‘Nursey School Lessons in Gardening’ symposium at Vibrant Arena is Feb. 11

Local gardening enthusiasts can gain horticultural knowledge during the event’s three sessions
Nursey School Lessons in Gardening’ symposium is Feb. 11
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 11:26 AM CST
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) -University of Illinois Extension will be holding their 24th Nursery School- Lessons in Gardening on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Vibrant Arena at the Mark, 1201 River Drive, Moline.

Tracy Jo Mulliken, Program Coordinator, Horticulture and Agriculture, University of Illinois Extension, invites viewers to get inspired and grow in their horticultural knowledge at the Quad Cities’ premiere gardening symposium.

Horticulture experts will lead workshops and share tips, pointers, ideas, and information everyone can use - from the novice to the most experienced gardener.

This year’s event opens with a keynote address by renowned prairie ecologist and author Neil Diboll, President of Prairie Nursery, Inc. Westfield, Wis. He will talk about Prairie Plants for Urban and Suburban Gardens at the first session, which starts at 8:45 a.m.

Following the keynote, participants will choose three additional sessions from nine different topics. Classes have been arranged by track topics: ornamental, edible and nature. Folks can choose all of one track or pick and choose—it’s up to each participant.

Registration includes morning coffee and rolls, the keynote session, lunch, three additional classes, and access to the vendor area offering a host of merchants and agencies selling a variety of garden-inspired gifts, crafts, plants, and resources.

Registration in advance is required (walk-in will not be allowed) and is priced at $70. Registration ends on Feb. 5. Register at https://go.illinois.edu/NurserySchool2023 or call University of Illinois Extension at (309) 756-9978 for more information.

Here are the speakers and topics from which you can choose one from each session. Note: class sizes are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Session 1 from 10-11 a.m. (choose one):

  • (Ornamental) The Latest and Maybe the Greatest: What’s Trending in 2023 with Kate Terrell, President of Wallace’s Garden Center. Join Kate to see a preview of the new trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals that await your Midwest garden.
  • (Edible) Boost of Blueberries-Past, Present, and Future with Carol Longley, Illinois Extension Master Gardener, retired WIU faculty, consultant, and dietitian. Blueberries are native to North America and can be grown and enjoyed by home gardeners. Learn about their history, and how you can best plan, plant, grow, maintain, and harvest the most delicious and high-quality blueberries. Carol will talk about the new cultivars and share her favorite recipe ideas for your home-grown blueberries.
  • (Nature) Sunflowers: Superheroes with Emily Swihart, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator. To gardeners, sunflowers are known for their beauty, but they are not just another pretty face. Explore the impact sunflowers have had on the global food market, and their potential to help contaminated lands recover from industrial use. After attending this program, you will have a greater appreciation for these bright, summer blooms, and be eager to incorporate some of the new cultivars into your growing space.

Session 2: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. (choose one):

  • (Ornamental) Slow Flowers: Growing Your Own Cut Flowers with Candice Anderson, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Specialist. The emphasis is buying food locally, but why not flowers as well? Join Candice to learn how to grow a variety of cut flowers in your home garden, the benefits of having cut flowers, and how to condition them to be long-lasting. She will also discuss her all-time favorite flowers to grow and share tips and tricks to ensure success.
  • (Edible) Growing Vegetables in 2023 from April thru October with Bruce Black, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture. Get the most out of your vegetable garden in 2023. Bruce will share the best advice for planning, planting, and garden maintenance throughout the year, Spring, Summer, and Fall.
  • (Nature) Landscaping: It’s for the birds with Chris Enroth, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture. Attracting birds to your backyard can go beyond setting out bird feeders. Chris will take you through a typical foundation planting that will provide three things’ birds need: water, shelter, and food. Learn to utilize native or well-adapted plants to start creating a landscape that welcomes birds by providing critical pieces of habitat.

Session 3:1:45-2:45 p.m. (choose one):

  • (Ornamental) Curious about Colorful Conifers with Martha Smith, retired Horticulture Educator for Cornell and University of Illinois Extension. Get ready to add “shock and awe” to your landscape with colorful conifers of all sizes. Did you know conifers change colors through the season? The class will show you how to rethink your landscape to bring out the best foliage display.
  • (Nature) Genetic Diversity and Plant Preservation with Neil Diboll, Ecologist and President of Prairie Nursery, Inc. Westfield, Wi. It will be a deep dive into plant genetics and how they can influence restoration and plant choices with an overview of the various strategies that different plants have developed for reproduction and adaptation to their environments.
  • (Edible) Fundamentals and Facts of Fermentation with Kristin Bogdonas, University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator. What once was a means to preserve food for winter months, fermentation is growing in popularity to create foods and drinks with probiotic properties. In this session, you will learn the fundamentals and benefits of fermentation and watch a fermentation recipe demo.

University of Illinois Extension is located at 321 West 2nd Avenue, Milan. If you are looking for more in-depth information, contact the Illinois Extension office at https://extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or call 309-756-9978.