Smart Gardening Conference deadline extends through Feb. 26, 2016

It’s not too late to register for the 2016 Smart Gardening Conference in Grand Rapids to learn about deer-resistant plants, attracting Monarchs and sustainability.

The 2016 Smart Gardening Conference at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is packed with great messages and presenters. Michigan State University Extension will hold the conference on Saturday, March 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., where you will be filled with new ideas for your garden that are environmentally savvy and smart!

Keeping your garden off the menu from marauding deer can be as simple as choosing the right plants. Ruth Rogers-Clausen, a horticulturist trained in England, is the author of several books including “50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants.” Clausen will introduce us to dozens of versatile and drool-worthy options, and her delightful teaching style will make this presentation not only enjoyable, but one to remember. The best annuals, perennials, bulbs, ferns, grasses and shrubs — plus advice on how to grow them — will be highlighted with her favorite deer-resistant companions for a smart garden design.

Other highlights include the latest news about the Monarch butterfly and choosing the right plants to encourage garden pollinators. Learning more about using native woody plants in our garden designs will also help us be smart gardeners.

LandscapeThe Smart Gardening Conference wouldn’t be complete without a world-class presentation on sustainable gardening. Jeff Epping, director of horticulture at Olbrich Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin, is a leader in practicing sustainability while creating breathtakingly beautiful garden designs. Drawing upon inspiration found during his travels in the U.S. and abroad, Epping takes creativity to a new level while conserving resources and implementing environmentally-savvy gardening methods. Epping’s practical pearls of wisdom combined with his easy and humorous teaching style will invigorate your passion for gardening!

Early-bird registration has been extended to Feb. 26. Afterwards, the price of registration will go from $60 to $70. Registration at the door is not available. Registration to the Smart Gardening Conference will provide you admittance to the 2016 West Michigan Home and Garden Show, which also takes place at the DeVos Place March 3-6. To register for the Smart Gardening Conference, go to the 2016 Smart Gardening Conference Registration page. You can also view the 2016 Smart Gardening Conference brochure for more information and a full agenda.

For more information on a wide variety of smart gardening articles, or to find out about smart gardening classes and events, visit the Gardening in Michigan website. You can also visit us at the following 2016 shows: the Novi Cottage and Lakefront Living Show Feb. 25-28 in Novi, Michigan; the West Michigan Home and Garden Show March 3-6 in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and the Lansing Home and Garden Show March 17-20 in Lansing, Michigan.

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