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The 10th annual Growing Great Gardens Conference (GGG) is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 17 at Wayne County Community College District’s Downriver Campus, 21000 Northline.
The Taylor Conservatory Foundation, Taylor Garden Club and Wayne County Community College District’s Downriver Campus are hosting three gardening professionals (Ellen Zachos, Gene Bush and Deborah Trickett) during the largest garden-related symposium in Southeast Michigan.
The informative program promises surprises, giveaways and unique shopping opportunities. There is something for everyone, from the person who wants to try gardening for the first time to the gardening professional who wants to learn the latest in garden trends. The event also provides five education hours (six if you take the optional lunch-and-learn) for Master Gardeners.
Key note speaker Zachos, instructor at the New York Botanical Garden (and author of seven books), is presenting Backyard Foraging: 65 Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat. She also will be leading the popular lunch-and-learn program. That event, called The Wildcrafted Cocktail, features samples of “mocktails,” using herbs, berries and fruits from the wild, along with recipe handouts and tips to make cocktails at home. Zachos will discuss how to recognize and harvest plants found around the home plus how to prepare tasty treat such as wintergreen sorbet, rose hip soup and dahlia tuber bread.
Bush, owner of Shade Experts, will present 10 Months of Blooms in the Shade Garden. Bush, shade gardening aficionado, specializes in the known and not-so-well-known, rare and unusual plants for shade. He will explain why extended periods of blooms are not impossible – or difficult – for the Midwestern gardener.
Trickett, owner of The Captured Garden, is presenting two lively programs, Jaw-Dropping, Traffic-Stopping, “Get Your Neighbor Talking” Containers and Beauty and the Bees: A different way of looking at garden design. A certified landscape professional and beekeeper, she is a frequent and popular garden speaker. She will show the audience how to take container gardening from “blah to ah” by using basic and unusual plant materials. Her closing presentation will address garden and landscape design that keeps the environment in mind, creating spaces both beautiful and beneficial to bees and other pollinators.
Visitors don't have to be registered for the seminar to shop the unique Garden Marketplace. There will be more than 30 new and returning top-quality vendors scheduled. Products include fanciful garden art, stepping stones, birdhouses, teas, indoor plants, soaps, baskets, garden tools, local honey and jam, jewelry, ceramics and more. The Marketplace place is open to the public between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with no admission charge.
Wear your most outrageous Irish-themed clothing or best garden-related hat because there will even be special surprises for the lucky winner with the best-looking attire.
Registration is $45 until February 23 ($55 afterward). Fee includes four presentations, a box lunch, and a chance to win many garden-related door prizes. Pre-registration is required. An optional fifth class is available for an additional $10. Details and registration available at www.taylorconservatory.org or call (888) 383-4108.