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Volunteer Spotlight – Gloria Huegel

Colorado Master Gardener℠ (CMG) volunteers are a dedicated group of individuals who are knowledgeable and passionate about sharing gardening, landscape, and horticulture education. This month we are highlighting Gloria Huegel.

I joined the CMG program in 2014 and was fortunate to have amazing instructors and mentors. I’ve been interested in gardening for many years, and learned how through books, specifically The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch. I promised myself that when I retired, I would pursue becoming a Colorado Master Gardener. I retired in September of 2014 and immediately applied to the program. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made! I encourage anyone who is thinking of becoming a Colorado Master Gardener to give it serious consideration. It will enrich your life in unexpected ways.

My favorite parts of the program are the ability to receive college level education in horticulture and volunteering in the demonstration gardens. It’s fulfilling to grow food for food banks while educating the general public about gardening. I have also become close friends with several of my Master Gardener colleagues. It keeps me involved in my community and gives me a sense of purpose in retirement. As a CMG, the learning never stops. Each year I learn new things and become more confident with teaching others, and this year I was a mentor to Apprentice Master Gardeners.

My favorite activities are gardening, cooking, and traveling. For me, they all go hand in hand. Through travel I am able to experience foods and plants of different regions and cultures. I’m also intrigued with the different gardening techniques I see.

Being a Master Gardener does not exempt us from many of the problems that we continually help clients with. In my own garden, the weeds taunt me after I pull them by growing back overnight. This year I lost seven perennials and three shrubs due to the temperature fluxes we experienced in October and April. I also lost four of five tomato plants earlier this summer and still cannot determine the cause. I battle deer and rabbits, so I’ve learned that I can’t just plant anything I want. I have to take into consideration deer and rabbit-resistant plants. Master Gardeners are just like everyone else with little control over some events.

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