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Art of Gardening

Master Gardener's Logo
Art of Gardening

Cost for the seminar is $45.
A registration form and complete
list of activities can be found
in the Art of  Gardening Brochure
Muscatine Community College’s Continuing Education Department is again offering its popular Art of Gardening daylong seminar.

This year’s seminar will be held:

Saturday, March 19, 2016

8 - 8:30 a.m. Registration (coffee provided)
8:30 - 8:50 a.m. Welcome & Announcements
8 - 11 a.m. Wapsi 4-H Club bake sale

MCC Strahan Hall
152 Colorado Street
Muscatine, IA

The Art of Gardening seminar is used to educate and inspire others to seek enjoyment and fulfillment through a variety of home gardening related topics and activities.

A total of 30 breakout sessions are scheduled for the day as well as vendor exhibits.


(click on Art of Gardening Brochure to register)

Session 1 (9 - 10 a.m.)

  1. The Lawn of Your Dreams-Nick Gow, Muscatine Parks
    Nick Gow, Muscatine Parks
    This presentation will include simple steps to creating a perfect lawn. Learn the basics of turf management including: proper species selections, watering techniques, pest control, seeding, fertilizing, etc. Learn how to create a lawn that your neighbors will admire.

  2. Don’t Forget to Feed Your Pollinators This Year!
    Maria McCulley, Owner of Hilltop Greenhouses
    When you think about what to plant in window boxes and planters, consider making a few containers that cater to pollinators. Don’t forget about the hungry caterpillars that will turn into butterflies, as well as some additional tips and tricks!

  3. Successful Hanging Baskets and Containers
    Deb Walser, Linn County Master Gardener
    Why don't my baskets and containers look like they did when purchased? Deb Walser will share with you the tricks to keeping your plants looking like they were just purchased. We will talk thru planting, watering, fertilizing and pruning during the summer months. Deb will share many before, during and after photos of baskets and containers this past summer, highlighting the good experiences as well as the bad experiences.

  4. Creative Ways to Use Succulents in Containers
    Bud LeFarve, Distinctive Gardens
    Bud will show you different ways to use succulents in wreaths, containers and topiaries.

  5. More Trees Please!
    Hannah Howard, Trees Forever
    Trees beautify our landscapes and green our communities, but the benefits don't stop there! Trees and green space provide some serious environmental and health benefits, too. Find out why trees are essential for healthy lifestyles and why we need more trees in our communities.

  6. Cover Crops
    Philip Pfister, Linn County Master Gardener
    Cover crops provide many benefits to the soil and serve as an important tool for sustainable vegetable production. In this discussion, Linn County Master Gardener Phil Pfister will look at the benefits cover crops provide, various plants used for cover crops, and how they can be a valuable tool for the home gardener.


Session 2 (10:15 - 11:15 a.m.)

  1. Color Me Pretty
    Zora Ronan, Linn County Master Gardener
    Color brings the WOW factor to our gardens, whether the garden is big or small, sunny or shady. This class looks at ways to combine bulbs, annuals, and perennials through the growing season.

  2. Summer Bulbs to Keep Your Garden Growing
    Peggy Burrows, Meyers Landscaping
    Summer  bulbs, generally non-hardy bulbs, that will compliment any garden whether formal, informal or cottage gardens is the topic of discussion. Peggy will share some great bulbs to brighten your garden each season.

  3. Outdoor Iowa Tropicals
    Jay McWherter, Linn County Master Gardener
    If you would like big, bold foliage, striking flowers, bright colors and variegation for use in the sun or shade, try tropicals! Jay will share many photos and information about over-wintering and storage.

  4. Hydrangeas
    Paul Rost, Earl May Nurseries (Repeat from last year due to high demand)
    Have you admired and wished to plant a hydrangea that would add beauty to your garden, but didn’t know where to start? Horticulturist Paul Rost will share more information about hydrangeas than you ever thought possible – from planting, to variety, to care, and to selecting the right hydrangea for the right place in your home garden.

  5. Wildlife Management for the Home Gardener
    Peter Eyheralde, William Penn University
    Learning to live with your wild neighbors is a joy for some and a struggle for others. We'll explore some options for reducing the impact of moles, gophers, deer, raccoons, and other common garden invaders to your flower and vegetable plantings. We'll also discuss ways to create wildlife habitat in your yard for songbirds, butterflies, and a variety of other wild creatures.

