Perennial Flower School shouldn’t be missed

Gardeners are always looking for the latest, greatest information on plants and gardening techniques.

One of my favorite days of the year is coming up in early March — the 16th annual Perennial Flower School on March 5 in Springfield. This event is held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

I love this program, because every year I learn something new.

It’s a lot of fun, too, because all day you get to talk to other gardeners who are just as starved for spring as you.

The cost for the entire day is $60 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

Registration deadline is Feb. 23, and the event fills up quickly.

This year will be no exception in terms of the quality of our speakers. Susan Martin is our keynote speaker and will be giving two presentations, “A New Spin on Old Favorites” and “Beauty by Design.”

Her first talk will include new perennials compared to some of the old that have been on the market for a while. Her second talk will help you develop and design the dream perennial garden. She’ll share key design principles that will help you succeed.

Susan is from Holland, Mich., and is a dynamic speaker who is passionate about perennials. She currently works for Walters Gardens, the largest wholesale perennial grower in the U.S.

Also joining the program this year is Maria Zampini, my friend and co-author of our new book, “Garden-pedia, An A to Z Guide to Gardening Terms.” Maria is the director of plant development for the HGTV Home Plant Collection and owns her own horticulture marketing company, UpShoot.

Maria is going to talk about shrubs that can be incorporated into the perennial border. This gives the perennial garden just the “umph” that it needs through the winter season.

Charles and Cynthia Lucius from Hilliard, Ohio, own seven acres of gardens called Amity Abloom. This couple is over-the-top crazy about daylilies and will help you figure out the best ones to use in the garden.

Not only do they have thousands of daylilies on display but you can purchase from their gardens as well.

And I will be wrapping up the day with one of my favorite topics, perennial pests.

We also have local garden center sponsors who will be providing a nice gift from their stores for our raffle. These include Bonnie’s Nursery, Crown Market, Knollwood Garden Center and Landscaping, Meadowview Growers, and Wickline’s Garden Center, Florist, and Landscaping.

In addition, Maria and I will be on hand throughout the day selling and signing our book. The cost of the book is $17.

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Pamela Corle-Bennett is the state master gardener volunteer coordinator and horticulture educator for Ohio State University Extension. Contact her by email at