Master Gardener Spring Garden Event
The UC Lake County Master Gardeners held their first annual Spring Garden Event on May 6, 2012, at the Lake County Agricultural Center. More than 100 people attended the festive occasion, which featured garden-related talks and hands-on presentations, and offered plants grown by Master Gardeners, along with a selection of gently-used garden items. Approximately $1,300 was raised through donations for the plants and garden items. The funds will be used to support new and existing Master Gardener Program educational activities in Lake County.
Free mini-G.R.O.W. (Growing Resources on Wheels) demonstrations on various gardening topics were presented throughout the day. Virginia Leber, Bradley Taylor and Janet Berrian explained the critical role of soil preparation, including how to amend typically less than ideal Lake County soils. Cornelia Sieber-Davis, Heather Peterson and Richard Colbert demonstrated how to get seeds off to a good start, followed by April Lynch, Shannon Harris and Judy Undercoffler who took it to the next step at their transplanting demo table. Sid Roberts, Susan King and Suzanne Lee introduced the often daunting topic of drip irrigation.
There were also five indoor garden-related talks with full Q&A sessions. Tanja Stridieck, owner of Star Gardens Nursery in Middletown, presented a slide show presentation on Native Plants for Landscaping, which lead seamlessly into Master Gardener Lorna O’Kelly’s talk about Drought Tolerant Planting. Master Gardener Virginia Leber gave a presentation on the still-underestimated importance of Fire Safe Landscaping. Local specialty crop grower Sky Hoyt spoke about the challenges of Vegetable Gardening in Lake County and Master Gardener Gabriele O’Neill addressed how to deal with typical Lake County insect and disease control problems.
Judy Cortesi and her team Sherrye Schwarz, Diane Kaufman and Michael Curreri garnered many compliments on the robust seedlings the Master Gardeners had raised for the occasion. Many visitors seemed to be interested in vegetable seedlings, but the ornamentals found their fans too.
Cheryl Dabney, assisted by Julie Nodine, headed the “gently used gardening items” table, which was a great hit. Barbara Starke and Bert Agustinovich gave tours of the Serpentine and “Mound” Demonstration Gardens, while Dennis Hall, Charlene Daniel, Pat Denning, and Bill Perkins staffed the Help Desk / Plant Clinic. Terry Dereniuk, Marva Brandt and Wendy Krieger were our charming greeters; Hans Dobusch announced presentations and gathered survey data. Jane Jacobs and Richard Nodine served as cashiers; Pete Germenis assisted customers, and Paul Lynch and Richard Willard were in charge of security.
Lake County 4-H, headed by Nanette Christensen, entertained the kids with sock chia plantings and kept everybody’s blood sugar up with popcorn.
Amidst it all, Event Chair and “floater” Barbara Haddon made sure that everything was going according to plan, helping out wherever the need arose. Thank you, Barbara, for all the work that went into planning this event!
Special thanks also goes to Janet Berrian for live music, Jim Aldrich and Bill Haddon for taking great pictures, Craig Weatherbee for doing an awesome job preparing the event area, Stephanie Rick for publicity, Shirley Morse and Nicole Gentry for helping with countless preparations in the weeks preceding the event, Rachel Elkins, Master Gardener Advisor, for her sage advice at the right moment, and all the remaining Master Gardeners not specifically mentioned, who contributed in their own special ways to make this event a success!
We look forward to the 2nd Annual Spring Garden Event in 2013!