hungry
  • Recycle Right: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Davies Manor Plantation
  • Lichterman Nature Center
  • Memphis Botanic Garden
  • Strawberry Plains Native Plant Sale
  • Dixon Garden and Galleries
  • Memphis Zoo
  • Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs

Is this Program for You?

Ask yourself these questions?

  1. Do you have an interest in any of the volunteer areas mentioned above?
  2. Do you have a desire to share the joy of gardening with others?
  3. Do you want to teach others more about nature and their environment?
  4. Do you have 80 hours this year to train (40 hours) and volunteer (40 hours) for your community?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, please contact your Memphis Area Master Gardener Volunteer Program.


Memphis Master Gardeners: Calendar of Events


About Kim Martindale

Mother of two, wife of one, home manager, gardener, student of health and wellness, world traveler, nature lover, researcher, Jesus follower, community builder. I'm seeking to become resilient and to live sustainably. I desire to give back and share what I'm learning with others.


One thought on “Who are Tennessee Master Gardeners?

  1. Rick looked into becoming a master gardener several yrs. ago, but didn’t have the time commitment away from home. He has done volunteer work every Friday morning at a clematis collection of over 900 varities for about 8 yrs. It is housed in a public garden in the Portland, OR area. We have a friend here who is a master gardener and loves it. Great program.

    Posted by Frances Meigs | February 11, 2011, 7:53 PM

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