Master Gardener Program

Part-time Non-credit Certificate Program

Master Gardener Program Guide

A collaboration between Vancouver Island University and Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association.

Designed for the experienced home gardener, this is an intensive training program providing up-to-date information on all gardening basics. Through this program you will be able to:

  • Meet other gardeners in an atmosphere of sharing and exploration
  • Fill gaps in your gardening knowledge
  • Provide satisfying solutions to future gardening problems
  • Know where to find the answers to new challenges
  • Give back to your community and share your joy of gardening.

Course Delivery

The program consists of 78 hours of classroom training, followed by 70 hours of volunteer service. The classroom training component is delivered in a Saturday workshop format (12 sessions). The program will take place at the G.R. Paine Horticultural Training Centre in Nanaimo.

Program Content

Classroom component covers a full range of gardening topics such as:

  • Botany and plant identification
  • Soils
  • Pruning
  • Plant diseases, hardiness and protection
  • Specialized information about specific plant types
  • Sustainable landscape design
  • Weed management
  • Composting
  • Propagation
  • Basic entomology and integrated pest management

Volunteer Service component is where students share their gardening knowledge and passion with the community, supported by experienced Master Gardeners.

Start Date

September 2021 

Admission Requirements:

Experienced home gardener, prepared to share knowledge and enthusiasm with the gardening public.

How to Apply

An information session will be held in Spring 2021 for the fall certificate. 

To be added to our interest list, please email 

Call Professional Development and Training Cowichan for more information.