Sign Up For Hot Topics!

Check out the 2018 Hot Topics offerings at

This year’s featured topic is Biological Insect Controls of Invasive Pests.

Use code HT2018 when registering.

If you have issues signing on to the enrollment website, email for assistance.

40th Anniversary of UConn Extension Master Gardener Program


2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program! Throughout the year, we will celebrate with different events.


Celebrate 40 Years of the Master Gardener Program in New London County. Come to Widdershins Labyrinth in Lyme CT, the garden created by Paul Armond, the New London county coordinator for the UConn Extension Master Gardener program.

Enjoy a glass of wine and hors d’ oeuvres as you stroll through the garden or perhaps walk the seven-circuit labyrinth constructed of two tons of beach stones. Look in the conservatory for ferns and cycads as well as plants that produce tea, coffee, and chocolate.

The event will be held Saturday, June 16, from 4 to 7 PM.

Directions to the garden will be emailed to the registrants one week prior. Donation is $60. Registration is limited to 75 people. Register at



We are excited to introduce the new, online Garden Master Class catalog and registration!

In Fall 2017, the Garden Master Class catalog appears in a new, online format. You can now register and pay for classes and get immediate confirmation of your registration, along with email reminders as the class dates approach.

The catalog is now available at . The process is similar to any online purchasing you already do. The GoSignMeUp platform that powers the online catalog is used by many companies and schools and has an excellent reputation. A link to the site is posted on our Extension website, and our volunteer website

You can now pay by credit or debit card, and we encourage you to use this payment method. It provides an immediate confirmation of your class registration. You can still pay by check, but until that payment is processed, you will not have a guaranteed seat in the class.

The new program will provide email reminders both one week and one day prior to your class.

If you have taken Master Classes before, all your attendance information has been saved and will be entered into the GoSignMeUp program. Once the transition is complete, you will be able to check your transcript online at any time to confirm what classes you have taken. This feature should be available in mid-2018.

Your registration information from the old system has also been transferred to GoSignMeUp. When you log into the new system, take a moment to check your account information. If corrections are needed, let us know!

The system also allows us to add classes throughout the term, so check back often. We try to have all classes listed in the beginning of the term, but new opportunities do arise throughout!

Instructions on registering and using the system are attached, and there are instructions on the home page of the catalog. Additionally, if you have any difficulties you can contact us at Your county coordinator can also help you. Contact information is available at

This new program has been in the works for several years. Middlesex County coordinator Gail Reynolds got us started, conducting a comprehensive search and analysis of the available options, leading to the recommendation of GoSignMeUp. Longtime Master Class volunteer Rebecca Martorelli teamed up with Extension program assistant Amber Guillemette and Tolland County coordinator Jean Madden-Hennessey to make the transition from our old system to the new one. Many thanks to all!

A Positive Approach to Service

volunteersOur UConn Extension Master Gardener volunteers are located in each of the eight county Extension centers, and at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford. Master Gardener volunteers donate their time each year to answer horticultural-related questions for the community.

In May, Gail Reynolds, our Master Gardener Coordinator at the office in Haddam received this letter from Carol of Chester, Connecticut:

Dear Ms. Reynolds, 

I am writing to make you aware of the exceptional service I received at the Extension program on May 26, 2017 when I brought an insect sample to your office. Your volunteer employees, Kenneth Sherrick, Susan Goodall, and Liz Duffy could not have been more motivated and interested in identifying the specimen and providing me with appropriate information. These employees exhibited a level of energy and competency that I have honestly never encountered in either a public service or private setting. Together they critically analyzed the resource materials, collaborated effectively to identify the specimen, and patiently explained their findings. They were sincere, welcoming, and friendly. My issue was positively resolved in a short time.

Certainly, we are all used to accessing public and private services – libraries, post offices, school systems, doctor’s offices – and we are accustomed to a particular, acceptable standard of service. But when one encounters a greater level of service, a higher degree of motivation, and a overwhelmingly positive approach to service it is remarkable indeed. These three volunteers operate in excellence, and they exceeded my expectations in every regard. You are quite fortunate to have them!



Let’s Hear it for our Master Gardener Volunteers!

Active, Certified Master Gardener Volunteers honored by pins for volunteer hour contributions!
Active, Certified Master Gardener Volunteers honored by pins for volunteer hour contributions!

Our Master Gardener volunteers contribute innumerable hours to their communities by participating on projects, speaking to the public, writing articles, teaching classes, and much more!

We honor our Active Certified Master Gardeners with garden-themed pins as they reach volunteer hour milestones, cumulative over their time as Active Certified Master Gardeners.

One hundred (100) volunteer hours is marked by a trowel pin, 250 hours by an oak leaf pin, 500 hours by a wheelbarrow pin, 750 hours by a pinecone pin, 1000 hours by a sunflower pin, 1500 hours by a pruner pin, and 2000 hours by a gardener’s boot!