Upcoming Garden Events

It's hard to believe that the first month of 2017 is nearly over. It means that the days are getting longer and that before we know it the 2017 gardening season will be here. Last time I wrote about gardening being fluid and always changing. Part of being able to adjust to the changing garden, to grow as gardeners, to excite our passion is to learn.

Each year come late winter into early spring there are numerous garden day events across the state. These events hosted by Extension offices and Master Gardeners, are coordinated to provide new and engaging information and an opportunity to network with other gardener's. In our area of the state we have a number of these events, planning beginning not long after the previous one has come to a conclusion.

In my unit, our annual event, Gardener's Palette, is going into its 22nd year and is scheduled for March 11, 2017 from 9 am – 2:50 pm at John Wood Community College in Quincy, IL. When we plan this event, we always try to make sure to have a wide range of class options for gardeners of all levels of experience and interest areas. This year we included sessions on edible flowers, bats in urban environments, perennials, vegetable gardening in containers, insect hotels, and sustainable landscaping just to name a few.

Registration for Gardener's Palette is open and you can register by visiting our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/abhps/

In my colleague Chris Enroth's unit, Macomb Garden Day is scheduled for April 1, 2017 at the Spoon River College Outreach Center in Macomb, IL. I'll be there with bells on and teaching Introduction to Pruning.

The registration for Macomb's Garden Day goes live on February 2, 2017 and you'll be able to get more information by visiting http://web.extension.illinois.edu/hkmw/

Even though I teach at these events, I get to meet gardeners and answer their questions and every time I walk away with a new idea for my own garden or even a new program. These events are inspiring to see the level of enthusiasm and energy and the chance to share our gardening passion with one another.

If you're curious about other garden day events outside Quincy and Macomb you can check your local extension website or call and ask. Either way, take advantage of the pre-gardening days to learn and become inspired. Visit your local library and check out a book on gardening, visit the University of Illinois Extension website horticulture pages, peruse gardening catalogs, write down notes and ideas, or go back over previous years garden photos. Now is the greatest time to be inspired even before the trees leaf out and tulips start blooming.