Join Us in January for Garden Sense

PHOTO PROVIDED Succulents can be used to create dish gardens that don’t mind dry conditions

Every January, the Penn State Master Gardeners of Clinton County start the year off with a series of gardening workshops. It’s an opportunity to make the most of a cold winter day by learning and enjoying the company of others with gardening interests.

This year, the Garden Sense workshops will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Penn State Extension’s new Clinton County location at 232 E. Main St., Lock Haven. Garden Sense Coordinator Ginny Counsil has been working with several Master Gardeners to identify and schedule three topics they think local gardeners will find interesting.

The first workshop focuses on the Spotted Lanternfly, an insect that recently found its way into Pennsylvania and poses a significant threat to home gardens and orchards as well as commercial agriculture. Extension Educator Tom Butzler will describe the damage that can result from the Spotted Lanternfly, explain how to identify it, and suggest things that can be done to slow the spread of this invasive insect. He will also be available for questions.

The ancient practice of gardening by the moon is the topic of the second workshop which will be presented by Sue Morris, owner of Sue’s Salves. She will discuss the principles that have historically guided this approach and explain how ancient gardeners used them to determine when to plant, harvest, and fertilize.

The third workshop is a hands-on opportunity for those in attendance to learn about and then create their own dish gardens to take home with them.

This is a chance to do a little January gardening because dish gardens filled with cacti and succulents don’t mind the dry air in most homes during the winter months. Plants, stones, and soil will be provided, but attendees should bring their own containers.

As the presenter for this workshop, I encourage participants to be creative about choosing containers. Low, wide clay pots or “dishes” work well. I’ve also seen some very attractive succulent gardens planted in logs, broken flower pots, wooden boxes, old boots, baskets, or just about anything with a drainage hole. There is a materials fee of $15 to cover the cost of plants, stones, and soil, which will be provided.

Master Gardeners Deb Liguori and Kathy Dorman recently earned their ServSafe Food Protection Manager certifications and are planning to have a variety of refreshments available at the Garden Sense workshops.

Garden Sense details and registration are available at https://extension.psu.edu/garden-sense-symposium. Because of space limitations at our new location, we have had to limit Garden Sense registration to 40 people, so please register early. If you have questions, please call the Clinton County Extension office at 570-726-0022.

In addition to the workshops, Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer home gardening questions and provide research-based information. If you’d like to do some gardening in January, we hope you’ll join us for Garden Sense.


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


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)