Art of Gardening

Art of Gardening

Cost for the seminar is $40.
A registration form and complete
list of activities can be found
in the Art of  Gardening Brochure
Student gardening in greenhouse
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 15, 2014

8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Registration and coffee available
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Class Sessions

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.

The Muscatine County Master Gardeners are pleased to welcome Lisa Orgler, Iowa State University Professor of Horticulture as she shares the secrets to designing your sustainable landscape.

A total of 28 breakout sessions are scheduled for the day as well as vendor exhibits.


(click on Art of Gardening Brochure to register)

Session 1

  • The Language of Flowers, A Victorian Romance
    Debbie Main, Linn County Master Gardener
    Learn how structures, color and variety all play a part in the Victorian garden. Debbie unveils her secrets for bringing this forgotten beauty to your home to give your gardens a story to share with your guests.

  • Wonders of the Prairie
    Julie Jenkins & Mary Delaney, Ion Exchange
    Planting a bit of prairie offers an opportunity for your family to experience the natural world. The “wonder” manifests in your children’s encounters with native plants which attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to the site.

  • Thinking About a Home Greenhouse?
    Phil Pfister, Linn County Master Gardener
    Learn what’s necessary for setting up and operating a home greenhouse including site selection, greenhouse material options, calculation heating and cooling requirements, plant care, and integrated pest management.

  • Vegetables and Raised Beds
    Janet Freeborn, MCC Horticulture Instructor
    Thinking about what yummy vegetables to plant this spring and the best method to take advantage of planting space to reap a bountiful harvest? Join Janet Freeborn as she shares her expertise on raised bed gardening and the best vegetable combinations to plant in them.

  • Plants for Problem Areas
    Dan Mays, Scott County Master Gardener
    Are there areas in your yard that seem to be impossible to grow anything? Slopes, shaded areas, under trees, and areas near driveways and streets are places that leave gardeners scratching their heads. Dan Mays, Scott County Master Gardener, will provide suggestions and solutions for those places that gardeners despair over!

  • Trees Can Help You Tap into Teen Power
    Patty Peterson, Community Educator –Trees Forever
    Since the beginning of Trees Forever 25 years ago, we have led educational programs that get people involved in “hands-on” conservation. This presentation will share seven ways to tap into teen power (Generation Y) to transform your community with trees. Learn the key developed by Trees Forever to motivate teens, hear the six things that keep them involved, how to invite Generation Y and best times to get their help with your community tree project.

Session 2

  • Color in the Shade Garden
    Laura Schmitz, Nursery Manager, Iowa City Landscaping & Garden Center
    Learn what plants perform well and give color to the shady areas of your yard. Create interest from spring, summer and into fall by learning what plants do well in the shade.

  • Filling the Ash Gap-Shade Trees for Iowa
    Chuck Porto, Retail Manager, Iowa City Landscaping & Garden
    Center and Host of KXIC Lawn and Garden Show With a focus on diversity, Chuck will present shade tree alternatives that are hardy, reliable, and beautiful throughout the year.

  • Your Path to a Delightful Herb Garden
    Maria McCulley, Hilltop Greenhouse
    Love herbs, but don’t know quite where to start? Join Maria as she guides you through the steps to the creation of an herb garden that not only will enhance your culinary activities, but also delight your senses.

  • Backyard Bird Feeding Providing the Essentials
    Mark Graham, Wildbirds, Unlimited
    We will discuss helping birds of the backyard and the requirements of; food, water, shelter, and a place to raise their young.

  • Drying and Pressing Flowers
    Sarah Cutler, Horticulturist-Seeded Earth Growers
    Finding it hard to part with all the gorgeous blooms plucked from your flower beds? Sarah will share her expertise regarding flower preservation so that you can continue to enjoy your flowers for many days to come.

  • How to Create an Out-of-the-Ordinary Theme Garden
    Lisa Orgler, Iowa State University Professor of Horticulture
    This presentation will show how to add that extra spark to your landscape by designing a garden about anything, and more importantly, about you. Warning: Traditional themes like butterfly and moon gardens (although, those are nice) will not be covered. Instead, the idea of theme gardens will be stretched to a new level. Bring your creative spirit and an open mind.

Session 3

  • Enjoy Wild Mushrooms Many Ways
    Dave Layton, Southeast Iowa Mushroom Association
    There are so many ways to enjoy wild mushrooms no matter how much or how little you presently know. There are delicious, easily identifiable species to eat with fun ways to cook, health benefits from some species, amazing stories of fungal interactions with habitat such as trees and gardens, and unlimited opportunities to learn more. This talk should help every wild mushroom enthusiast along their path to enjoyment.

