Jan Danford moved to Sequim in 2013 after teaching primary school on overseas military bases for 23 years. She trained as a Master Gardener soon after arriving and has since been honored as Intern of the Year and then Master Gardener of the Year. Jan is Chair of the Operating Committee for the Woodcock Demonstration Garden and coordinates the Garden Club activities for the Sequim Boys and Girls Club. Her passion for getting kids involved in gardening extends to participation in the Master Gardener Youth Enrichment Program. She claims to be a master of none but loves dawdling in the dirt and helping all things grow.
Bob Cain is a veteran of the Clallam County Master Gardeners having been a member since 2009. He earned his undergraduate and master degrees in biology and chemistry and has a PhD in Chemistry. He has 40 years of experience growing vegetables in Scotland, Ireland, Colorado and Washington. He writes a monthly article on plant disease for the Clallam County Master Gardener Newsletter and is a frequent contributor to gardening columns in the local newspaper. Bob is the 2009 Master Gardener Intern of the Year, the 2011 Master Gardener of the Year and served as the Manager of the Woodcock Demonstration Garden for 7 years as well as a past President and Board member of the Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County.
A Master Gardener since 2012, Audreen Williams is an enthusiastic gardener with a particular focus on addressing the challenges of vegetable gardening in the maritime growing environment of Port Angeles. She earned a co-2014 Master Gardener of the Year award for her various Master Gardener volunteer activities. She coordinates the Master Gardener plots, assists with the Second Saturday Garden Walks and encourages the 4-H Garden Club, all at the Port Angeles 5th Street Community Garden. She also enjoys volunteering at the Master Gardener’s Woodcock Demonstration Garden in Sequim and the Brown Bag educational series held in the Clallam County Courthouse Commissioner’s Meeting Room.
Muriel Nesbitt grew up in the Bellevue area and had an interesting career. She taught high school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, received a PhD in genetics from UW and was a biology professor at the University of California, San Diego for 36 years. Muriel retired to Port Angeles in 2008, joined the Master Gardeners in ’09 and was Program Coordinator from 2009 to 2012. Her special interests include sustainable gardening and biodiversity, heirloom varieties, squash and potatoes.
For Susan Kalmar, horticulture was a passion that happily turned into a profession. Originally trained as a civil engineer, Susan Kalmar went back to school for her Associates Degree in Ornamental Horticulture. As the manager of the greenhouse operation for a large retail florist in Pennsylvania, Susan had the opportunity to work with, and learn from, some of the most creative people in the business. Community service is another passion and after moving to the Olympic Peninsula in 2016, Susan joined Soroptimist International of Sequim and also completed the Master Gardener program. Both organizations work hard to make meaningful contributions to the community through service and education.
Keith Dekker has been involved in horticulture for over 40 years, the last 25 years has focused on comprehensive care of residential landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. As a Clallam County Master Gardener and active volunteer with Plant Amnesty, Keith contributes to his community by teaching classes and giving talks to promote best practices for successful, sustainable gardening. Keith currently has his own business specializing in fine pruning.
Tanya Unruh has been digging in the dirt and reaping the rewards of growing things since she was a young girl helping her Grandpa in the garden. Her best education was following him around constantly asking questions and probably driving him nuts, but he was always a patient teacher. Although she became a Master Gardener in 2013 to formalize her training, her passion for gardening and education will never end. She reads, studies and is constantly trying new ideas, always confident she will learn from her successes as well as her failures.
Marilynn Elliott has been a Master Gardener since 2003, after she and her husband moved to Sequim from the Chicago suburbs. She needed to learn something about gardening in the Pacific Northwest. She’s served on the Master Gardener Foundation Board, worked with the Garden Selections Committee for the June Petals and Pathways tour (her garden was on the 2013 tour), has worked many hours at Woodcock Demonstration Garden, as well as with Clallam County 2nd graders in the Youth Enrichment Program and on the Gold Trowel Award event.
Keynote Speaker: Dan Hinkley, World-Renowned Horticulturist. Devoted to introducing rare and unusual plants to gardeners of North America, this endeavor has led Hinkley into the wilds of China, South and Central America, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tasmania and Canada numerous times a year for the past 22 years. Click here for Dan’s full bio.