The Master Gardeners of Stephenson County are an enthusiastic group of trained volunteers that link the home gardener with the knowledge of the University through several educational programs offered throughout the county.
The Master Gardeners strive to offer a variety of informational and fun programs throughout the year.
Display gardens are offered throughout the county by the Master Gardeners. Gardens are located at the Stephenson County Visitors Center, Tutty's Crossing, Krape Park, Stephenson County Courthouse, Blackhawk War Monument, Stephenson County Historical Museum, Freeport Public Library and more!! All the display gardens are planted and cared for by the Master Gardeners. The display garden at the Stephenson County Visitors Center is a native plants garden that was planted in 2007 and a rain garden planted in 2010. Many plants in our display gardens are labeled for the public to view and the gardens have a specific purpose, such as gardening in shade or gardening for butterflies. For example, the Wes Robinson Memorial Garden at Tutty's Crossing in Freeport has a variety of perennial prairie plants that will support butterflies. The garden is monarch friendly with plants that will support the reproduction and growth on monarch butterflies.
The Stephenson County Master Gardener Bookworms Book Club was organized in October 2013 through the guidance of Master Gardener Shrilee Iverson. Presently the group members are all Master Gardeners but the public is welcome to attend. The Bookworms are just people who like to garden and love to read. Our meetings are all pure enjoyment; drudgery and lack of humor are not allowed.
The books we read are a mixed grouping of seriously instructive and lighter gardening memoirs-and several other categories. The titles are chosen by our members from a list that all the members contributed to. When the Bookworms read a book the individual that chose the title will supply the group with questions to ponder previous to the meeting; that person then gets to choose the next book to be read. All members are responsible for acquiring their own books, many use inter-library loan at their local library and others purchase the books from an on-line source.
Bookworms meet the first Thursday of the month from 12 to 1 p.m. at the Extension office. Feel free to join us for a a book discussion!
Our Master Gardeners have found these resources to be helpful:
- Reports on Plant Diseases
- University of Illinois Extension Horticulture YouTube
- Will My Seeds Still Grow?
The Master Gardener Helpline is designed to help the home gardener with their questions, the helpline is staffed with Master Gardener volunteers Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., May through September. Call the University of Illinois Extension-Stephenson County at (815) 235-4125 to reach the Master Gardener Helpline or email us via the contact form.
Horticulture Webinar Series
University of Illinois Extension Horticulture YouTube Channel