Certified Gardeners Program

Who we are:

Gloucester County Certified Gardeners Association is a non-profit volunteer organization with over 150 members, sponsored by the Gloucester County Board of Commissioners. Certified Gardeners are residents interested in gardening and volunteering in their communities. Beginning and experienced gardeners are welcome to join.  We are located in the Shady Lane Complex at 254 County House Road in Clarksboro, NJ 08020

Our mission: Provide residents with science-based information on pest management, environmentally friendly landscape practices and home horticulture.

How do I become a Certified Gardener?

  1. Residents must enroll in the Certified Gardener Training Program. The program is offered once a year, January-May. Classes cover a wide variety of horticultural topics taught by industry experts and college professors. The classes take place on Wednesday mornings from 9am-12pm at the Shady Lane Complex in Clarksboro. The cost is $150, which covers speakers’ fees and class materials.
  2. To complete the initial certification, candidates must volunteer at Certified Gardener sponsored events and programs, including Community Service hours and Outreach/Helpline Hours. You have 18 months to complete these hours.
    1. Community Service: We have a wide variety of programs that promote horticultural education for personal and public benefit.
    2. Outreach/Helpline: We bring gardening information to the community via classes at the county libraries and community groups, public events (Butterfly Festival, Spring Garden Expo and Plant Sale) and the Helpline (answering residents’ gardening questions).
    3. Once you have completed your required 60 hours of service, you will become a certified member of the organization.
    4. To maintain your certification, you must complete additional volunteer hours annually.

 

Certified Gardeners sponsor the following programs:

  • Gardening Helpline
  • Education Gardens
  • Donation Gardens
  • Speakers Bureau
  • Certified Gardeners Greenhouse
  • Spring Garden Expo
  • Certified Gardeners Butterfly House
  • Annual Plant Sale
  • Butterfly Festival
  • Horticultural Symposium
  • Spring & Fall Festivals

For more information, email mcummings@co.gloucester.nj.us, call 856-224-8045.

 

Certified Gardener Programs

Helpline

The Certified Gardener Helpline office is located in the Shady Lane Complex, 254 County House Road, Clarksboro. The office is open every Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-12pm. Residents are welcome to bring plant and/or insect samples to the office to be diagnosed by a certified gardener volunteer. You may also leave a detailed message (be sure to include your phone number or email address) on the Helpline at 856-224-8052. You can also email the Helpline at gardener@co.gloucester.nj.us  We offer free soil pH testing.

For general questions, call our office at 856-224-8045.

Home Gardening School

Are you interested in learning more about certain areas of gardening? Sign up for the Home Gardening School. Classes are held every Wednesday morning from 9am-noon until the end of May. 2024 Home Gardening School Classes

Greenhouse

Certified Gardeners get an early start on the growing season in our greenhouse, allowing for hands-on training and growing friendships. Our greenhouse at the GCIA offices is a great place to spend the winter months.

Volunteers work together to get ready for the annual Plant Sale by preparing planting medium, sowing seed, planting plugs and fertilizing and watering the plants. This is a great opportunity for the volunteers to learn about seed planting and care. Each growing season volunteers can sign up to work in the greenhouse.

Besides growing plants for the plant sale, we supply plants for our numerous gardening projects, educational programs and planting in the county parks.

Butterfly House20230518_130914

Located at Red Bank Battlefield, the Butterfly House is open Thursday-Sunday from 10am-1pm, June through September. Experience the beauty of our butterfly house as you walk through and witness their incredible life cycles. You'll also be surrounded by a variety of colorful flowers that are sure to take your breath away.

Make and Take 

Our make and take programs are offered in the Fall and Spring. At a nominal cost to the participants, the Make and Take classes include hands-on projects and feature topics of general gardening interest. We also offer a variety of craft classes.   Watch for the next Make and Take class, and reserve your spot.

Spring Garden Expo and Plant Sale

Our garden expo & plant sale event takes place annually on the Saturday before Mother’s Day from 9am-2pm at Scotland Run Park in Clayton, NJ. This event features free gardening seminars, an “Ask the Certified Gardener” booth and a wide variety of plants, including native perennials, butterfly favorites, vegetables, herbs and a unique selection of heirloom tomatoes.

Spring And Fall Festivals

Spring And Fall Festivals are held in conjunction with GC Parks & Recreation at the Red Bank Battlefield in National Park, NJ. Spend the day exploring the historical park and Whitall House, while learning about its role in the American Revolution. There are plenty of family friendly activities along with gardening information and plants for sale.

Horticultural Symposium

Each spring we host a half-day horticultural symposium with a focus on topics of interest to the home gardener. This year’s event entitled “Lose the Lawn-Create a Wildflower Meadow Instead!” will be held on May 152024 from 9am-12pm. To register for the program click here

 Butterfly/Pollinator Festival FullSizeR

Our festival celebrates pollinators and educates attendees about the importance of butterflies and other pollinators in our environment.  The Butterfly House is open for tours, and there are displays from insect zoos and beekeepers.  There are themed kid’s crafts & games, live music and much more.  Wear your wings and antennae, and march in the bug parade!