Home & Garden

Master Gardeners Fall Garden Fest includes classes with experts

KENNEWICK -- Learn how to create stepping stones, winterize your pond and roses, plant bulbs for spring color, divide perennials and more at the Fall Garden Fest on Oct. 3.

The daylong event is a series of classes on fall garden chores presented by Washington State University Extension master gardeners.

It'll be held in Kennewick at the Master Garden Demonstration Garden, 1500 S. Union St., and at the Grange Hall next door.

Keynote speaker is Lisa Hill of Richland, a master gardener with 16 years of experience. Before moving to the Tri-Cities from Spokane in 2005, Hill also owned her own design and landscape business and was the head landscape designer for Spokane Country Club.

She'll be discussing which are the best shrubs for the Tri-Cities, how they grow and their care.

"I have my talk divided into shrub size with a great mix of tall, narrow and small. I also have them divided according to foliage and flower color plus a short list of the smaller needled evergreens. So there's lots of options," Hill said.

She'll also draw on her horticultural background and talk about size and pruning.

"Plants don't read their tags. Just because the tag says it will top out at 5 feet doesn't mean it's going to stop growing," she said.

Part of her talk will be devoted to special ways to prune shrubs, the time of year to do certain ones and how dramatically you can cut some shrubs back, which is one way to keep them in bounds.

"I think it's important when you want to use a lot of shrubs in your landscaping to do regular pruning maintenance. It's a good idea in the spring to look over what you have, see what needs to be thinned out and reshaped," Hill said.

"And if you do it before the leaves come out you can really see what you're doing."

Following Hill's talk, Alex Job of Job's Nursery outside Pasco will discuss how to choose quality nursery plants.

The class schedule is:

8:45 a.m. -- Check-in.

9 to 11 a.m. -- The Best Shrubs for Tri-Cities Landscapes, Lisa Hill.

11 a.m. to noon -- Selecting Quality Nursery Plants, Alex Job.

Noon to 1 p.m. -- Lunch break.

12:30 to 1 p.m. -- Master gardeners will give tours of the Demonstration Garden.

There will be 15 classes offered after lunch in four half-hour sessions. These classes will all be outdoors in the Demonstration Garden so be sure to dress for the weather.

Classes include: Fall rose care, ornamental grasses, dividing perennials, stepping stones, planting fall bulbs, winterizing pond plants, fall container gardens, worm composting and fall lawn care. Several of the classes will repeat in different sessions.

Take a lawn chair if you prefer to sit during the outdoor classes.

Cost to attend the Fall Garden Fest is $20 per person and preregistration is required.

Registration brochures are available at the WSU Extension office in Kennewick, 5600-E W. Canal Drive; or online at http://benton-franklin.wsu.edu/garden/events.htm.

Three Rivers Expresso & Cafe will take orders for box lunches, including a beverage, at check-in. Cost is $8. Or bring a sack lunch.

For more information on a class or a registration form, call 509-735-3551. The facilities are handicapped-accessible.

* Loretto J. Hulse: 509-582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com.

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