What do orchids, dragonflies, landscape design, and perennial plant sales have in common? They were all a part of the 2008 Master Gardener Conference held this weekend in Warren, Ohio. A green-thumbed army of 350 descended on this northeast Ohio community for tours, an awards banquet, seminars and workshops on a vast selection of topics.
Orchids, a class taught by Beth Straubhaar of Buckeye Perennials, featured colorful photos that several past Flora-quest attendees excitedly recognized from their visits to Shawnee Forest.
A “big picture” presentation was given by A. Paul Sech from the prestigious NY landscape architecture firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh, Assoc. He is installing an amazing park system beneath the Brooklyn Bridge on the waterfront of NY City, and incredibly- this is a guy who relies heavily on native plants in his designs! He showed inspiring landscape designs from his travels all over the world, and incorporated this world perspective while enhancing the flora and fauna for an urban recreation area. It was almost too good to be true!
Last but not least, fellow bird and dragonfly enthusiast, Linda Gilbert gave a fun and enlightening program. She is Ohio’s expert on the care and feeding of dragonfly nymphs, and gave a wonderful overall presentation on the general and specific “coolness” of dragonflies. This was a great way to introduce some biodiversity to the gardening crowd.
Thanks too, to my local pals from Richland County who had secretly named me Richland County Master Gardener of the year. It was a great surprise and honor to be recognized at the banquet. Thanks for another great year! Weed-picker