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 Becky Clemons.
When did you join the Colorado Master Gardener program and why did you join?
I was accepted into the Colorado Master Gardener program in 2020. Such an exciting time for me. During my last year of working for the Englewood School District, as I had decided to retire from being an IT Specialist, I eagerly wanted to learn more, and do more, with gardening. I’ve always enjoyed plants of all kinds. My husband and I enjoy growing flowers and tending to a small vegetable garden in our yard. He saw an article about the Master Gardener program and encouraged me to look into it. The perfect next step for me following my retirement!
What inspires you about the program?
The Master Gardener program has opened up beautiful insights into growing flowers and vegetables in a much healthier way. There’s so much to learn and so many resources to guide you along the way. Clayton Elementary is one of the schools that I served as an IT Specialist with Englewood Schools. In 2021, the Clayton Elementary Community Garden went into partnership with the MG program. Being one of the Team Leads there has been a blessing. I’m able to share my passion for gardening, working with students, staff and community in a much different way. It’s been wonderful to be able to help the Clayton community grow and benefit from their own produce.
What have you learned that you didn’t know before?
So many things. One of the most important parts of successful gardening I’ve learned is that the soil is the foundation to having successful, healthy, thriving plants. Knowing the soil condition, making sure it has the proper texture, drainage, organic matter and nutrients is the most important first step. Before taking the soil class I never really thought that much about it. Soil contains a living ecosystem. I’ve actually put into practice what I’ve learned and have had great success in growing and donating many pounds of vegetables.
What would you want someone to know about the CMG Program that may not be commonly known?
The Master Gardener program has a wealth of information, resources, talented people and opportunities. Whatever a person’s horticultural interest is, there’s an opportunity to learn and grow. I’ve been enjoying trying a little bit of everything this program has to offer. For instance, I had no idea how truly amazing bees are until I started participating in the Native Bee Watch program. My husband can identify bees now too!