Coneflowers are a popular plants for pollinator gardens -- one of the many gardening topics that will be explored during Spring Gardening School. BRENDAN J. O'REILLY
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Spring Gardening School is coming to the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank on Saturday, April 29, offering a full day of gardening workshops for gardeners of all stripes.
Master Gardeners and other experts will lead the lessons on a variety of topics, from the best gardening apps to use to rain gardens.
Master Gardener Arleen Spence will lead a morning-long workshop on creating fresh flower arrangements. Bonsai grower and Master Gardener Giacomo Mule will teach a lesson on the art of bonsai and provide each registrant a bonsai juniper plant and container. Anthony Marinello of Dropseed Native Landscapes will present on native garden design for attracting pollinators with perennials, shrubs and small trees.
Hourlong morning workshop offerings will include a container gardens session sharing the “fill, thrill and spill” method for a bountiful display. Master Gardener Doreen Monteleone, who launched the Long Island Fig Network, will explain how to grow figs and how to take fig tree cuttings for propagation. Master Gardener Pauline Kehrli will explain four ways to compost at home and community gardens year-round to capture organic waste and turn it into “garden gold.” Master Gardener Deb Kimmelman, a science teacher who trained with local beekeepers, will present tips for a successful backyard honeybee hive.
The second half of the morning will include Audubon member and Master Gardener Ellen Birenbaum sharing how to create a bird sanctuary by providing the native plants they prefer. Master Gardener Patty Collins will offer tips for annual, perennial and vegetable seed starting and soil blocking and will share her recipe for seed starting medium. Master gardener Lin Schlyer will present on savory Asian herbs and vegetables. Master Gardener Kevin Shea will demonstrate how to improve the quality of garden soil, and Master Gardener Wendy Morrin will explain techniques for pruning roses and hydrangeas.
Long workshops in the afternoon will include plein air painting with Master Gardener LouAnne Roth, low-maintenance rain gardens with former Cornell Cooperative Extension horticulture specialist Robin Simmen, floral design with Master Gardener Joy Flynn, and food preservation with Master Gardeners Wendy Morrin and Sharna Nicholson.
Short afternoon sessions feature Master Gardener Versha Gupta on pollinator gardens, Master Gardener Greg Lowenthal of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative on efforts to gather, grow and distribute Long Island natives, Master Gardener Joan Verardo on home-grown strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, and Master Gardener Doreen Monteleone on growing culinary herbs in gardens and planters. There will also be an opportunity to learn about what it takes to become a Master Gardener and a sessions on organic vegetable gardening with Master Gardener Pauline Kehrli, pots for pollinator plants with Master Gardener Alicia Whitaker and growing microgreens with Master Gardener Nancy DePas Reinertsen.
Attendees can also bring a soil sample for testing for $5. Call 631-727-4126 for instructions on how to take a sample. There will also be a plant sale that runs the duration of the event with annuals, native plants, perennials, herbs and shrubs from local growers.
Visit ccesuffolk.org/events for more information.
One fine body…