  • Other Pollinators
    Dr. Donald Lewis, Iowa State Professor
    Pollinators are the unsung heroes of the insect world, and as Dr. Lewis asserts, these tiny heroes go beyond the common honey bee. Find out about the “other” pollinators and their value to plants and the other members of the food chain.

  • Ferns and Mosses in the Garden
    Peggy Burrows, Meyer’s Landscape
    Mosses can be a wonderful sensory add-on provided you have the right conditions. Fern varieties have a greater tolerance and even in hot dry weather can have fine leaf texture with proper plant selection. Come view some of our ideas for a new look!

  • Earth Friendly Lawn Care
    Phil Pfister, Linn County Master Gardener
    Can you have a great looking, neighbor pleasing lawn and still be earth-friendly? Join Phil as we explore the various techniques used to maintain an earth-friendly lawn, including organic options and the responsible use of chemicals.

  • Water wise Planting
    Deb Walser, Linn County Master Gardener

    What if we have another hot, hot summer like the summers of 2012 and 2013? Face it, we are gardeners, not planting is just not going to do it. We have to plant. From lawn to trees, this program will give you the information on how, what, and when to water. Included is this program are plants that once established will be drought tolerant. Bring it on Mother Nature!

  • Dividing and Transplanting Perennials: When and How
    Zora Ronan, Linn County Master Gardener
    This class will explore the dividing and transplanting of the major perennials-when, how and why bother!

  • Tasty and Tasteful Landscapes
    Debbie Main, Linn County Master Gardener
    Nibble your way through your weeding chores! By adding edible flowers and plants to your garden, you can enjoy them in more ways than one. Debbie shares her ideas on which edible plants can be successfully integrated into your landscape. With cautionary advice on chemical use, learn tips to keep flower beds looking lively, fresh and free of pests.

Mini Sessions

  • New and Unusual Perennials for 2014
    Maria McCulley, Hilltop Greenhouse, Owner
    Always on the cutting edge with the newest and most interesting plants at her greenhouse, Maria will share what she believes will be the “must have” plants for your 2014 garden.

  • Composting
    Dan Mays, Scott County Master Gardener
    Dan will share his wit and wisdom as he takes participants through the right way to set up a composting system. Not only will he provide information on the steps to effective composting, he will also describe the types of composting bins and containers that are available to the person new to composting.

  • Mulching
    Janet Freeborn, MCC Horticulture Instructor
    Join Janet as she provides the best answers to the most frequently asked questions about mulching.

Session 4

  • Green With Envy
    Deb Walser, Linn County Master Gardener
    Are you coveting your neighbor’s yard? Learn some of the “add-on” techniques to make your yard more appealing. All season design, adding splashes of colors to an old landscape, and other attention grabbing ideas will be discussed with many before and after photos. A collection of fool proof plant selections will be presented. Deb’s class focus will address the needs of a “working” garden rather than a “no or low maintenance” garden.

  • Vining Plants and Going Vertical
    Peggy Burrows, Meyers Landscape
    Dwarf plants have left many gardens without contrast. Vining plants on trellis, fence, or arbors are one way to go vertical, but what about pergolas, screen with arbor top, or even a roof garden built on your arbor! Come see some options for going vertical!!

  • Planning and Planting a Natural Grass Berm
    Dan Mays, Scott County Master Gardener
    What is a berm and how do you achieve that natural, low-maintenance look? Dan will share his own experiences as he walks you through the steps from planning to planting this interesting focal point.

  • "Bad" Insects
    Dr. Donald Lewis, Iowa State Professor
    Dr. Don Lewis is a premiere expert on the world of insects. He will share his knowledge, with wit and humor, about the insects that do harm, how to recognize that they are in your backyard, and what the solutions might be.

  • Perennials by Color Combos
    Madelynn Markezich
    A chromographic study of perennial flowering plants. The color wheel will be used to present color combinations of herbaceous perennials and their best use in the landscape.

  • Kinetic Garden Ornament (Hands On)
    Louise Harn, Linn County Master Gardener
    Let your creativity dance with the breezes in your garden! Join the fun to make your own unique bent wire and bedded garden yard art/ornament. We’ll supply the beads, wire and other materials needed – you bring your playful, creative spirit. Material Fee: $15.00

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