The name is pretty self-explanatory: The Colusa County Master Gardeners are flowerbed pros who offer advice for budding greenthumbs in the area.

"Our mission is to... help urban gardeners, home gardeners and give them knowledge," said Sherry Maltby, a Colusa County master gardener, "about things like integrated pest management with little to no pesticides."

The group hosts a variety of programs, projects, clinics and workshops, and even has a newsletter. Most recently, during the Christmas break, the gardeners held an art project workshop at the Colusa County Library, where kids painted snowmen on terracotta pots and pine cones.

"There's a break and the library has been doing a lot of free stuff," Maltby said. "It gives the kids something to do."

Some of these other clinics include the popular fairy garden workshop, a succulent planting workshop, rose pruning, planter box lessons at local classrooms and partaking in Pioneer Day.

"We try to do something every month," Maltby said.

An extension of the University of California Cooperative Extension, the Master Gardeners are trained agents whose "purpose is to extend research-based knowledge and information on home gardening issues to the residents of Colusa County," according to the website.

The Colusa County Master Gardeners' website contains a slew of helpful links, including smart gardening practices, "Gardening by the Month," water conservation tips and information about plants that grow well in the county.

Lynne Spivak, another master gardener, said the group receives a lot of questions from county gardeners.

"If we don't know the answer, we take a picture and put it out to all the master gardeners in the county," Spivak said.

Maltby agreed.

"We don't always have the answer, but we know how to find the answer," Maltby said.

For more garden information, visit the website at

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