Skip to main content

Ready...Set...Grow... Gardening Workshop | Dixon

white flower with greenery
Event Date(s)
Event Time
Loveland Community Building | Dixon
Event Fee

2023 Ready...Set...Grow...Gardening Workshop, on Saturday, March 18 from 9 AM to 12:30 PM at Loveland Community House in Dixon (513 W. 2nd Street, Dixon).  Join the Master Gardeners of Carroll, Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside counties for this half-day event offering participants information about various aspects of home gardening.  

Keynote Presentation:  Literary Gardens with Author and Teacher Cindy Crosby

The workshop includes:

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Two breakout sessions
  • Master Gardener Q & A Desk
  • Door Prizes

The fee for this program is $25.  The hands-on sessions have an additional fee. 

SESSION ONE – 10:30 AM to 11:20 AM – CHOOSE ONE

Growing Great Grapes
by Grant McCarty, University of Illinois Extension Local Foods Small Farms Educator

Wine vs table? Cordon vs Cane? Growing grapes can be intimidating. Since the plant can live for decades, early decisions will ensure you have greater success for years to come. This presentation will provide you with an introduction of the opportunities that await and the challenge you might face in grape production. Varieties, setup, disease management, and pruning will also be discussed.

Natural Fairy Gardens (Hands-On)
by Nancy Gitmo, Carrol County Master Gardener

A brief history of fairy gardens and the plants suitable for fairy gardens will be discussed. Using only materials found in nature, the rest of the class will be spent making your own fairy garden furniture. An additional fee of $10 includes program materials.

Tree Management: Before and After a Storm
by Emily Swihart, University of Illinois Extension

Trees are wonderful plants to incorporate into our landscape and have in our communities but what happens when midwestern weather events threaten the health and safety of these plants? Snow and ice can weigh heavy on trees resulting in branch failure. Wind events can whip and twist limbs, influencing the structural stability of tree canopies. Periods of drought or flooding may not produce immediate symptoms of stress but may emerge over time. Join University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Emily Swihart as she explores the factors of weather that impact our trees and how to respond in the aftermath of a storm.

Make Mine a Hummingbird Garden
by Peggy Doty, University of Illinois Extension Natural Resources, Environment & Energy Educator 

Putting out a hummingbird feeder may not be enough to attract and keep hummingbirds coming back to your garden. Understanding the true needs and behaviors of these tiny winged gems is important for a proper hummingbird garden. Capture their attention early and you can enjoy hummingbirds all season.

SESSION TWO – 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM – CHOOSE ONE

Contained Compositions (Hands-On) 
by Jim Brown, Woodlawn Landscapes and Design

Participants will make a fresh floral arrangement in assorted dishware containers using unusual flowers. An additional fee of $35 includes program materials.

The Backyard Orchard
by Grant McCarty, University of Illinois Extension Local Foods and Small Farms Educator

Fruit trees can be a great addition to the Northern Illinois garden, yielding wonderful apples, pears, and some stone fruit for many years. Whether your orchard has not been planted or has been well established, this course will help you make the right decisions for your trees with a focus on varieties, day 1 tasks, seasonal pruning, and pest management.

Growing Vegetables Through the Seasons
by Bruce Black, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator

Get the most out of your garden by planning, planting, and maintenance for the 2023 season broken down by Spring, Summer, and Fall. Bruce will discuss some of the new vegetables for 2023 including the 2023 All-America Selections.

Nature Journaling
by Jim Duis, Ruth Edwards Nature Center, Dixon Park District 

Nature Journaling is a method of capturing observations of the natural world on paper. Jim will present techniques for interpreting our perceptions, including form, texture, and lighting.

Loveland Community House is home to the Loveland History Museum which is located on the third floor of the building.  Admission is free.  You are invited to tour the museum at Noon when the conference is over.

For more information about Ready…Set…Grow… and other Master Gardener programs, please call any Extension office in Carroll, Lee, Ogle or Whiteside counties.  If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact your local Extension office.  Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.

Carroll County Extension:  815-244-9444
Lee County Extension:  815-835-2070
Ogle County Extension: 815-732-2191
Whiteside County Extension: 815-632-3611