Best-selling author, gardening fitness on tap for annual perennial school set for Springfield

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

It’s back! The 23rd Annual Central Ohio Perennial Flower School is returning on Thursday, March 2 in Springfield. I can’t wait!

I say this every year, and it’s true, this is my favorite program of the entire year. More than 200 plant people come together in one room to talk about perennials, learn about them, and just enjoy each other’s company after a long winter.

This year I am thrilled to announce that we have secured the award-winning and internationally known perennial expert, Tracy Disabato-Aust. She will present on The Art of Pruning Perennials Revisited and The New Well-Designed Mixed Garden: Building Borders with Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals and Bulbs.

Tracy has spoken nationally and internationally.

Tracy is the author of three best-selling books, “The Well-Tended Perennial Garden,” “The Well-Designed Mixed Garden,” and “50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants.” She will be on hand throughout the day to sign books. Master Gardener Volunteers of Clark County will be selling them to raise money for Snyder Park Gardens & Arboretum.

Something new and different this year will be a presentation on Get Garden Fit! Do you remember how you feel when you first start gardening in the spring? Achy and sore muscles are common on the first days out of the house, right?

Garden designer and owner of Rockland Farm (a 10-acre garden in upstate New York) Madeline de Vries Hooper teams up with fitness trainer Jeff Hughes to co-host the hit national PBS series GardenFit, teaching gardeners how to prepare for the season and how to prevent injury.

These two will get us up and moving and teach us how to garden pain-free! Well, as pain-free as possible. They will demonstrate moves from the show and offer simple do-anywhere fixes that will contribute to your well-being, and not just in the garden.

Wrapping up the day will be me. I am excited to teach one of my favorite topics, It Doesn’t Have to be All or Nothing; Incorporating Native Plants in Your Garden!

Using native plants to help protect pollinator populations is a hot topic today and I will share with you the basics of attracting pollinators as well as native plants that work and play well in a perennial garden.

I will also be teaching on the topic of diagnosing plant problems with What’s Wrong with My Perennials. This will be an interactive session in which we will explore real-life case studies and the process involved in solving plant problems.

The cost for the day is still $70 and includes a continental breakfast and a wonderful, boxed lunch.

To learn more about the topics and presenters, and to register go to

The school will be held at the Hollenbeck Bayley Conference Center in Springfield from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. The registration deadline is Feb. 23.

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

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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