Small Gardening Presentation at Gridley Public Library

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Small Garden Pizazz in Gridley

University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners start their educational series in Gridley at 2 p.m. on April 23 at the Gridley Public Library with Amy Davis presenting on "Small Garden Pizazz." This program is free to all and no registration is required.

McLean County Master Gardener, Amy Davis is known in the group for her beautiful yet small home landscape. She considers it an extension of her home and creates an enchanting garden in a space of 40 by 32 square feet in her backyard. Amy says "most people's backyards are considered a small garden. They lack the ability to plant large trees, have winding pathways and garden rooms." She says "small garden spaces can be easily cluttered creating an aesthetically unpleasing Hodge podge of plants and art."

Using photographs from fellow gardeners, as well as her own Amy has incorporates seven small garden principles in her garden making it seem not so small after all and a charming oasis for her to enjoy while viewing it from a window or in the outdoor seating area.

Here are just a few small gardening design tips that Amy will share with her audience at the Gridley Library.

  1. Limit your color pallet to just three to five dominating colors. Amy's garden boasts red, pink, white and blue with accents of silver.
  1. Create vertical elements out of plant material. Amy suggests using clematis, Mandeville, black eyed susan vine and tropical passion flower. The vertical use of plants compliments the three dimensional look of the garden, doubling the impact of the space.
  1. She loves using arbors to make smaller rooms within the landscape. She does this to divide the garden into defined spaces and says it actually makes the entire garden look bigger.

Amy will discuss a seven principled landscape design during her presentation including: enclosures, color, layering and textures, vertical elements, garden art, vignettes and perspective. Whether you have a blank slate or looking to revamp your existing landscape, this program is a must to start the process off correctly.

Please look forward to upcoming hands-on program on growing and cooking herbs from the garden hosted at Gridley Garden on June 14 and volunteer workdays hosted by Master Gardeners (Rose Yahnig and Diana McGuckin). Volunteer workdays entitled See What's Blooming in the Garden are an open invitation to community on the first Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 7:30 starting May 3. Please stop by 405 West Seventh Street in Gridleyto celebrate the garden season with Master Gardeners.

For more information on this Master Gardener Program, please contact Kelly Allsup, Extension unit educator, Horticulture – Livingston, McLean and Woodford Unit at (309) 663-8306, or by email at If you need a reasonable accommodation to attend this program, please contact our office.