Just a few years ago garden programs were all about ornamentals: pretty flowers, planting patterns and pots for petite spaces. Now our passion is hands-on: workshops that teach useful skills like seed-starting, or a day-long symposium about feeding your friends and family from food you've grown yourself. There are a number of local events on the horizon guaranteed to provide just such useful information while giving us a break from the last of winter's lingering landscape.
The second annual Midwest Gardening Symposium, Green Gardening from the Ground Up, is all about "green," low-maintenance gardening with practical advice from Midwest-focused experts. This event — like last year's — is co-sponsored by Olbrich Botanical Gardens and Allen Centennial Gardens. The day's topics include "Teaming with Microbes: Your Soil is Alive!," presented by Jeff Lowenfel, co-author of the book "Teaming with Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web;" "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Green Management of Pests and Diseases," by Melinda Myers, author and host of Public Television's "Great Lakes Gardener;" "Natural Beauty: Combining Native and Ornamental Plants," by
Christine Nye, horticultural manager at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium and designer of "WaterShedd," an exhibit that shows the best ways to combine native and non-native plants; and "Shrubs: The New Perennials," by Ezra Haggard, garden designer and author of "Trees, Shrubs, and Roses for the Midwest."
Green Gardening from the Ground Up
Saturday, March 13, 8:30 am-4 pm
Registration Deadline: Monday, March 8
Cost: $119/$99 member, horticulture student, and master gardener
Course fee includes boxed lunch, with a vegetarian option
Rotary Gardens in Janesville is looking for tree lovers. Their upcoming symposium is designed to offer a practical look at trees in our gardens and landscapes. Rather than suggesting the perfect tree for your garden, they will focus on a number of other aspects of trees like longevity and pest issues. The topics and presenters are "New Tools for Tree Decay Detection," by Dr. R. Bruce Allison, one of the most well-known names in Wisconsin when it comes to trees; "Managing Trees in a Changing Climate," by Guy Sternberg of Starhill Forest Arboretum; "Insect Pests of the Urban Forest: A Retrospective," by Phil Pellitteri, distinguished UW-Extension Outreach Specialist; and "Landscaping for Energy Efficiency" by Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens. The day also includes a silent auction of items donated by Klehm's Song Sparrow Nursery.
Saturday, March 27
8:00 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cost: $60 general public / $55 RBG member