So last year, I decided to spend a February Saturday at a gardening fair. That’s how I roll, you know, as the Inadvertent Gardener. Rocking out the winter Saturdays learning about staking flowers and planning herb garden layouts.
Except it was far too wintry a Saturday that particular day, and the fair was cancelled, leaving me bereft of opportunities to learn more about bees and composting.
This year, the Iowa State Extension Service is trying again, offering the Winter Gardening Fair 2008 on February 2. I’m planning to go, although I have not yet registered.
I have friends who have known me long enough to be shaking their heads right now. I am an incorrigible planner, that girl who buys the tickets to shows and events and plays and concerts before anyone else even looks at their calendar book, that girl who is most likely to say, “Sure, I’d love to, but I’m going to see B.B. King that night and I bought the tickets in 1994, so I can’t possibly change my plans.”
You may ask, then, why I haven’t registered? Well, part of it’s because I haven’t been able to narrow down what sessions I want to attend. Here’s the day I’m considering so far:
The Kitchen Garden
Including vegetables, flowers, and herbs, LCMG Ellen Skripsky will explore raised garden beds, vertical growing, and successive planting as space-saving techniques.
It should be obvious from my various recipes why I want to attend this one. Also, I definitely need to do a significantly better job with successive planting, so I can definitely pick up some tips here.
This is where I run into problems. I’m debating between the following three sessions:
Starting Garden Transplants
LCMG Zora Ronan will show us how to successfully start our own garden transplants from seed at home.
I haven’t tried any seed starting yet, but probably need to give it a whirl. I suspect this session would help demystify the process for me so I might feel brave enough to try it this year. That being said, I refuse to invest in grow-lights. I mean, I refuse to invest in them this year. This is not a sickness, people.
Summer Flowering Bulbs
Learn about summer flowering bulbs and their care with LCMG Ian Philpott. Examples are allium, calla, lily, canna, dahlia, and gladiolus. Learn how to lift bulbs, corms, and tubers and store for the winter.
Since I did so poorly with bulbs last year, it occurs to me that it might be nice to actually learn what I’m doing this year.
Peonies were the queens of Grandma’s spring garden. Join Linn County Master Gardener Lu Barron and find out what’s new in herbaceous and tree peonies as well as how to plant and care for them.
I have come to love peonies. That’s all there is to say about that.
The Good, the Bad, and the Buggly
Dr. Donald Lewis, ISU Extension Entomology Specialist, will provide us with information to help us identify and manage those garden bugs that attack our gardens.
How can anyone go wrong with a session titled The Good, The Bad, and the Buggly? It’s so punny, folks! Plus, as I’ve said before, I’m a little bit obsessed with garden bugs, even though the ones in the house still freak me out.
So, here’s the thing. I need to send in my registration fairly soon, but I’m willing to wait a bit. Why? Because I’m going to let you, my fair and lovely blog readers, decide my future. My future, that is, when it comes to Session 2. Place your vote (and, if you so choose, your rationale…) in the comments and let me know what you think. I’ll go with a simple majority rule on this one.
And, just to make things more interesting, I’ll let you switch your vote one time in the process, just in case you’ve already voted and someone else comes up with a better rationale for why I should attend a different class during that session. That way, it’ll be that much more like the Iowa Caucuses. It is election season, after all!