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Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007 01:03 am

Time to learn

Fertilize your mind with gardening seminars

Untitled Document Though you may not be able to engage in many outdoor gardening activities at this time of year, this period of enforced inactivity is a great time to learn more about your favorite hobby. University of Illinois Extension is offering several programs for gardeners. Garden Basics — In cooperation with the Springfield Civic Garden Club, the extension’s Sangamon-Menard Unit is offering a series of seminars designed to provide basic gardening information to home gardeners. Seminars begin on Thursday, Jan. 25, and run for five consecutive Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Topics are “Plant Basics,” “Soil Basics,” “Flower Basics,” “Tree Basics,” and “Pest Basics.” The presenters are extension educators. Participants are highly encouraged to attend all five sessions. The registration fee of $25 covers the cost of all five sessions and the class notebook. Seminars will be held at the Extension Building 30, on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Participants are encouraged to register by Jan. 19. Send the registration fee to Sangamon-Menard Extension Unit, P.O. Box 8467, Springfield, IL 62791. For more information, call 217-782-4617. Herb Day Herb experts will present five educational sessions at this year’s Herb Day 2007. The extension has scheduled this popular event for 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Urbana. Caroline Holmes, a noted garden designer, author, and speaker from Bury St. Edmunds, England, will give two talks. Her morning presentation, titled “A Zest for Herbs,” will include her garden designs at Alnwick. In the afternoon, Holmes will discuss “Herbs from Monet’s Garden at Giverny.”
Kathleen Hull, M.D., of Indianapolis, Ind., will give a historical perspective in “Female Complaints in the Garden,” explaining how different plants have been used to treat disorders that affect women. Employing tact and a professional style, Hull ensures an enjoyable experience for audience members of both sexes. Deanna House will again delight participants with some “House Specialties with Herbs.”
Art Tucker, a Delaware State University professor and world-renowned herb scholar, has put together a talk, exploring what Linnaeus himself might say about some of the medicinal plants of the world, titled “Linnaeus’ Thoughts on Herbs.”
Registration, including lunch, costs $49 per person. This includes seating in the lectures, coffee, tea, and rolls during morning registration, an herbal-theme lunch buffet, and access to the retail area. Reservations must be received by Jan. 12 for a guaranteed spot at lunch. Registrations will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. Send checks, payable to the University of Illinois, to: Herb Day 2007, Attn: Carol Preston, S-406 Turner Hall, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801. For more information or to confirm receipt of registration, call 217-333-7738 or e-mail Registrations may be transferred to another individual as long as Carol Preston is notified of the name change by Jan. 12. Cancellations will not be refunded. No confirmation of registration will be sent. Grounds Maintenance School — If you work in the horticulture industry or are an avid gardener, you can get new ideas and research-based information at the Southern Illinois Grounds Maintenance School. The school is set for Jan. 23 and 24 at the Gateway Convention center in Collinsville. Registration for the two days is $70; cost is $55 for one day if registration is completed by Jan. 12. Additional fees are required after Jan. 12. Among the speakers are Rick Darke, a well-known horticulturalist and author, and Scott McElroy, turf specialist from the University of Tennessee. Breakout sessions and a commercial trade show will provide excellent opportunities to sharpen the skills of business owners and employees in the field of grounds maintenance. For information, call 618-650-7050 or go to
Jennifer Fishburn is a horticulture educator with the University of Illinois Extension Sangamon-Menard Unit. Contact her at
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