Our Mission:

The Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association, located in Rock County, Wisconsin, is the 42nd association of the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program.

This blog is used to distribute timely information to association members regarding volunteer opportunities, MGV highlights, and other social tid bits.

Horticulture related information is to be directed to the Horticulture Educator or the Plant Health Advisors.

This blog is not for garden related questions.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Field trip to West Ag a real treat

For those who didn't get a chance to join us for our trip to the University of Wisconsin West Agricultural Station - it was a real treat.  We received a guided tour, but you don't need to use a guide to tour the grounds. You can walk the gardens without a guide since all exhibits have signs telling what each plant is and in many cases when the plant was first included in the gardens.

A raised bed of ever-bearing strawberries.
I would highly encourage everyone interested in new plant varieties as well as old favorites to drive up and wander the test plots to see what is still available.  Many of the plots are currently in full bloom, apple trees are heavy with fruit, grapevines are filled with grapes.  The test gardens include annuals, perennials, landscaping trees and shrubs, fruit trees and grape vines, herbs and vegetables.  Many of them are AAS (All American Selection) winners - plants that are evaluated by a panel of 80 judges from around the country.  AAS is the oldest independent testing organization of flowers and edible varieties of plants in North America.

Mounds of New Guinea Impatiens.

The station is located at 8502 Mineral Point Road.  Office hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.  The grounds are open to the public from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

Whenever we have a field trip like this if you don't understand directions to the site, the time and place of the event or any other facts, please contact the UWEX office at 608-757-5696 for clarification.

Beds of petunias.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Still seeking volunteers for Beloit Farmer's Market

We've been lucky enough this year to be included as vendors at both the Janesville and Beloit Farmer's Markets.  Our final date for the year is in Beloit on Oct. 7.

We are still looking for volunteers to staff the booth.  Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. but in order to be set up and be ready we usually arrive at least a half hour early and many of the vendors arrive as early as 7:00 a.m.  We will probably put up our tent for this event this time so Mary Thompson will have the equipment there at 7:00 a.m.

Hours for volunteers will be either the entire time - 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m. to 10:30 am
10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Ruth Flescher and Mary Thompson will set up and tear down.  They will be responsible for collecting the equipment to set up and will deliver it back to storage at the courthouse on the next workday after the event.

We've had deeply gratifying response at both the Beloit and Janesville Farmer's Markets.  Lots of folks took free seeds and we've had the opportunity to meet people who are interested in the Master Gardener program.  We've answered lots of questions, gotten our presence known, and made a lot of new friends.

It's a great experience!  This is an approved continuing education project.  Volunteers will receive one (1) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for each hour of participation.

Contact either Ruth Flescher or Mary Thompson with questions about volunteering.  Call Kim Mork at the UWEX office.  She'll get your message to either Ruth or Mary and they'll call you back asap.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Last Tour of the Summer - West Ag Research Station - Sept. 14

2013 UW-WARS Flower Trials

The University of Wisconsin maintains a series of agricultural research stations in various places throughout the state. 

The Hancock station does a lot of potato research. 

The Bayfield station looks closely at apple varieties. 

Fortunately for us, the station with the greatest focus on horticulture is just on the far west side of Madison. 

The West Ag Research Station is an All America Selections display garden. The display gardens include flowers and other ornamentals, vegetables, over 200 grape vines, and a number of other fruits.  It has displays on organic growing, low-maintenance perennials and a rain garden.

Once we arrive at the station a docent will be on hand to walk us through the site and give us an overview of the kinds of research taking place there.

If you’re meeting us there the address is 8502 Mineral Point Road, Madison.  Take the Beltline west toward Middleton, and exit at Mineral Point Road. Turn left (west) and go less than two miles to the station on the right (north).

The tour begins at 10:30.  If you want to car pool meet at the shed at Janesville’s Community Gardens at 9:00 a.m.

This is an approved Master Gardener continuing education program.  All MGV participants will receive one (1) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) per hour of participation. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

FIELD TRIP REMINDER - August 13, Sunflower Days at Pope Farm Conservancy

Hello everyone!!

