A hands-on class in making a miniature garden to take home, a discussion of great roses and tips for photographing nature are three of the offerings you'll find at the 20th annual "Nursery School: Lessons in Gardening."
The event will be Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Gerber Center at Augustana College, Rock Island, presented by the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners Unit 7.
Augustana is a new location this year; participants are asked to park in the Centennial Hall lot at 3703 7th Ave. where there will be a shuttle bus to take them to the seminar location. Times of the shuttle are 8-9:30 a.m. and 3-4:30 p.m.
In addition to class topics, there will be a vendor area with items geared toward gardeners such as yard art, tools, books and plants.
Coffee and a breakfast snack will be provided in the morning, and lunch will be a buffet in the Augustana dining hall.
Here are the 16 classes; participants may choose one from each of four sessions.
Session 1- 9-9:50 a.m.
• Great roses suited to the Quad-City region hardiness zone. Sue Ruxton, University of Illinois Extension Rock Island County Master Gardener, covers heirlooms, hybrid teas, "Knockouts," English roses and Buck roses.
• Shade garden options beyond hostas. Martha Smith, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.
• New breeding in the plant industry. Maria McCalley, owner of Hilltop Greenhouses, Illinois City, talks about what plant breeders are working on and new varieties of plants.
• Reinventing the outdoor space. Brad Snider, Evergreen Landscaping/Corn Crib Nursery, Coal Valley, discusses plants and outdoor décor for outdoor rooms.
Session 2, 10-10:50 a.m.
• Advantage plants. Bud LeFevre, of Distinctive Gardens, Dixon Illinois, discusses special plants for the landscape or containers.
• Naughty, nasty and simply annoying plants, Rhonda Ferree, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, offers pointers for dealing with irritating plants, such as poison ivy, nettles and snakeroot.
• The importance and care of urban trees. Debbie Fluegel, of Trees Forever, covers the importance of trees and pests to be aware of.
• Making a jewelry donut pendant, a make-and-take class. Vickie Reschke, Wisconsin Master Gardener. $15 materials cost.
Lunch and keynote.
Lunch A will be 11 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., and lunch B will be 12:30-1:30 p.m. Those not at lunch will attend the keynote address by Galen Gates, talking about year-round gardening. (See story on cover of today's section).
Session 4, 1:40-2:30 p.m.
• Tea gardens. Rhonda Ferree, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, discusses the tradition of making and taking tea in the garden, covering garden design components and plants used to make tea.
• Titanic terrariums. Jim Brown, of Woodlawn Landscapes and Design, Dixon, Illinois, covers terrarium plants, types, unusual containers and décor and provides a demonstration.
• Maintenance, please! Alec Schorg, of Aunt Rhodies Landscape and Design, Davenport, helps you create a customized landscape maintenance calendar using technology and elements of climate and weather.
• Creating a miniature garden, a make-and-take class taught by Kathryn Newman, owner of the Miniature Garden Shoppe. Please bring a container no bigger than 15 inches in any direction. A $15 materials fee includes potting soil, three plants, and two accessories. Additional plants and accessories will be available for purchase.
Session 5, 2:40-3:30 p.m.
• The art of fermentation. Kristin Bogdonas, University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator, discusses this method of food preservation that includes such words as "probiotic properties." She'll discuss fermenting foods and drinks. You'll go home with recipes, resources and the knowledge to get started.
• Capturing the beauty of your place. Brian Tugana, a photographer from Clinton, covers tips and techniques for photographing garden landscapes, flowers, wildlife, insects, patterns and skies.
• Heirloom plants of the 1800s. Faye Waterman, a Scott County Master Gardener, discusses the recreation of a garden on the historic 1833 Colonel George Davenport House site on Arsenal Island.
• Making sense of landscape design. Dan Mays, Scott County Master Gardener, discusses concepts the average homeowner can understand, blunders that can be avoided and high-impact techniques that require minimal effort.