Art of Gardening

Master Gardeners Iowa Extension and OutreachOffered through EICC's Office of Continuing Education, Art of Gardening is one of our most popular seminars. Hundreds of gardeners and plant enthusiasts flock to the college each year for the event. Its mission is "to educate and inspire others to seek enjoyment and fulfillment through a variety of home gardening-related topics and activities." No matter if you're a seasoned gardener or just starting your journey, we invite individuals of all skill levels to participate.

Immerse yourself in a variety of engaging topics and activities centered around gardening. Learn from Master Gardeners as they share their knowledge and insights, providing valuable tips and techniques to enhance your gardening skills. From cultivating vibrant flowers to growing your own delicious produce, explore the artistry of gardening and unlock your green thumb potential.

March 8, 2024
Registration Deadline

How to Register
This year’s seminar will be held:

 Saturday, March 16, 2024
8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Muscatine Community College

Cost: $50, includes lunch from Guy and a Grill; a vegetarian option will be available. Note that some sessions have additional workshop costs. 

Keynote Speaker Anne Ventullo 

Wellness in the Garden and Beyond: How Nature Helps Us Heal

 Our modern, technology-enhanced pace often has us feeling disconnected from our natural world. Join us in reconnecting with the earth’s presence and attuning to our inherent belonging. Walk through practices meant to ground you firmly within this ecosystem and leave knowing you can continue to turn towards these traditions in your daily life.


  • Registration: 8 - 8:30 a.m. 
  • Session 1: 8:30 - 9:20 a.m. 
  • Session 2: 9:30 - 10:20 a.m. 
  • Vendor and Coffee Break: 10: 25 - 10:55 a.m. 
  • Session 3: 11 - 11:50 a.m.
  • Lunch and Keynote Speaker: 12 - 1:30 p.m. 
  • Session 4: 1:40 - 2:30 p.m. 
  • Session 5: 2:40 - 3:30 p.m. 

Session Opportunities

  • Feed the Birds
    Deb Walser
    This presentation highlights the most common birds that summer and winter in Iowa. We will look at the many types of feed we can put out for the birds. We can plant trees and shrubs that will provide cover and food all winter long. Come see beautiful pictures and take away lots of birding tips.
  • Daring to Dabble - An Introduction to Daylily Hybridizing
    Heather Harroun
    Learn the nuts and bolts of creating new daylilies and see exciting new trends in daylilies.
  • Weaving Plant Collections Into Your Garden
    Wanda Lunn
    Organize your garden for all-season beauty! Learn easy ways to mix height, color, and blooming time of your favorite garden perennials.
  • Buddies in the Garden - Exploring Companion Planting and Controlling Pests Safely
    Mary Danner
    “Should I plant tomatoes next to my potatoes?” Find out which vegetable plants thrive when their ‘friends’ are nearby. Plus, handy tips to keep pests at bay.
  • Rain Gardens
    Ray Wolfe
    Scott County Master Gardener Ray Wolf will share his experience and expertise, showing how rain gardens function to improve water quality and also serve to attract pollinators and butterflies.
  • Beneficial Insects and Invasive Insects
    Paul Mayes
    We will discuss native insects found in your garden and flower patch and how to keep them healthy.

  • Benefits of Native Landscaping
    John Koch
    Bees are dying worldwide and lack of food sources is one major issue in this serious decline. There are ways, big and small, we can help them, along with other vital pollinators, in our immediate environments.
  • Small Space and Big Appetite - Growing Food in Containers
    Brandy Olson
    Whether you have a small balcony, a tiny patio, or just a sunny windowsill, this session will teach you the essential skills and knowledge to create a thriving edible garden in containers. From making your grocery dollars stretch to trying new foods, you can make it happen in a small space. This session will teach you options for growing nutritious vegetables, greens, and other edible plants when space and resources are tight.
  • Historic Japanese Garden at the Muscatine Art Center
    Todd Wiebanga
    Experience a journey back in time by listening to a presentation about the recently completed rehabilitation of a nearly 100-year-old Japanese Garden on the grounds of the Muscatine Art Center. Todd and Melanie will relate their experience of three years of historical research, detailed landscape design, and skilled craftsmanship to rebuild the garden as close to what it was in the 1930s as possible. Gain insight into what it took to return the historic character-defining features to the garden through a process that involved the State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa and the National Park Service.
  • The Birthplace of Hostaholics
    Jay McWherter
    The Hosta Garden! History, size, colors, sun/shade requirements, soils, division and seed reproduction, moisture and fertilizer needs, compost and mulch, pests and diseases, and viruses. Many home garden photos with before and after garden shots.
  • Vertical Trellis Gardening - Growing Upward to Increase Productivity, Minimize Diseases, and Save Your Back
    Lynn Pruitt
    Come learn about vertical trellis gardening: a gardening method where plants, typically vining or climbing crops, are trained to grow upward on a trellis system (of various types). Co-presented with Paul and Bonnie Reeb.
  • Unlocking Soil Potential with Management and Amendment
    Virgil Schmitt
    Explore appropriate soil amendments and soil management practices that will improve soil productivity.

