Art of Gardening

Art of Gardening

Cost for the seminar is $40.
A registration form and complete
list of activities can be found
in the Art of  Gardening Brochure
Student gardening in greenhouse
Muscatine Community College’s Continuing Education Department is again offering its popular Art of Gardening daylong seminar.

This year’s seminar will be held:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

8 - 8:30 a.m. Registration (coffee provided)
8:30 - 9 a.m. Welcome & Announcements
8 - 11 a.m. Wapsi 4-H Club bake sale (new this year)

MCC Strahan Hall
152 Colorado Street
Muscatine, IA

The Art of Gardening seminar is used to educate and inspire others to seek enjoyment and fulfillment through a variety of home gardening related topics and activities.

A total of 28 breakout sessions are scheduled for the day as well as vendor exhibits.


(click on Art of Gardening Brochure to register)

Session 1 (9 - 10 a.m.)

  1. Hydrangeas
    Paul Rost, Earl May Nursery, Iowa City
    Have you admired and wished to plant a hydrangea that would add beauty to your garden, but didn’t know where to start? Horticulturist Paul Rost will share more information about hydrangeas than you ever thought possible – from planting, to variety, to care, and to selecting the right hydrangea for the right place in your home garden.

  2. Starting Transplants at Home
    Zora Ronan, Linn County Master Gardener
    This class will give you all the information you need to successfully start garden transplants at home with a minimum amount of equipment.

  3. Fabulous Foliage
    Nicole Hoben, Barnyard Blooms
    Move over flowers! Often the most beautiful landscapes don’t solely rely on gorgeous & colorful blooms. There are many annuals, perennials and shrubs that have striking foliage. Learn how to use plants with fabulous foliage in the garden to create a truly unique landscape.

  4. Habitat for Pollinators
    Mary Delaney, ION Exchange
    Our native pollinators, bees, butterflies, and moths, are declining in population. Native plants and shrubs offer habitat for these creatures. We will provide a description of natives that will thrive in Midwest gardens and offer great pollination.

  5. Sow Seeds to Inspire, Perspire, and Not Expire
    Caleen Pagel, PTA
    Aches and pains getting in the way of your gardening enjoyment? Everyday exercises designed to stretch, strengthen and stabilize muscles and joints will be demonstrated and practiced in this interactive session.

  6. Perennial Vegetables - Here to Stay
    Patrick O’Malley, Iowa State Field Specialist
    Information on growing perennial vegetables such as asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish, and chive will be provided emphasizing asparagus and rhubarb.

  7. Compact Plants in the Landscape
    Peggy Burrows, Meyers Landscape
    ‘Compact Plant’ refers to the growth habit of a particular plant and not a specific size. A small landscape can have a variety of compact plants, as well as height, with the right selections. A larger landscape can enjoy sweeps of trees that do not require a large area for growth. Whatever your landscape size, there is a ‘compact plant’ for you.


Session 2 (10:15 - 11:15 a.m.)

  1. Understanding Shade Gardening-Not All Shade is the Same
    Laura Schmitz, Iowa City Landscaping
    Gardening in the shade can be a challenge. Is it morning sun with afternoon shade or morning shade with afternoon sun? It could be filtered sun all day long or maybe no sun at all. Learn which plants will thrive in a variety of shade garden situations.

  2. Raised Bed Gardening
    Deb Walser, Linn County Master Gardener
    No space for a garden? You can plant enough vegetables in a 4x4 garden to feed two people for the season or a family of four, using only 4x8 in space. Hate the weeding and bug control? Having trouble getting up from the ground? Raised bed gardening is for you. Pass on the fun of gardening to your children and grandchildren

  3. Backyard Bird Feeding
    Mark Graham, Wild Birds Unlimited
    Do you want to attract a variety of birds to your backyard, but don’t know where to start? Understanding your backyard habitat, recognizing seasonal visitors, and ways to increase your enjoyment and decrease the challenges to backyard bird feeding will help you as you work to create your own bird paradise.

  4. Yard and Garden Art
    Judy Stephens, Linn County Master Gardener
    Judy brings her imaginative ideas and creative energy to this class and asks you to do the same. Get ready for an inspiring session of exploring how everyday items and ordinary elements can be used to create art for your yard and garden. Detailed instructions for these art objects will be provided for you to take home.

  5. New and Unusual Perennials for 2015
    Maria McCulley, Hilltop Greenhouses
    Always on the cutting edge with the newest and most interesting plants at her greenhouse, Maria will share what she believes will be the “must have” plants for your 2015 garden.

  6. A Talk on the Birds, Bees, and Trees
    Hannah Howard, Trees Forever
    Looking to replace an ash or plant a new tree in your yard? Before you plant, consider tree species that support birds, bees, wildlife and other insects, too!

