Pictured Above: A scene from Rick Darke’s garden, part of the book “The Living Landscape,” co-authored with backyard habitat guru Doug Tallamy.

An annual tradition for over 30 years, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Master Gardeners Spring Gardening School has sprouted this spring into a three-part package, “Spring Garden Trio,” which includes a virtual keynote program, the annual spring gardening school and in-person workshops on three Saturdays in Spring 2022:  March 19, March 26, and April 30.  

“The three decade-plus legacy of Spring Gardening School’s track record has evolved in 2022 into Spring Garden Trio, a three-part presentation of lectures, keynotes and workshops,” said Roxanne Zimmer, Head of Community Horticulture at CCE Suffolk. “CCE Suffolk’s mission has always been to educate and serve Suffolk County residents about home gardening and community efforts to grow more food. Given the importance of serving the gardening public in these times, we are able to expand the programs and engage garden lovers and green thumbs anywhere.” 

Here’s the online brochure for the Spring Garden Trio.

On the first Saturday, March 19, Rick Darke, landscape designer, author and horticulturist, opens Spring Garden Trio with his virtual Garden Lens lecture, “Dynamic Design & the Art of Observation,” at 10 a.m. General admission is $10, and the fee for landscape architects participating for credit is $25.

“The ability to see deeply in focus is key for the design, enjoyment and stewardship of a landscape,” according to Mr. Darke’s presentation. “This skill is especially important when designing landscapes that support regional ecologies.”

Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn will welcome attendees to the program.

“I’m honored to speak to all of you on the kickoff day of the 2022 Spring Garden Trio event.,” said Ms. Hahn. “I’m proud that I have collaborated with Cornell Cooperative Extension frequently as Suffolk County Legislator… The three-decade long legacy of the spring gardening school is a significant cornerstone of cooperative extension and its mission to educate and serve Suffolk County residents. And I am honored to be a small part of it today.”

Here’s where to register for the Garden Lens lecture.

Then, the following Saturday, March 26, The Spring Gardening School kicks off with AwaytoGarden blogger/podcast host and New York Times Garden editor Margaret Roach’s keynote address “Non-Stop Plants:  A Garden for 365 Days” at 9:30 a.m. Ms. Roach will be joined throughout the day-long virtual event by nine other horticultural experts talking about native plants and good garden practices through 2:30 p.m.  

Discussions include regenerative garden design to support biodiversity, the how-to’s of botanical science, creating a native plant “lawn,” the four-season garden, attracting pollinators, uncommon edibles, invasive nightmares, herbs and spices and the legacy of the Olmsted brothers’ park design.

Here’s where to register for the Spring Gardening School.

On Saturday, April 30, gardeners who want to get their hands busy will be participating in workshops from bonsai to drip irrigation, raising chickens to beekeeping, at the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank. 

Workshops begin at 9:15 a.m. and continue through 3 p.m. Lunch will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Panera sandwiches will be available for $15 or bring your own lunch. Admission to the April 30 workshops is $35, though some individual programs have materials fees.

This is also the first year The Master Gardener Plant Sale, with plants sourced from well-known local garden suppliers, will be open to the public at the Suffolk County Farm from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For The Garden Workshop registration form, contact Sarah Osborn for registration and questions at 631.727.7850, ext. 207

Full details are online at ccesuffolk.org/gardening/spring-garden-trio.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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