After years of research, planning and construction, the Central Gorge Master Gardener Greenhouse was dedicated on June 26.
Although Central Gorge Master Gardeners have been using the greenhouse for over a year, the dedication was delayed so that the sign above the door could be completed and Lifetime Master Gardener Glenda Ryan could be in attendance. Funds to help build the Central Gorge Master Gardener Greenhouse came from the Dorothy A. Metcalf Foundation.
Sandi Rousseau, co-chair for the Master Gardener Greenhouse, started the ceremony by giving a brief history of the greenhouse. Research on greenhouses and permits started in September 2016 with excavation beginning a year later. Central Gorge Master Gardener volunteers began construction work parties after the cement slab was poured and utilities were installed.
The structure was completed in time for the Annual Holiday Greenery Event in early December. During the Greenery Event, Master Gardeners handmake wreaths and swags for donation to clientele of FISH Food Bank in Hood River and Washington Gorge Action Programs in Bingen. Work continued on the Central Gorge Master Gardener Greenhouse to complete utilities and build tables through mid-March 2018, when work parties for the Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale began.
Ryan followed with memories of Dorothy A. Metcalf. Metcalf was a long time member of the Talbots County Garden Club in eastern Maryland, serving as secretary and treasurer for many years and enjoyed traveling to garden shows, many with her Ryan, her daughter-in-law.
Ryan said Metcalf “had wonderful gardens herself that included a formal boxwood maze, large vegetable garden, perennial beds and containers filled with flowering and foliage plants.
“She also had a beautiful conservatory where she grew many plants and tropical flowers,” said Ryan, adding, “Because of her conservatory, this greenhouse is a very fitting tribute to her generosity and her love of gardening.”
As the wind picked up and the threat of rain loomed near, the sign was unveiled to applause and those in attendance enjoyed refreshments and conversation.
The Central Gorge Master Gardener Association thanked all the Master Gardeners who served on the Greenhouse Planning Committee and to the 32 Master Gardeners who helped to raise the beams, tighten screws, apply Solexx, rake gravel and other labor during work parties, with special thanks to the organization and work of the construction crew whose efforts made the Central Gorge Master Gardener Greenhouse a reality: Sandi Rousseau, Eric Bosler, Shari Bosler, Bill Winfield, Bud Lacey, Bill Sturman and Paul Pennington.
Master Gardeners also acknowledged Steve Castagnoli, director of Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center, for his assistance and support to the Greenhouse, and other Central Gorge Master Gardener projects.