McHenry County Gardenfest Brings Spring on April 9


(WOODSTOCK, Ill. – ) Cure cabin fever and earn your green thumb at the annual McHenry County Gardenfest. Come learn about new garden trends, plants, and techniques at this day-long series of garden-related seminars and workshops.

            Gardenfest 2022 will be held April 9 at McHenry County College (MCC), 8900 U.S. Route 14, in Crystal Lake, Ill., from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gardenfest is an annual educational event co-sponsored by MCC and the University of Illinois Extension McHenry County Master Gardeners. Gardenfest will feature a morning keynote speaker, 14 breakout sessions within three sessions presented by industry experts, U of I Extension educators, Extension Master Gardeners and MCC instructors, and an afternoon keynote speaker. Exhibitors will also be onsite selling garden-related wares.

            The morning keynote address will be “The Gardener as Artist,” by Nina Koziol. Koziol is a garden writer and horticulturist. She wrote garden articles for the Chicago Tribune for 22 years as well as for Chicagoland Gardening, Old-House Journal, Organic Gardening and The American Gardener. Koziol also writes for Illinois Landscape Contractor’s Association’s The Landscape Contractor,, and for The Chicago Botanic Garden's website and Keep Growing magazine. She has taught horticulture, design and residential landscape design history at the Chicago Botanic Garden and The Morton Arboretum since 1997.

            The 14 Gardenfest session topics will include: “Improving Your Garden Soil” and “Pests and Disease in the Garden” both by Rich Tobiasz; “Container Gardens” by Michael Fedoran; “You Can Grow It from Seed” by Christine Nye; “Unexpected Edibles” by Heather Moister; “Native Landscaping for Winter Beauty” by Sarah Michehl; and “Weed Management in Vegetable Gardens” by Sarah Farley. Attendees will choose to attend three of the 14 available topics within three sessions in a classroom setting.

            The afternoon keynote address will be “Botanical Humor: You Never Knew Plants Were So Funny,” by Chris Benda. Benda is a botanist and past president of the Illinois Native Plant Society (2015-2016). Currently, he works as a researcher at Southern Illinois University, where he coordinates the Plants of Concern Southern Illinois Program and teaches The Flora of Southern Illinois. Besides working at SIU, he conducts botanical fieldwork around the world, teaches a variety of classes at The Morton Arboretum and leads nature tours for Camp Ondessonk.

Registration for Gardenfest 2022 is available online at The cost is $45, payable via credit card online. The registration deadline is March 25, 2022. No refunds for any reason.

            For more information, email Brenda Dahlfors at 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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