Dear Master Gardeners!
I am excited to announce that registration is now open for
the 2012 Master Gardener Continued Training Conference. The
conference this year is being held in Clearwater at the
Clearwater Beach Hilton beginning Oct. 1st and runs through
Oct. 3rd. This location is right on the beach and there are
all the shopping and unique restaurants within walking
distance that anyone could want. I think the planning
committee has done a great job creating a diverse schedule
providing something for everyone.
We are again starting things off with
optional pre-conference tours. These tours will take place
on the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 30th and require
pre-registration by September 4th. We have three great
choices. One will expose you to six landscapes designed by
renowned landscape architect Phil Graham Jr. The second trip
visits the beautiful Florida Botanical Gardens and also
makes a stop at the historic Sunken Gardens. The final trip
involves a horticulture tour of Busch Gardens and the Bette
Walker Discovery Garden. All the trips will provide you with
a great deal of information and a fun experience.
The conference formally kicks off on
Monday, Oct. 1st with two great general session
presentations. Ed Gilman will share his insights on trees
and Laurie Trenholm and Bryan Unruh will help you learn how
to manage turf for low maintenance. The afternoon is filled
with your choice of a wide range of concurrent
presentations. The afternoon sessions end with Russ Mizell
teaching you on what plants you should add to your gardens
to attract beneficial insects. The evening wraps up with a
beachside welcome reception where you can meet new friends
and catch up with previous acquaintances. The rest of the
evening is yours to enjoy the many area attractions.
Tuesday, Oct. 2nd begins with a
general session dealing with climate change and information
on how to get involved with plant phenology monitoring. We
then proceed with two concurrent session groups for you to
continue a morning of learning. Following lunch, we are
holding the 4-H Plant ID and Judging Competition. Make sure
your county fields a team or compete on your own to test
your knowledge. If you are not competing in the contest,
there will be an opportunity for you to interact with other
MGs and learn from their experiences. Following the
competition, the education continues with one more round of
concurrent sessions all before the always-entertaining
horticulture auction. The proceeds of the auction go to
recognize volunteers for their service and innovative
programming. The evening is free to spend with your new
Master Gardener friends.
Wednesday, Oct. 3rd begins with the
Awards breakfast. This is followed by the awards program to
recognize the Awards of Excellence winners and to recognize
Master Gardeners for their years of service. Following the
awards, the always popular Rick Schoellhorn will share his
insight on Hot New Plants.
The conference is filled with lots of
opportunities to learn and to share information with other
volunteers. Come to hear the latest information, meet new
Master Gardener friends from around the state and to enjoy
all that Southwest Florida has to offer.
hope to see you in Clearwater!
State Master Gardener Coordinator
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