East Texas Spring Landscape & Garden Conference – Feb. 12

February is a busy month not only in the yard and garden with folks getting ready for the new gardening year, but it also is a month with several educational programs sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

Of particular interest to home gardeners will be the 18th annual East Texas Spring Landscape and Garden Conference on February 12th at the Tyler Rose Garden Center.  Previous year’s conferences have had up to 400 attending from the East Texas area, including visitors from Dallas, Houston, Austin, and points in between.

Master Gardener David Gary tending his garden

One of the featured speakers this year is Smith County Master Gardener David Gary. His inspirational talk, “Master Gardener on Wheels”, shows how he didn’t let muscular dystrophy stop him from pursuing a full life though volunteering and gardening. He designed his own home garden, which has been featured on the Master Gardener Home Tour, and he’ll show various techniques he uses to enable his gardening hobby, making his garden wheelchair accessible, which should inspire those with limitations in mobility to gain ideas for their own yard. Gary has been featured in the Dallas Morning News, and in the most recent issue of Quest – MDA’s Research & Health Magazine, in an article titled “Bloom Where You’re Planted”.

February is rose-pruning and planting month, and rose professionals Mark Chamblee, owner of Chamblee’s Roses, Craig Reiland, Rose Garden Supervisor, and Keith Mills, former Rose Garden Supervisor, will explain the basics of growing great roses, and present a video showing how to properly prune your roses.

Insects, both the good and the bad, will also be features in two talks. The ‘good’ are “Pollinators in the Garden” by Janet Rowe, Master Gardener and beekeeper. Dr. Mike Merchant, Extension Entomologist from Dallas will highlight some of the more common insect pests and their controls.

After lunch, Dr. David Creech, Director of the Stephen F. Austin State University Mast Arboretum in Nacogdoches will discuss how you can have “Native Plants at Home in Your Garden”. Finally, Smith County Master Gardeners and I will spotlight the demonstration gardens in the Tyler Rose Garden, particularly highlighting the IDEA Garden, showing how it provides inspiration and ideas you can apply at home. Following the conference, Master Gardeners will be stationed in IDEA, Heritage, Shade and Sunshine Gardens to give tours and answer questions.

Click here to view the conference agenda. The Conference, jointly sponsored by AgriLife Extension and the City of Tyler Parks and Recreation Department, and developed by the Smith County Environmental Horticulture Committee, will be held at the Tyler Rose Garden Center on Saturday, February 12. Besides the featured speakers, exhibitors will be showcasing products and services throughout the day. All registration is at the door on the day of the conference, starting at 7:30 a.m. Admission is $20 and includes lunch. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes about 3:30 p.m. For information concerning exhibiting, contact Keith Hansen, (903) 590-2980, or Craig Reiland, Rose Garden Supervisor, at (903) 531-1200.

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