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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005 01:13 pm

Get out of your gardening funk

Two seminars will offer new ideas and inspiration

By now, most of our gardens have started to look a little worn, flowers have started to fade away, and plants are looking tired from lack of rain. In some gardens, weeds have taken over.

It’s time for a burst of energy — and what better way to get fired up about your garden than by attending a seminar? Here are a couple of suggestions:

• Home-lawn-and-garden enthusiasts who love hearing the latest buzz about new plants, new tools, and new projects should attend the 2005 University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Conference, Sept. 22-24 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville. The conference features classes, hands-on workshops, exciting tours, and plenty of opportunities to talk with and learn from other gardeners.

The keynote speaker is Tony Avent, international plant explorer and freelance garden writer and lecturer. Avent owns Plant Delights Nursery, a North Carolina mail-order firm specializing in unusual perennials, hostas, and native species.

Hands-on workshops and classes include such topics as garden design, perennial plants, tropical gardens, irises and day lilies, organic gardening, ornamental grasses, bonsai, orchids, ancient and historic trees, beekeeping, vegetable gardening, small fruits, trellises, and container gardening. Collinsville is in the Metro East, so tour options include such St. Louis-area sites as the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, and Eckert’s Country Store & Farms.

The registration deadline is Sept. 7. Gardeners may register for the full conference or for a single day. For more details, contact the Sangamon-Menard Extension at 217-782-4617 or visit www.extension.uiuc.edu/mg.

• The University of Illinois Extension Sangamon-Menard Unit and Springfield Civic Garden Club are co-sponsoring a seminar on “Lasagna Gardening with Herbs” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12. Pat Lanza of Sarasota, Fla., will discuss her method of herb gardening. The program will be held at the Extension Building, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Lanza’s work, first published in national magazines and newspapers, was discovered by one leading publishing house Rodale Books. Her first book, Lasagna Gardening: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!, has sold more than a half-million copies since being released in 1998.

To register for the seminar, send a check for $5 per person, payable to the Springfield Civic Garden Club, to Gail Olson, 1305 Woods Farm Lane, Springfield, IL 62704, by Sept. 10. For more information, call the Sangamon-Menard Extension at 217-782-4617 or Olson at 217-793-2819.

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