URI gardening symposium, marketplace, March 2 features workshops, speakers, vendors


Local gardeners will have an outstanding opportunity to learn gardening tips and techniques from national and local experts on Saturday, March 2 at the third annual gardening symposium and marketplace. Sponsored by the University of Rhode Island Outreach Center and the URI Master Gardeners Association, the event will feature four keynote speakers and a series of workshops on the theme of “Creating Your Dream Garden.”

The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the URI Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences on the Kingston campus.

Featured speakers include Julie Moir Messervy, an innovative leader in landscape and garden design, on “Home Outside: Creating the Landscape you Love”; Kerry Mendez, garden consultant, designer, writer and lecturer, on “Creating a Beautiful Shade Garden”; Barbara Damrosch, Washington Post columnist and professional horticulturist, on “Theme Gardens”; and Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of “From the Cook’s Garden” and a guest chef on PBS’s “Victory Garden” and HGTV, on “Kitchen Garden Designs.” All are authors whose books will be available for purchase and signing.

The agenda also includes breakout sessions led by URI Master Gardeners on such topics as adding native plants to your garden, vertical gardens, rain gardens and adding trees and shrubs to your garden.

A gardener’s marketplace at the event will provide participants with opportunities to purchase gardening paraphernalia and related products, including rain barrels, birdhouses, garden sculptures, honey, stepping stones, leaf pottery, floral canvases, garden stakes and much more.

Among the raffle prizes will be a gardening consultation in which URI Master Gardeners will visit the winner’s home to consult on any number of gardening issues or concerns.            

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to tour the rooftop garden and rain garden at the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences that helped to earn the building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

The cost to attend is $65 per person for early registrants or $75 for those registering after Feb. 1, which includes a continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. For more information, email ceec@etal.uri.edu or call 874-2900.


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