CLARION – Hundreds of gardeners got pointers on new plants and which plants are best for their gardens Saturday at the 11th Annual Spring Workshop and Seminar at C&A Trees.

The morning session was sponsored by the Wildflower Garden Club and included the same guest speaker as the afternoon session, nationally recognized speaker Laura Deeter, who refers to herself as the “Garden Hoe.” In addition to her academic credentials, Deeter likes to use humor throughout her talk.

She offered advice on new seeds and colors, what version of a plant is good for this climate or zone, and some common sense approaches. Often asked about deer damage to plants and how to avoid the damage, Deeter jokingly noted that she has found deer often best respond to lead bullets or chain link fences.

Deeter received her doctorate in horticulture from Ohio State University and is an associate professor in the field and teacher at the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. She travels extensively around the country speaking on a variety of garden topics.

The morning session was the 11th Annual Spring Ahead Event and is also used as a fundraiser for the Wildflower Garden Club. Jewelry and Chinese auction tables were also available after the presentation.

“We first hosted the event 11 years ago,” said Teresa and Mike Lapinto from C&A Trees. “It was only a morning session for about three years and we added an afternoon session starting in the fourth year. We like to host the event in the morning and it serves as a fundraiser for the Wildflower Garden Club.”

They estimated the morning crowd at 150 and 125 at the afternoon version. The events are limited to 150 participants.

All participants also had an opportunity to do a planting that they could take home.

The Wildflower Club was organized in 1996 and its main purpose has been to promote gardening, educating members, and beautifying the community. The club also enjoys gardening and gathering. It plants and maintains the gardens at Sawmill Center for the Arts in Cook Forest and the Blue Star Marker to name only two.

For more information about to club, contact Judy Miller at (814) 226-4996.

Deeter was asked if there have been many changes in her 20 years as an expert.

“Yes and no. People are more interested in doing things organically, using less chemicals, doing things more sustainable as they possibly can,” she said. “Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a lot of style changes. I still see the same foundation planting, the same old arrangements across people’s houses that we’ve seen for years. It would be nice if we could see some changes there.

“But I have seen changes with the public’s attitude toward the land, which is nice,” Deeter continued. “I think more people are interested in it, but with millennials becoming homeowners, they’re interested in doing some things themselves, but they’re so busy like most young people and don’t have a lot of time. It would be nice if young people were involved in the industry and that would be my goal to see the generation behind the millennials really getting involved with it.”

Deeter said she travels all over the country representing The Ohio State and she is willing to go wherever they send her. Asked what an Ohio State Buckeye is, she said, “people say that we are crazy nuts.”

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