David Burton
Civic Communications Specialist
2400 S. Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807
417-881-8909
FAX 417-881-8058
burtond@missouri.edu

August 1, 2013


Greene County Master Gardeners Hosting
State Conference Sept. 20-22, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It's a Garden Party! And Master Gardeners are invited to expand their knowledge, tour the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and Gardens and private area gardens, and experience the newest gardening equipment, resources and workshops during the 18th annual Master Gardener State Conference, Sept. 20-22, 2013 in Springfield, Mo.

The annual conference will be hosted by Master Gardeners of Greene County. Keynote speaker for the Saturday night banquet will be Dr. F. Todd Lasseigne, president and CEO at Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden near Tulsa, Okla. A Louisiana native, Lasseigne is a horticulturalist who has helped design two other botanical gardens and a plant enthusiast who has visited more than 350 gardens in five countries. He holds three degrees in horticulture, including a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.

"I visited North Carolina's JC Raulston Arboretum two years ago with other Greene County Master Gardeners," said Barbara St.Clair, chair of the 2013 State Conference Committee. We thoroughly enjoyed Todd Lasseigne's presentation. He's knowledgeable, fast-paced, and very funny. We thought he would be a perfect speaker for our program, given the fact that the Springfield Botanical Center is also new and heavily supported by volunteers. His insight should be very pertinent."

A variety of advanced training classes will be offered as a benefit to Master Gardeners on Sept. 20 and 21. The hands-on classes will be three hours in length; the majority of the classes cost $5 each, with two classes at $10 each. Topics will range from Collecting, Cleaning, and Storing Native Wildflower Seeds to Paper Making from Plant Fibers. An additional option is a trip to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. The cost is $20.

The public is invited to attend Potting Shed University classes on the morning of Sept. 22. Four tracks consisting of seven diverse topics per track will be offered. The offerings range from Miniature Gardening and Designing with Dwarf Conifers to How to Build a Master Gardener- Driven Hotline and Gardening with Chickens in Your Backyard. A Leadership Breakfast Roundtable will be held.

Twenty-two beautiful gardens will be on display during the garden tours in Springfield and the surrounding area on Sept. 21. Master Gardeners may choose from two full-day and two half-day tours. Each tour will be limited to 100 people, and lunch will be included.

The newly-expanded Ramada Oasis Hotel & Convention Center in Springfield will be the conference hotel and site of the Sept. 21 banquet, Sept. 22 luncheon, Potting Shed University, advanced training, and exhibitors. The Ramada Oasis Hotel & Convention Center is located at 2546 North Glenstone. The Friday evening social event will be hosted at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic.

Early bird registration, open to Master Gardeners and their spouses/partners, is $160 for the full conference. Early bird registration ends Sept. 2. Regular registration for the full conference is $180. Participants may register online or by mail. Master Gardeners who cannot attend the entire conference can register a la carte.

Registration details and lodging information are available at http://www.missourimastergardener.org . Questions can be emailed to registration@missourimastergardener.org. Additional information is also available by calling (417) 881-8909, ext. 320. Registration will open to the public on Sept. 3.

Cindy Arrowood, a Master Gardener from Springfield, Mo. who has more than 150 daylilies in her yard, has attended 10 state conventions. "Every year I look forward to becoming acquainted with Master Gardeners from other areas of the state during the conference," said Arrowood. "Another highlight for me is seeing other people's gardens because there is always something I want to try."

Founded in 1984, Master Gardeners of Greene County has approximately 300 members. Members of the Master Gardener organization provide horticultural information and training to home gardeners, based on proven research specific to area climate, soil, and plants. Master Gardeners of Greene County's three core projects are the Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens, Master Gardener Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, and Master Gardener Hotline, which answers over 2,000 home garden questions a year.

The Missouri Master Gardener Extension Program began in St. Louis in 1983 and is designed to assist the University of Missouri and Lincoln University with a mission of bringing horticultural information to the public. The Master Gardener Program throughout Missouri promotes and raises public awareness of the University of Missouri Extension as a source of unbiased, research based gardening information.


Source: Barbara St. Clair, stclair53@gmail.com

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