Log on to the McHenry County Virtual Gardenfest on April 10

(WOODSTOCK, Ill. – ) Earn your green thumb in pajamas at the 2021 virtual McHenry County Gardenfest, on April 10 from 9 a.m. to noon via Zoom. You will learn about new garden trends, plants, and techniques at this half-day-long series of garden-related seminars. This virtual seminar costs $20.

            Gardenfest has been hosted by the University of Illinois Extension McHenry County Master Gardeners in person for more than 20 years, and this year it will be conducted virtually.  A keynote speaker kicks off the seminar at 9 a.m., followed by six breakout sessions presented by industry experts, U of I Extension educators, and Extension Master Gardeners.

            “We are excited to bring Gardenfest to a virtual platform this year,” said Suzanne Morrissey, Extension Master Gardener volunteer and co-chairman of the Gardenfest committee. “Attendees will have the opportunity to watch the keynote speaker plus two classes as live online sessions, but then attendees will have access to the recordings of all six sessions for a limited time.”

“It’s a great opportunity to learn about and explore many gardening subjects,” added EMG volunteer and Gardenfest co-chairman Joan Jensema.

            The morning keynote speaker will be Diane Blazek, executive director of the National Garden Bureau and All-America Selections, based in Downers Grove, Ill. Diane will present “Inspiring Plant Varieties for Your Future Garden,” which will touch on NGB’s “Year Of” program, as well as some of the innovative breeding that NGB members are working on. She will also have fun facts about gardens past, present, and future.

            The six 2021 Gardenfest topics will be: “Hydroponics at McHenry County College” by Rich Tobiasz; “Long-Blooming Perennials” by Kim Hartmann; “Growing Your Own Bouquets” by Liz Cardella; “Native Plants: Beauty and Benefits” by Carol Rice and Kris Hall; “Landscaping for Birds” by Lisa Maier; and “Community Composting,” by Sarah Farley and Amy DeLorenzo. Attendees will choose to watch two of these six classes live online; then, after the seminars have ended, attendees will have access to recordings of all six sessions for a limited time.

            Registrants will receive instructions for using Zoom after they register; the active Zoom link will be emailed on the day before, April 9.

            Registration for Gardenfest 2021 is available online at https://extension.illinois.edu/events/2021-04-10-virtual-2021-gardenfest . Registration is currently open, and the cost is $20, payable via credit card. Space is limited to 150, so register early. The registration deadline is April 4, or until the capacity of 150 is reached. No refunds for any reason.

Several local vendors, who have supported U of I Extension Master Gardeners in the past, will also offer their wares and services through websites and online contact information, found at https://extension.illinois.edu/sites/default/files/garden_fest_2021_vendors.pdf .


            For more information, email Brenda Dahlfors at dahlfors@illinois.edu or call the U of I Extension McHenry County office at 815-338-3737.



SOURCE:  Brenda Dahlfors, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Program Coordinator in McHenry County


WRITER: Michelle Walsh, Office Support Associate, University of Illinois Extension in McHenry County


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