Just a quick reminder that we'll be traveling to Pope Farm Conservancy for Sunflower Days on Sunday, August 13.

Come prepared to walk.  Bring sunblock, water, insect spray and whatever else you might need to protect yourself from the sun.

We'll see nine acres of sunflowers at their peak.

Carpooling is encouraged.  We'll meet at the Community Garden Shed (near the Rock County Sheriff's Office) where we can safely park our cars for the day and carpool to our destination.  We'll depart at noon.

This is an approved continuing education event.  You will earn one (1) Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for hour of participation.

Looking forward to this event!  Hope to see you there.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

August event - Pope Farm Conservancy, 8-13-17

Half a Million Sunflowers in Bloom!
Nine acres of sunflowers glowing in the sunlight are the key feature of RPMGA’s August field trip. On Sunday, August 13, we’re heading out to the Pope Farm Conservancy, a little west of Madison, to catch these beauties at their peak.
The former farm is uniquely situated on 105 acres that span three watersheds, three recessional moraines and over 10,000 years of geological and human history.  In addition to the sunflowers, the conservancy has six prairie restorations, a Native American garden, a rain garden, eight miles of trails with interpretive signs, abundant wildlife and great views.  Restrooms are available near the picnic area. Entry is free. There is no formal tour, but ambassadors are on hand evenings and weekends to answer questions about the sunflowers. Self-guided walking tours through other areas of the conservancy range from a half mile to two miles. For more information, see the website at
Parking at the site is limited, so carpooling would be good.  Meet at the designated time at the Community Garden in Janesville (near the sheriff’s office) and we’ll go from there
Date/time: Sunday, August 13.  Noon. If it rains, the conservancy closes, so the alternate rain date is Wednesday, August 16 at 5:00 p.m.
This is an educational opportunity for MGVs. You will earn one (1) Continuing Education Unit for each hour of participation.
Bring if desired: A friend. A sun hat or parasol. Bug spray. Sun block. A camera.  Water (or purchase on-site).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Update - July 21 field trip departure time

Hello everyone.

After talking with a couple folks who drive the route we'll be taking to Milwaukee on Friday, July 21, there has been a change in departure time from our meeting place at Pat Dawson field.

Because of heavy road work being down along that route it will probably be to our advantage to leave earlier.  So instead of leaving at 8:45, the departure time has been pushed back to 8:30 sharp.  That will give us a full hour and a half drive time so we can be sure to be there - traffic delays and all - before 10 am which is when our guided tour begins.

Hope this doesn't inconvenience anyone.

See you at Pat Dawson at 8:15 on Friday, the 21st.

Those who wish to drive directly from home can meet us at the Visitor Center at Boerner.

Hope to see you there!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

July Event - Boerner Botanical Garden - July 21

The Visitor Center at Boerner Botanical Garden.
July 21, we will be traveling to Boerner Botanical Gardens for a guided tour. We would encourage master gardeners and friends to participate.

The tour will begin at 10 a.m.

For those who will be carpooling we will meet at Pat Dawson Field,  920 Beloit Avenue, where those who won't be driving will be able to leave their vehicles in the parking lot.   Carpoolers can form a convoy from Janesville and follow one another to the destination.  We'll meet at 8:30 sharp and leave at a quarter to nine so we can arrive in Milwaukee in plenty of time to meet up with Docent Joan Armstrong, who will lead our tour.  A map to the location can be found on the Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens website.

History of the gardens can be found on the Friends website.

Individuals who are members of Rotary Botanical Gardens should bring their membership cards so they can take advantage of the reciprocal status which allows them to tour the gardens for free.  The regular entrance fee is $5.50 and $4.50 for seniors.  If our group size goes over 15 persons the price goes up to $9.50 per person.

Lunch will be available on the grounds at Nell's Cafe which will be open from 11 am to 2 pm.

Boerner Botanical Garden
9400 Boerner Drive
Hales Corners, WI 53130

This is an educational program.  MGVs will receive one (1) continuing education unit (CEU) for each hour of participation.

Hope to see you there!