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Gardening column: Attend workshops Saturday at Display Gardens open house

Friday, July 18, 2014 - 10:33 am

Don't miss an opportunity to tour the Display Gardens on Saturday, attend several workshops being offered, have your gardening questions answered and enjoy a variety of other activities — all planned for you by Allen County Master Gardeners (see tour schedule below):

• A Display Garden open house will be held 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday. These beautiful gardens are located on the grounds that surround the Allen County Cooperative Extension Office, 4001 Crescent Ave., on the east side of the IPFW campus. The open house offers three scheduled mini-classes for gardeners, landscapers and their families, plus many other educational and fun activities:

• 10:30 a.m.: Advanced Master Gardener Nancy Torkeo will present a program on healthy juices and smoothies at 10:30 a.m. (Taste samples with this one.)

• 11:15 a.m.: Master Gardener Deborah Putt will present “How to Build a Glam Girl Scarecrow.” (Get ready to glam up your fall garden and Halloween with this information.)

• 11:30 a.m.: Ricky Kemery, Horticulture Educator, will diagnose plant problem samples (bring them to the workshop) and discuss “Pests and Diseases of 2014.”

• Sapling red maples, white spruce and Douglas fir (a limited supply) will be sold by our sustainable group – along with buckets of Topmost Compost and bottles of Compost Tea.

Participants can also tour the 20 garden areas that make up the Display Gardens:

• Master Gardeners will be stationed at each area to answer questions.

• Stop by the “Welcome Home” garden planted in honor of veterans and their families.

• See an innovative vegetable garden and the beautiful Trial garden nearby, which showcases new annual flowers – the winners will be on the market next season.

• Local artists will be featured in the Woodland gardens.

• You can learn how to arrange flowers for a decorative table in the Everlasting Cutting garden.

• The Hearthstone Ensemble from the Settlers will provide historic dulcimer music at the event.

Free parking for the open house is available at the parking garage across from the Extension office. Call 481-6826 (Option 3) for more information.

My role is mostly editing the Master Gardener newsletter and promoting the program through writing this column, so I can't brag on myself or take any credit for how wonderful the Display Gardens are. Every year, they just get better and better under the tutelage of Kemery and with the enthusiasm of Master Gardener volunteers who plant and maintain each of the 20 teaching gardens. This is a wonderful program offered to anyone who would like to know more about what makes plants tick and how to turn a black thumb green – or make a green thumb even greener.

Classes are offered every year. Call the Extension office at 481-6826, Option 3, to get information on how you can join the growing ranks of Master Gardeners in Allen County.

There are nearly 300 active Master Gardeners (tree huggers, I like to call us) in this area — and who knows, there might be one or two living right next to you. I knew a woman who told me she couldn't learn anything new in such a class because she knew gardening inside and out, but eventually she decided to take the class just to prove her point.

She told me later, “I had no idea — I thought I knew it all and found out I had a lot to learn.”

Jane Ford is an Advanced Master Gardener. Email questions to bloominthing@gmail.com. This column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of The News-Sentinel.