Welcome to the Knox County Master Gardeners Website!

Helping Tennessee Grow Better Communities


In support of Extension in Tennessee, the mission of the Knox County Master Gardener program is to educate and serve the community using research-based information on best-practices in horticulture, environmental stewardship and integrated pest management.

This website provides information on Knox County Master Gardener projects and activities, how you can make use of these resources and, if so desired, also get involved in these projects or activities.


Knox County Extension Master Gardener Awards

  • 2017 - Distinguished Volunteer Service Award at the UTK Gardens for David Craig
  • 2016 - International Search for Excellence Award, 2nd place for our Speaker's Bureau
  • 2015 - Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, 1st place for Community Service with our Community Garden partnership at Concord United Methodist Church
  • 2015 - Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, 1st Place for Workshop or Presentation with our Speaker's Bureau
  • 2015 - Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, 1st Place for Demonstration Garden with our Charity Garden partnership at All Saints Catholic Church
  • 2015 - Tennessee Search for Excellence Award, Barbra Bunting and Marsha Lehman tied for Outstanding Master Gardener of the Year

KNOX COUNTY EXTENSION MASTER GARDENERS SWEEP AWARDS:  The first TEMG State Conference, this year combining Winter School activities with the Eastern Regional Conference, was a great success for Knox County Master Gardeners. We entered three of our Core Projects in the Search for Excellence: the Concord United Methodist Community Garden for the Community Service award; the All Saints Catholic Church Garden for the Demonstration Garden award; and the Knox County EMG Speakers Bureau for the Workshop or Presentation Award.  All three won in their respective categories. Project leaders will have more to say in other articles over the course of the summer.  Other categories we didn’t enter (this time!) were the Innovative Project Award (Sevier County), the Research award (Cumberland County), and the Youth Project Award (Cumberland County). But wait, there’s more! Every year there is also a competition for Outstanding Tennessee Master Gardener in the Search for Excellence program. Knox Count’s entries were so compelling that this year there was a tie—the accolade was shared between our own Barbra Bunting and Marsha Lehman.  Each year, the Tennessee Extension Master Gardener program recognizes an Outstanding Master Gardener who best personifies the dedication, passion and commitment to the Master Gardener mission that makes the program a success. This year, for the first time, there were two winners; the judges couldn’t decide, and the coveted 2015 Silver Shovel was awarded jointly to Barbra Bunting, nominated by Lynn Carlson, and Marsha Lehman, nominated by Barbara O’Neil. Judges keep the winner a secret until the conference, to heighten the interest, so there was some suspense during the 5:00 awards ceremony on Friday.  After all, there were six project winners to hear about before the individual awards, including three from Knox County. By the beginning of the awards program, Barbra and Marsha may have had an inkling that something was in the wind, but imagine the satisfaction of our Knox County attendees to discover that we’d taken this one as well. Spouses Bruce Bunting and Thomas Knapp were on hand for the awards, to help us all celebrate.   Lynn and Barbara were allowed to spend a few minutes at the conference sharing why our special nominees are truly “outstanding.” Space here precludes going into details of the “roast,” but it will be on the agenda for you at the May general meeting on May 4. Congratulations to our Tennessee Outstanding Master Gardeners, Barbra and Marsha. We can expect great things to come.  It all goes to show the excellence of the MG program you’re signing on for. Plan for exciting times in the future!

By Lynn Carlson

2016 KCMG President