Ask the garden expert



Our family has been away from the area for several years, and we’ve moved back home. I am a great fan of master gardeners and all of the Extension Office in general. But guess what? I can’t find it. Did it go out of business?

I sure hope that doesn’t happen. No, we just have a new locale. We are now located in Hazel Dell, at the newly named Washington State University Heritage Farm, which used to be called the WSU Research Unit, and long ago the Poor Farm. It is an old building, but the remodel makes it quite nice.

The address is 1919 N.E. 78th St. The phone number is unchanged, 360-397-6060 dial extension 5711 to reach the master gardeners program. You may also email us at The program’s website is

At the site you’ll find food bank gardens. Community gardens will be available, and a fabulous new greenhouse is being constructed on the property. One of the uses for this greenhouse will be to aid the master gardeners in growing plant material for the annual Mothers Day Plant Sale. Taking place May 11-13 this year, the funds raised from this sale aid local schools gardens, food banks, tuition for Clark College, WSU Students, and master garden training courses.

There are some bugs on my camellia that I’m afraid will harm the plant. I don’t see any damage yet, but shouldn’t I get them off? Also do camellias get diseases that I should be on guard for?

Gardeners should monitor the progress of pests, but intervention is seldom necessary. Plants that get a specific disease annually may require a protective fungicide. However, insect management is only needed when the plant health is in danger or when food crop loss is at an unacceptable level. (You may also want to intervene on aesthetic grounds, when you just can’t stand the looks of that bug-eaten plant any longer.)

If you don’t see any damage, just don’t worry about them.

Celeste Lindsay is a WSU-certified master gardener. Send questions to