Save the Date! Our Spring Gardening Workshop Happens April 26.

by Kate Yturri, 2014 Spring Gardening Workshop Coordinator

The Spring Gardening Workshop is two short months away and we have a great line-up of speakers.

The workshop is scheduled for Saturday April 26 at the Friday Harbor Middle School on San Juan Island. Our theme “Sustainable Gardening” will be a common element of all the presentations.

Keynote speaker Erin Benzakein.

Keynote speaker Erin Benzakein.

Erin Benzakein, owner of Floret Flower Farm in Mount Vernon, WA, will be our keynote speaker. She will talk about her adventures with sustainable flower gardening in the Pacific Northwest. You can view her beautiful website at

The day will begin with the keynote presentation at 9 am, followed by two one-hour breakout sessions with multiple presentation choices. Lunch break at 12:30 will be a time to catch up with gardening friends and colleagues. Afternoon sessions will resume at 1:45, also with a choice of subjects. We will conclude at 3:00.

We are honored to hear from many academicians this year. Many of these individuals spoke at the state master gardener conference in Everett in September. Dr. Tim Lawrence of WSU Extension-Island County will talk about the ecology of bees and Dr. Evan Sugden from the University of Washington will discuss alternate pollinators and gardening to attract and support them. WSU’s Dr. Sharon Collman will speak about using integrated pest management in the fight against tent caterpillars and exotic insects in our gardens.

Artistry will be the focus of Lopez Island’s Dr. Linda Vorobiks’ presentation on drawing and painting the
wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest. Kari Koski from San Juan Island will describe her creative venture into the use of plants, vegetables, flowers and herbs in the making of bitters and shrubs, which are old-fashioned drinkable digestives and additives for food and drink.

Margaret Payne, president of the Orcas Island Garden Club, will tell us about her beautiful cottage garden through the seasons. The San Juan County Conservation Districts’ Linda Lyshell will present a guide to building a small rain garden at home.

Danah Feldman from Lopez will share her secrets for growing and ripening tomatoes in the San Juans. Jane Wentworth from San Juan Island and previously of the King County Noxious Weed Board will address the impact of noxious weeds in our environment.

Many more topics are planned including:

● Preserving your garden bounty
● Utilizing your greenhouse year round
● The water-wise Mediterranean Garden in the PNW
● Landscaping with native ferns
● Weather and gardening
● Sustainable hardscaping

We hope you will join us.

Workshop reservations are first come, first served. For a complete schedule and to register, go to our page at Brown Paper Tickets.

And if you’re coming from out of town, visit the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau for accommodation and travel info.


2 thoughts on “Save the Date! Our Spring Gardening Workshop Happens April 26.

  1. Pingback: Master Gardener Pioneer to Speak at Spring Workshop | The Perennial Post

  2. Pingback: Spring Gardening Workshop | San Juan Island Update: News about the things that make living here great.

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