2017 Grand Rapids Smart Gardening Conference

Date: March 4, 2017
Time: 8:45 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Contact: Diane Brady, bradydi1@anr.msu.edu, 616-632-7865 ext 1

8:45 a.m.
Diane Brady and Rebecca Finneran, Michigan State University Extension

Myth Busting! Real-life Solutions to Old Garden Remedies and Apocalyptic Problems 
Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, Washington State University , Associate professor of Horticulture, a.k.a. The Garden Professor
No matter how much scientific evidence to the contrary, there are certain “garden miracles” that just won’t go away. Do they seem farfetched or unsubstantiated?  Join nationally known Horticulturist and “Garden Professor” Linda Chalker-Scott, associate professor of horticulture at Washington State University for a look at some of those infamous products and practices and what her university research has debunked.  Smart Gardeners will learn evidence-based and environmentally-friendly practical solutions to use at home. 

 “Building a Better Bee Hotel” Basics for inviting bees to live in your garden.  
Abiya Saeed, Michigan State University Extension, Program Instructor, Entomologist
Like others across America, Michigan gardeners have joined the effort to lend bees a helping hand! If you have been following the Smart Gardening for Pollinators messages, you know that being sensitive to bees in the garden and planting the right plants is key to their success.  If you want them to move in-you just have to give them a place to live!  Join effervescent presenter Abi Saeed in a look at how easy it is to invite pollinators to your back yard!

Smart Shrubs with Dazzling Effects on your Landscape
Stacey Hirvela, Horticulturist, Spring Meadow Nursery, West Olive, MI
Shrubs are the backbone of garden design.  Their thrifty nature and dazzling seasonal attributes make them Smart Plants for your perennial borders, foundational landscape and the infamous “hell strips.”  Stacey Hirvela, horticulturist at Michigan’s largest propagation nursery, will help you learn how to utilize these tough, rugged beauties to spice up the garden border while giving it four-season appeal. 

Smart Landscaping-Easier on your Back, your Wallet and the Environment!
Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, Washington State University, Associate professor of Horticulture, a.k.a. The Garden Professor
Centric to the Smart Gardening mission is using sustainable garden management practices to encourage healthy soils and choosing pest control solutions in harmony with the environment.  Becoming a “sustainable” gardener may begin with taking a soil test but it involves so much more!   Linda Chalker-Scott will explore why so many ornamental landscapes fail.  Exploring roots, soil, soil amendments and what happens to the plants below ground will help you start to unravel the truth about planting trees and shrubs. 

 “Top 10 Gardening Blunders—and How to Avoid Them!”
Don Engebretson, Nationally Known Garden Writer, Author and Television personality  
Sure, gardening is fun, soothing, enriching and all of that, but don’t immediately believe it’s going to be easy or fool proof.   The fact is, gardening is a lifelong learning process that involves knowledge, guesswork, serendipity, and experimentation!  Down the road, every gardener is sure to discover that startling success sometimes goes hand-in-hand with staggering failure.

Minnesotan, Don Engebretson, a.k.a. The Renegade Gardener, wants to help you limit the “staggering failure” part of the equation.  Don’s humorous approach to gardening will have everyone smiling and even rolling in the aisles.   Blunders are centric to Don’s message as he has made many—at least twice—during his 20+ years as a gardener!  With a passion for design, everyone will be inspired to create a functional, beautiful landscape at home!                

4 p.m. 

Cost:   Early Bird Registration by Feb. 15, 2016 - $59
            Late Registration - $69

Enrollment deadline is Friday, Feb. 26, 2017 or until full
Registration at the door is not available.

  •     Payment by Credit Card: Recommended at this secure MSU payment site to expedite         your seat reservation.  
  •     Payment by check: Please allow 10 business days for check processing.  
  •     Your seat is not reserved until your balance is paid in full.
  •     You will receive a confirmation email once you have registered and your balance is paid in full.
  •     Your registration name badge, which will provide you admittance to the 2017 West     Michigan Home and Garden Show, will be mailed to you prior to the conference.

Cancellation Policy: Sorry, no refunds, but attendance substitutions are acceptable.

This event will not be cancelled unless the facility closes.



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