  • Insects - Foe and Friend
    Ray Wolfe
    Scott County Master Gardener Ray Wolf will review insects common to our homes and gardens and discuss integrated pest management as an approach to managing them and limiting our use of and exposure to chemicals.
  • Containers- Beyond Thrillers, Spillers, and Fillers
    CIindy Fagan
    Learn how to elevate your container arrangements in dramatic ways!
  • Growing Produce at Home the Hydroponic Way
    Phil Pfister
    Are you interested in hydroponics, but not sure where to start? In this session, Master Gardener Phil Pfister will describe how to set up and operate a hydroponics system, and the process and techniques for growing in a soilless nutrient-based water solution. There will also be system examples, including do-it-yourself and purchased systems to get started.
  • New and Interesting Perennials
    Deb Walser
    Add the spice of life to your gardens. Perennial gardens do not have to be just daylily and hosta. We will talk about mixing it up and adding annuals for constant color in the same bed. Master Gardener Deb Walser will introduce you to some of the newest and coolest perennials. You will be surprised by some of the same but in a new way. Get new ideas for this spring and add some spunk to your garden.
  • Designing a Night Garden for Relaxation
    Samantha Naranjo
    Therapy and gardening go hand in hand. Join us to learn which plants would be best for your relaxing night garden. We will share tips and ideas on how to maximize your backyard into an oasis.
  • Climbing Color - Clematis in Your Garden
    Wanda Lunn
    Clematis can add height and glorious color to your garden using very little space! Easy to grow with a rainbow of blooms. Plant them on a trellis, fence, or wall for all summer color.

  • Digging Deeper - Understanding Soil
    Alexa Marcus
    In this workshop, we delve into the world of soil variations. Learn how to harness the unique qualities of sandy and loamy soils, understand pH differences, and tailor your watering techniques for optimal plant growth.
  • SESSION FULL - Air Plant Design
    Samantha Naranjo
    Join us for an air plant design class! Air Plants, or tillandsia, are part of the bromeliad plant family and don’t require soil to grow and thrive. During this class, you’ll learn about air plants and how to care for them. Plus, you’ll be able to create your design using different types of wood and air plants.
  • Re-rooting Towards Our Natural World
    Ann Ventullo
    We will explore how time in nature, and specifically gardening, can help us heal. We will focus on the biological, psychological, and social impacts time in the great outdoors offers us.
  • Alternatives to Hosta for Shade
    Jay McWherter
    Jay McWherter will show you the use of annuals, perennials, and tropical that you can use successfully in the shade garden.
  • SESSION FULL - Hands-On: Tree Grafting
    Shane Mariet
    In this hands-on workshop participants will be shown tree grafting techniques. Participants will practice the techniques and end the class with a grafted apple tree to take home.
  • 304 Iowa Avenue… Green and Living!
    Dane Lovell
    Learn about a building that is growing… with walls covered with plants and patio garden space to enjoy. Renovated from the former Musser Public Library to the first fully certified Living Building in Iowa ... the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. You will want to take a tour and work there when you complete this session! Google it!

  • SESSION FULL - Hands-On: Worm Composting
    Lana Artz McComb
    Worm composting, or vermicomposting, is a fascinating and fun way to reduce the amount of food waste that a household sends to the landfill while also creating rich organic soil for gardening. This presentation will provide an introduction to worm composting, including how to easily set up your in-home worm bin. An active worm composting set-up will be present for further exploration. You will leave this presentation with your worm bin and composting worms.
  • SESSION FULL - Hands-On: Miniponics
    Phil Pfister
    Would you like to grow lettuce, spinach, and herbs all year long? Are you interested in hydroponics, but not sure where to start? In this hands-on workshop, you will learn the techniques for growing in a soilless nutrientbased water solution, as well as building your mini-hydroponics system that will fit in a 2’x2’ area.
  • Body, Mind, and Soil!
    Jane Haltmeyer
    A holistic approach to wellness through gardening. Why gardening helps, ways to integrate garden and your health, and the intrinsic link between mental health and the garden.
  • Beginner Bonsai - Pruning and Patience
    Brandy Olsen
    Learn the history of the art of bonsai, get started in the hobby, choose your first plants/trees, and discover low-cost ways for beginners to create a future Zen masterpiece. Brandy will present an approachable introduction to bonsai that is less concerned with the formality of traditional bonsai and more focused on encouraging experimentation and exploration.
  • Organics Recycling for Beneficial Reuse
    John Koch
    The Muscatine Organics Recycling Center is not the only way to recycle food scraps. There are many benefits to not throwing food scraps into the trash and many ways to reuse what we think of as trash.
  • Public Gardens of Iowa
    Cindy Fagan
    This presentation will highlight the many must-see gardens in our state. It will offer logistics about visiting the garden, points of interest, and many photos of garden delights.


Download and complete the printable registration form and return to:

Continuing Education Department
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges 
101 W. Third St.
Davenport, IA 52801 

Call 563-288-6161 or 563-441-4100 to register by phone. Please have your session choices selected to complete registration.

Payment Options

Send in check with mail in registration.

Make checks payable to: 
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges 

Call 563-288-6161 or 563-441-4100 to pay by card.

Registration is not complete without payment. 


We're here to help, call us at 563-288-6161 or 1-800-351-4669 with any questions about the event.