Cast off the winter blues and join us for Garden Sense 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) is a Pennsylvania native that is an attractive addition to a landscape and helps to support pollinators.


For The Express

What can gardeners do in January? They can attend the annual Garden Sense Symposium at Penn State Extension in Clinton County. It’s an opportunity to cast off the winter blues and start learning, planning, and preparing for the upcoming growing season.

This year’s symposium, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18, includes three workshops addressing topics of interest to gardeners in Central Pennsylvania.

The first, “What’s Killing our Trees?” will be presented by Extension Horticulture Educator Tom Butzler in response to the many local reports of damaged and dying apple, cherry, butternut, spruce, pine, and fir trees in recent years. Participants will learn about pests, diseases, and environmental conditions affecting trees and things gardeners can do to help them survive.

The second workshop, “Gardening for Pollinators and other Wildlife,” will be presented by Master Gardener Candy Gore. She will offer alternatives to weed-free, perfectly manicured, and color-coordinated gardens and explain the many reasons to redefine what is meant by a beautiful, productive garden. It will be an opportunity to re-examine our definitions of beauty and learn to plant and maintain gardens that support pollinators and other wildlife.

I’m on the schedule to present the third workshop, “Creating a Terrarium.” It’s designed for those who want to do a little bit of gardening in the middle of winter. Participants will learn the basics of planting and growing in a terrarium, how to select plants that will do well in this specialized environment, prepare the soil, and add decorative touches to create a beautiful indoor garden. Following the presentation, those who want to apply what they learned may purchase supplies and create their own terrariums with help from Master Gardeners.

The 2020 Garden Sense Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Penn State Extension Office in Clinton County, located at 232 E. Main St., Lock Haven. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer home gardening questions and provide research-based information.

Participants may choose to attend any or all of the workshops. Registration is required and is limited to 40 participants. For more information or to register please go to https://extension.psu.edu/garden-sense-symposium or call 877-345-0691.


Debra Burrows, PhD, is a retired Penn State Extension educator. She can be reached at dcb3@psu.edu.


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