  6. Verticals, Vines, and Variants
    Debbie Main, Linn County Master Gardener
    Debbie has some great ideas on how to pack more plants into your home landscape! Debbie will cover flowers and food crops which can be grown vertically and how to train them, where to locate them within your landscape, as well as growing tips and some unusual ideas on what to use to keep those plants vertical.


Lunch 1(11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)

Stump the Experts Panel (12:15 - 1:15 p.m.)
Join a panel of experts as they answer questions posed to them by their audience. Our experts are all professionals in the area of horticulture and come with a vast range of knowledge to share.

Lunch 2 (12:15 - 1 p.m.)

Stump the Experts Panel

Join a panel of experts as they answer questions posed to them by their audience. Our experts are all professionals in the area of horticulture and come with a vast range of knowledge to share.

Session 3 (1:15 - 2:15 p.m.)

  1. Plants for Winter Interest
    Deb Walser, Linn County Master Gardener
    This program will show you what to plant for winter interest even when there is snow on the ground. Shrubs and trees with striking barks and branches will be in abundance. Many plants contain berries that stay all winter. Imagine looking out the window at the bumps in the snow allowing us the expectation of spring.

  2. Contemporary Thoughts on Planting Design
    Lisa Orgler, Iowa State University
    Many of us have learned the traditional tips of planting design by considering form, texture and color, but this session will take several steps beyond that by discussing current design trends. Thoughts on drift and matrix plantings, plus several others will be shared and how to achieve them in your landscape.

  3. The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly
    Donald Lewis, Iowa State University
    This presentation will discuss some of Iowa's beneficial insects along with the worst of the worst new invasive species. Wondering about the fate of your favorite ash tree or raspberries? Or maybe you want to reverse the decline of monarch butterflies or help honey bees and other pollinators. Feel free to bring whatever insect questions have been bugging you!

  4. Beginner Garden Photography
    Jay McWherter, Linn County Master Gardener
    Helpful tips and info for novice photographers so you can take better garden photos with your point and shoot cameras. Jay will share many home garden photos with before and after shots.

  5. Herbs – Not Only for the Kitchen
    Maria McCulley, Hilltop Greenhouses
    Herbs have been used for centuries in homes and not just for cooking. Americans are moving toward a more natural way of life from the food they eat to what they use in their homes and daily care products. Explore some ideas of how to plant that small herb garden and reap the benefits of your harvest!

  6. Extending the Growing Season
    Philip Pfister, Linn County Master Gardener
    Do you want early tomatoes or fresh homegrown broccoli for the holiday? In this discussion, LCMG Phil Pfister will look at the various ways to extend the growing seasons. Some of the topics will include the use of cold frames, row covers, hoop houses, and other tips to get the most out of the growing season.

Session 4 (2:30 - 3:30 p.m.)

  1. The Rainbow Beauty of Iris
    Nancy Carlisle, Cedar Valley Iris and Daylily Society
    From how to plant, when to divide, and the care of  iris during the blooming season will be discussed. A review of various types of iris: including Louisiana, Dutch, Japanese, and German Bearded.  The size ranges of dwarf, median, and tall iris will also be topics.

  2. The Monarch Butterfly-Road to Recovery
    Ron Knopik, Louisa County Conservation
    What can you do to provide habitat, big or small, for this beautiful creature and also learn what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing to help the Monarch to survive.

  3. Hardy Lilies in the Garden
    Peggy Burrows, Meyers Landscaping
    Hardy lilies are a great addition for full sun to part shade gardens with a wide range of colors using bulbs from different varieties of the lily family as well as becoming familiar with the different sizes of lilies ranging from 10” to 3’. Come get acquainted with some great additions for almost any garden.

  4. Create Your Own Terrarium
    Laura Schmitz, Iowa City Landscaping
    Come create a terrarium with all you need ready to assemble: a glass jar, soils and plants. Instruction will be given on how to assemble and after care. A $35 fee for materials payable to the instructor will be required for this class.

  5. The Right Plant in the Right Place: The Do’s and Don’ts of Foundation Planting
    Chuck Porto, Iowa City Landscaping
    Navigating the confusing world of "How big will it get?" can be frustrating for the most experienced gardener. Learn how to choose plants that are in the proper scale for foundation planting, and how to create plantings that minimize maintenance and maximize curb appeal.

  6. Colorful Cottage Gardens
    Debbie Main, Linn County Master Gardener
    Love a lush, beautiful garden packed full of charm and color? Let your mind run rampant as Debbie shares ideas on the architecture and plantings your friends and neighbors will envy!

For more information, contact Cynthia Kress in Muscatine Community College’s Continuing Education Department, 563-288-6161 or toll free 1-888-351-4669.