The Homeowners Column

The Homeowners Column

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Join Master Gardeners for spring fever cure

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Sandra Mason
State Master Gardener Coordinator

A verdant green sprig of grass or a flower bud ready to burst. It's that time of year when I scour the landscape for any sign of spring. In our dreams spring is already here. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners offer plenty of outlets sure to cure our spring fever.

Vermilion County Master Gardeners host Garden Day Workshop and Spring Festival on Saturday, March 12, 8-4 pm, at Crossroads Church in Danville, IL. Garden Day features everything plant lovers enjoy: speakers who entertain and educate, a wide variety of vendors for shopping, a delicious made-from-scratch lunch, silent auction, door prizes, raffles and a bargain registration fee of $25. Shopping area is open to non-registrants. Garden Day is a great way to shake off the winter doldrums and get inspiration for this year's garden.

The first Garden Day speaker focuses on how to protect the most valuable tool a gardener possesses – our body. Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, burn calories, improve our community and eat healthier; however, it can be a virtual minefield of safety issues if we don't do it right. Master Gardener John Bodensteiner, radio and TV personality on WDAN and MidAmerican Gardener, will address these issues in his program, Safety in the Garden.

Raised garden beds is a hot topic discussed by speaker Walter Deck, owner of Walt's Acres in Ridge Farm and known for his gardening expertise and humor. Walter has extensive raised beds on his property and has learned through research and hands-on experience.

Garden Day keynote speaker is University of Tennessee Extension specialist Carol Reese as she invites you to Take a Walk on the Wild Side. She will demonstrate how to create a fabulous landscape alive with hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, yet offers a strong sense of design and year round wildlife and people appeal. To make Reese's recommended plant list, a plant must be beautiful, easy to grow, locally available, and a real workhorse in the garden. Carol will explode the myth that a wildlife garden needs to be all-native. Reese is a nationally known garden speaker who attributes her love of horticulture to being raised on a farm by generations of plant nuts. Her garden knowledge and wicked sense of humor makes her presentations both educational and entertaining.

To register contact UI Extension office in Vermilion County at 3164 N Vermilion Danville, Il at 217-442-8615 and pay by cash or check. To pay by credit card visit University of IL Extension website Garden Day profits fund Master Gardener educational programs and community projects in Vermilion County.

Here are a few more reasons to enjoy the pre-spring season.

February 27, 2016 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Macon County Master Gardeners present "Gardening Insights" at Richland Community College, Decatur, IL. A full day of horticulture related presentations and make-and-take workshops. Keynote speaker Doug Tallamy presents Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens. Additional topics include: starting seeds, growing great tomatoes, best garden apps, backyard beekeeping and much more. To register $30.00 registration includes keynote, lunch, and presentations. Some classes may have additional fees. For more information contact UI Extension office Macon County 217-877-6042 or Beth Allhands

Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Piatt County Master Gardeners present "Gumshoe Gardeners: Clues for the Curious" at the Monticello Community Building, 102 E. Livingston St., Monticello, IL.

Join fellow gardeners for a morning of intriguing workshops covering the mysteries of soil and animal scat, unusual trees and shrubs, insect look-alikes, cooking with pulse crops and demystifying orchids. Discover the secrecies of "sneak gardens". To register by March 16. For more information contact UI Extension Office - Piatt County 217-762-2191 or Karyn Traum

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