Annual Western Mass. gardening symposium Saturday

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Snow might still be on the ground but spring will be in the air Saturday during the Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association’s annual symposium at Frontier Regional High School.

The symposium features 16 workshops on a variety of gardening topics, and a talk by keynote speaker Homer Homeyer titled “Sculpting the Living Landscape,” introducing the symposium’s overall theme, “Your Living Landscape.”

“(Homeyer) will talk about how to create beauty in both the vegetable and flower gardens through the use of well-placed woody plants, stone, structures and by choosing plants that contribute to the landscape with their color and forms,” a press statement about the event says.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m., and the first session of workshops will begin 45 minutes later with titles such as “Shrubs For All Seasons” by John Barry, master gardener; “Good versus Bad Insects!” by George Stephan, master gardener; “Plant Thugs: Getting a Handle on Invasive Plants” by Cynthia Boettner and Sylvia O. Conte of the National Fish and Wildlife Refuge; and “A Garden Bounty Breakfast” by Joan Eckert from Whole Foods Market.

Coinciding with the workshops, there will be a marketplace with vendors offering locally produced items, book sales, and refreshments. Boxed lunches from River Valley Market are available, but must be reserved for $8 ahead of time. Attendees can also bring their own.

Following a break from 10 a.m., Homeyer will give his talk from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The second session is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. until 2:15 with workshops that include “Gardening For The Birds: What to Do and What Not to Do” presented by Ted Watt of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment; and “Backyard Blueberries” by Sonia Schloemann of UMass Extension.

Admission is $35 for the entire day. Seating is limited for each talk, and parking might be tight, therefore reservations should be made in advance and attendees are asked to carpool if possible. To register, view a full list of workshops, and reserve lunch visit http://bit.ly/2GkeN3t.

Saturday’s event kicks off a series of three symposiums throughout the Pioneer Valley. Another event will be held Saturday, March 24, at Holyoke High School, and a third is scheduled April 7 at the Lenox Memorial Middle and High School. The Western Mass. Master Gardener Association is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to the educational mission of promoting good and sustainable gardening practices,” the statement says. The association has about 250 volunteer members.

In case of bad weather call 413-665-2181 the night before for a recorded message about whether or note the event has been rescheduled to another date. Frontier Regional is at 113 North Main St. near South Deerfield’s village center. For more information, go to www.wmmga.org, or contact Lucy Alman at gardensymposium123@gmail.com or 413-665-2181.

You can reach Andy Castillo

at: acastillo@recorder.com

or 413-772-0261, ext. 263

On Twitter: @AndyCCastillo