  7. Beyond Yews and Junipers
    Chuck Porto, Iowa City Landscaping
    Once only for the serious connoisseur, conifers have made their way into the mainstream of today’s landscape palette. This is a diverse group of plants spanning in size from giant forest trees to tiny miniatures. Conifers also provide an exciting array of color from the darkest greens through the brightest yellows, blues, and even red tones.


Lunch 1(11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)

Stump the Experts Panel (12:15 - 1:15 p.m.)
Join a panel of experts as they answer questions posed to them by their audience. Our experts are all professionals in the area of horticulture and come with a vast range of knowledge to share.

Lunch 2 (12:15 - 1 p.m.)

Stump the Experts Panel

Join a panel of experts as they answer questions posed to them by their audience. Our experts are all professionals in the area of horticulture and come with a vast range of knowledge to share.

Session 3 (1:15 - 2:15 p.m.)

  1. Getting the Most from Your Vegetable Garden
    Denny Schrock, Iowa State University
    Learn how to grow your own vegetables for better taste and nutrition for your table. We’ll discuss basic growing techniques as well as provide some advanced pointers to maximize your success.

  2. Blueberries and Other Healthy Fruit
    Deb Walser, Linn County Master Gardener
    Blueberries, aronia, and goji berries are a few of the antioxidant-rich fruits we can grow in Iowa. Learn which varieties to plant, and how to grow these berries for a good crop for many years to come. Deb has grown blueberries for a family of four in Iowa for more than 20 years.

  3. Tree Pruning for Shade and Sun
    Barton Howard, Trees Forever
    The basic principles of how, when, and why one should prune using specific examples of trees before and after pruning will be shared. All the information you need to keep your trees looking great and feeling vibrant whether they grow in sun or shade will be provided.

  4. Easy Care Roses
    Paul Rost, Earl May Nursery, Iowa City
    Often Iowa gardeners are reluctant to plant the rose which has historically been a staple of gardens around the world. Learn about the rose varieties that thrive in Zones 4 & 5 and the care that they need to withstand our changing climate and the other issues that seem insurmountable in Iowa gardens.

  5. Houseplants
    Rose Milden, Linn County Master Gardener
    Learn about the care and feeding of houseplants, as well as creative ways to display your houseplants. Hear tips on selecting houseplants and why they are “good” for your health.

  6. Bees
    Ron Fisher, Bee Keeper
    Join Ron Fisher as he shares his passion for beekeeping with his audience. Beekeeping has become an increasingly interesting topic for Midwest gardeners as the bee population has drastically decreased challenging the pollination of many, many species of plants.

  7. Straw Bale Gardening
    Barb Wing, Linn County Master Gardener
    Straw bale gardening is a recyclable container garden solution for vegetables, plants, and flowers and is suitable for problem areas in the yard. Learn the history of straw bale gardening, typical practice, and creative applications of this method of gardening.

Session 4 (2:30 - 3:30 p.m.)

  1. Decorative Birdhouses
    Louise Harn, Linn County Master Gardener
    Use fabric and decorative notions with very basic hand-sewing skills to create a decorative home for your feathered friends. All materials and instruction will be provided, time constraints may make it necessary to complete your project on your own at home. Material fee: $20 (cash/check payable at class)

  2. Orna-edibles-Pretty Enough to Eat
    Sylvia Kelley, Linn County Master Gardener
    Do you want to learn some simple ideas to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers in combinations that are not only front yard beautiful, but also provide food for your table? Whether you use a single container or the whole front yard, choosing the right plant combinations is the important first step to creating a garden that is pretty enough to eat!

  3. Sedum and Succulents
    Bud LeFavre, Distinctive Gardens, Inc.
    As our climate changes, Midwest gardeners are finding that choosing the right plants for these changing conditions has become imperative. Bud will not only share several creative ways to use drought tolerant plants in your landscape and container gardens, but also will provide information on those plants that will thrive in a warmer and dryer environment.

  4. Where in the World?
    Zora Ronan, Linn County Master Gardener
    Travel is the next best thing to gardening. Take a photo journey to Europe and other places along the 40th parallel north. We will look at how different gardens are based on climate and location and how they might compare to our own Zone 5.

  5. Your Path to a Beautiful Herb Garden
    Maria McCulley, Hilltop Greenhouses
    Love herbs, but don’t know quite where to start? Join Maria as she guides you through the steps to the creation of an herb garden that now only will enhance your culinary activities, but also delight your senses.

  6. Food Preservation
    Vera Stokes, Iowa State Field Specialist
    As gardeners begin to experience the joys of growing and eating their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, they also have become more interested in preserving the bounties of their labor. Learn the basics of several different strategies for the preservation of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, so that you can enjoy your harvest year around.

For more information, contact Cynthia Kress in Muscatine Community College’s Continuing Education Department, 563-288-6161 or toll free 1-888-351-4669.