The Master Gardener Class of 2011 graduation ceremonies were held in five locations over the past two weeks.   198 Master Gardeners received certification and their official UConn Master Gardener Badges this year.

Graduation Cake for Fairfield county

True to the year many of the ceremonies were impacted by Mother Nature, but as those of us in the program know folks who have the determination and drive to become Master Gardeners are mostly undaunted by such things.  After all this class has survived the winter of 2011 with most snow recorded for any UConn Master Gardener class, and postponements and delays,  a bomb scare for the final exam for the West Hartford class, tornado threats, a hurricane and now a pre Halloween blizzard and the power outages it produced.

The Fairfield county class held its ceremonies in the afternoon of October 27 and just missed the freezing rain and snow that occurred that evening – a harbinger of things to come.

Fairfield Graduation

The Windham County class celebrated graduation with a costume party on the evening of Friday October 28 and probably warded off weather problems with those spooky costumes.

Middlesex County held their ceremonies on Tuesday evening and there were many who were glad to come for a warm meal complete with lights, festivities and great camaraderie.

West Hartford’s graduation was scheduled for the Pond House in Elizabeth Park on Wednesday November 2, 2011.  However unfortunately the park suffered considerable damage with many downed trees and blocked roadways.  Graduation was held at the West Hartford campus where lots of hot food and good humor was appreciated by the folks that were able to attend.

On Sunday November 5, the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardenrs held their graduation ceremonies in their new classroom building, complete with light, heat and festivity.

Bartlett Arboretum Graduation

In addition to the new Master Gardeners there were 41 Master Gardeners who attained the rank of Advanced Master Gardener complete with new white badges that signify advanced status, and an additional 45 Advanced Master Gardeners progressed to new levels with additional bars and some new badges.

To help our friends at Elizabeth Park in their recovery Master gardeners will be holding a cleanup day for Elizabeth Park.  Information will be forthcoming.

More of these great pictures of the graduation ceremonies can be viewed by going  to the Connecticut Master Gardener Association’ s website at