A Midwestern garden

Daylong gardening symposium focuses on growing in this region

By Shirley Ruedy, correspondent
Published: June 15 2014 | 12:05 am - Updated: 15 June 2014 | 12:06 am in Home & Garden, house, Life,

CEDAR RAPIDS — Melinda Myers, nationally known gardening expert, author, and television and radio host, will share her expertise on Midwest gardening with the public at a June 25 fundraiser sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Garden Club.

“The Day of the Garden,” a three-session event, will cover container gardening, perennial gardening in Iowa, and vegetable gardening. All events will take place in Whipple Auditorium at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Ave. SE. Money raised will be devoted to the group’s civic beautification projects.

Myers, who presents at numerous flower and garden shows throughout the United States, is heard nationally on more than 130 TV and radio stations and regularly contributes to magazines.

She is the author of 20 gardening books, has a master’s degree in horticulture and is a certified arborist. The Midwest and the peculiarities of its gardening, particularly in Iowa, are the focus of several of her books, which will be available for purchase at a 3 p.m. book signing that concludes the meeting.

A resident of Wisconsin, Myers has written books including “Gardening in Iowa” and the “Midwest Gardener’s Handbook.” She also serves on the board of directors for the International Society of Arboriculture. Arboriculture is the cultivation of trees and shrubs.

In 2012, Myers became the first woman inducted into the Wisconsin Green Industry Federation Hall of Fame, and in 2013 she won the American Horticultural Society’s B.Y. Morrison Communication Award.

“We are excited to bring a respected gardening expert to Cedar Rapids for these learning sessions, while also raising funds to support future civic beautification efforts,” says club President Melanie O’Donnell Olson.

“The Cedar Rapids Garden Club has a twofold mission,” she adds. “First, to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening for both our members and the public, and second, to restore, improve and protect the quality of the environment. This event combines both.”

Founded in 1927, the Cedar Rapids Garden Club is an affiliate of the Garden Club of America. The local group has 37 active and 14 sustaining members. “The Day of the Garden” event raises funds for ongoing civic beautification projects. Most recently, the club contributed more than $150,000 in support of the Living Learning Roof at the public library.

Event sponsors are Frontier Natural Products Co-op and Guaranty Bank. Frontier’s sponsorship, along with contributions from several anonymous donors, will provide free attendance for several Kirkwood Community College students studying horticulture-related fields.

Some of the Cedar Rapids Garden Club’s previous beautification projects include:

•Garden plantings, Milestones Adult Day Center, 1998 to the present.

•Winter Garden creation and renewal, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in 2012, 2005 and 1989.

•The Sense of Wonder Trail, Indian Creek Nature Center, 2009.

•The Founders’ Trail, Indian Creek Nature Center, 2008.

•Garden and Sculpture, Mercy Hospice House, 2007.

•Garden Gateway Beautification, The Eastern Iowa Airport, 2003.

•Bena Wetland Pond, Indian Creek Nature Center, 2000.

For more information about “The Day of the Garden” event, visit Cedarrapidsgardenclub.com or email cedarrapidsgardenclub@gmail.com. Additional information on the speaker is at Melindamyers.com.

How does your garden grow?

Registration for the Cedar Rapids Garden Club’s “The Day of the Garden” event is from 9:30 to 10 a.m. June 25 in Whipple Auditorium, Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Ave. SE. Cost for the daylong event is $100. Presenter is Melinda Myers, nationally known gardener, author and radio and TV host. The individual sessions’ charge, starting time and descriptions are as follows:

•Creative Containers, 10 to 11:15 a.m.; $35: From the traditional to the unique, Myers will give step-by-step directions on creating a container garden to fit any gardening style, including succulents, water plants and unique combinations suitable for any size and style of landscape.

•High-Impact Perennial Gardens (Using Well-Loved Iowa Garden Plants), luncheon session, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; $50: This session focuses on easy-to-grow, favorite plants ideal for any Iowa garden. Myers will provide ideas for perennial plant combinations and varieties that give big impact with minimal care. Includes maintenance tips for keeping your perennial gardens looking beautiful year-round.

•Vegetable Gardening Success, 1:45 to 3 p.m.; $35. Here are tips and strategies to get the most produce from a vegetable garden. This session focuses on gardens that range from dedicated large plots to fruits, vegetables and herbs squeezed into small landscapes.

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