Evenings in the Garden


Evenings in the Garden is a series of classes for beginner and experienced gardeners, homeowners, landscapers, and outdoor enthusiasts - taught by favorite regional experts - held at the beautiful, historic MSU Tollgate Farm.

28115 Meadowbrook Rd, Novi, MI 48377

Advance registration is required.


Registration: https://events.anr.msu.edu/evenings18spring/


Contact: S. K. Rosina Newton, newtons5@anr.msu.edu, 248-347-0269 ext. 229


Registration for Evenings in the Garden Spring 2018 is now open.


Apr 5 – Holly Vaughn – Critters in the Garden

April 12 – Nick Zimmer – Controlling Pests Naturally

May 31 – Roy Prentice – MSU Tollgate Farms: Carrying on Novi’s Agricultural Traditions

Jun 14 – Mary Gerstenberger – Water: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


April 5 – Holly Vaughn – Critters in the Garden

Woodchucks, chipmunks and deer, OH MY! Are wild animals plaguing your yard and garden? We’ll talk about some general biology and natural history of these critters and will learn some helpful hints for keeping these rascals out of your prize-winning hostas. Holly Vaughn is a Wildlife Communications Coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. She is based out of the Detroit Metro Customer Service Center in Detroit. Holly loves to educate people about Michigan wildlife. She has a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife and an MS in Park, Recreation and Tourism Resources from MSU.


April 12 – Nick Zimmer – Controlling Pests Naturally

How many ways can you kill an aphid? In the pursuit of plant health, we don’t have to choose between happy plants and sustainability – we can have both! While there are many pesticides available to annihilate that dreaded aphid, Nick Zimmer knows how to employ an army of allies to protect his plants. Nick is the owner and founder of Willow Greenhouse – “The Greenest Nursery in Southeast Michigan.” Nick and his team are completely pesticide-free, using nine different beneficial insects in their greenhouses to control “bad bugs.” He will share with us about his unique growing operation, and will also share tips and tricks that we can use to bring more “beneficials” into our home garden. Nick Zimmer ran a successful landscape business in high school, graduated from MSU in horticulture, and oversaw a 60,000 square foot growing facility before creating Willow Greenhouse in Northville. http://willowgreenhouse.com/


May 31 – Roy Prentice – MSU Tollgate Farms: Carrying on Novi’s Agricultural Traditions

Ever since Tollgate was first settled by Europeans in the early 1800’s, it has been a working farm.  Throughout its history, Tollgate’s owners – first the Bassett Family, then the Meyers, then MSU – have managed Tollgate as a successful farm.  During the time that the Bassett family owned the property – from 1831 through 1951 –the City of Novi made the first steps toward becoming the thriving municipality that we see around us today.  Come learn about the agricultural roots of the Novi community as seen in the history of one of its first farms. If weather permits, a tour of the Tollgate Farm grounds will be included. Roy Prentice has served as the Farm Manager of the MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center since 1993.  Before that, he worked as a field research technician for the MSU Department of Forestry growing seedlings, establishing plantations, and conducting field experiments.  Roy has his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Forestry from MSU. He currently lives in the historic farmhouse at Tollgate with his wife Cindy and their Labrador “Jack” and their two children grew up here. Roy is also the past chair of the Novi Historical Commission.


June 14 – Mary Gerstenberger - Water: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Mary Gerstenberger’s fun and popular program will cover all the basics of water - including what we have, where it's going, what we have done to it, and what we can do to help. Mary brings a groundwater model and a watershed model, and through activities (with volunteer help from the audience!) we learn about groundwater, surface water, the water cycle, water quality, and water conservation. Mary Gerstenberger earned her bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University. She began working with MSU Extension in 1997 as a Program Assistant in 4-H and Natural Resources, then as Environmental Education Programs Coordinator. She worked on youth programs for water conservation, groundwater, and the Great Lakes Education program, and adult programs for water quality, wetlands, conservation, and the Master Composter program. She just retired from the position of Consumer Horticulture Coordinator, where she handled plant and insect diagnostics, the garden hotline, the Master Gardener program, and other garden-related educational programming.


 MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status.

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