Get expert gardening tips before gardening season begins

Updated March 24, 2016
  • By Pamela Corle-Bennett
  • Contributing Writer
Caryopteris is a great plant to attract pollinators to the garden. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Join me on Saturday, April 2, in Springfield for the Master Gardeners of Clark County annual Garden Fling.

The event features a full day of educational programming as well as a variety of garden vendors, a raffle and lunch. The vendors always bring plants so you can get an early jump on your gardening.

Educational programs begin at 9 a.m. The first break-out sessions include “Designing Your Perennial Garden” by MGV George Simon. He will cover the basics of what it requires to design a pleasing perennial garden.

Another session during this hour is the “Ask an Expert Panel.” This gives you the opportunity to bring your most burning gardening questions to this panel of master gardeners.

The final option during this hour is MGV Diane Catenacci presenting “Creative Container Plantings.” We rely on Diane and her crew each year to design our container display gardens, and they do a great job of combining plants and colors.

The next break-out sessions begin at 10:15 a.m. and feature Kathy McConkey, OSU Extension program assistant, and “Darn I Wish I’d Known That.” She will talk about common garden problems you can prevent by knowing a few trade secrets.

Mic DiGioia of Market is going to discuss using “Succulents” in the garden. This popular grouping of plants is really getting a lot of attention because they are so easy to grow.

I also will present “Pests of Perennials.” Despite the fact that they are really pretty easy to care for, perennials come with their own group of pest problems, and I will share how to manage them.

At noon, I will be the featured keynote speaker on the topic “Attracting Pollinators to Your Landscape.” Not only will I talk about the best trees, shrubs and flowers to plant in order to attract pollinators, I also will address how to use chemicals in the landscape correctly to ensure pollinators aren’t eliminated.

Our final breakout sessions begin at 2 p.m. Another popular topic in today’s vegetable gardening world is “Heirloom Tomatoes.” MGV Peggie Elsnau has been growing them for quite some time and will share her favorites and growing tips.

MGV Shonil Datta, who is a woodworking whiz, will share tips on how to “Make Your Own Garden Structures.”

The event will be held at Kenton Ridge High School, 4444 Middle Urbana Road, Springfield

During breaks, participants can visit vendors and enjoy meeting other gardeners. In addition, the Kenton Ridge Boosters will sell food. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Admission is $10. No preregistration is necessary.

For more information on the specific programs and times, visit