Master Gardeners plan events, including Plant Share on April 28

ONARGA  — Members of the Ford-Iroquois Master Gardeners met March 13 with 16 members and Master Gardener coordinator Jenney Hanrahan present. 

The following occurred:

➜ The group discussed plans for a Plant Share fundraiser scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the Paxton IGA.  During the event, members will bring plants to share with the community. Community members may also bring plants to share or just come to pick out a plant.

➜ Plans were discussed for the Cissna Park Garden Walk, to be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 23. “Save the date” postcards are being distributed around Ford and Iroquois counties. Tickets will be available soon at the University of Illinois Extension office in Onarga or from Master Gardener members. Nine gardens will be featured in the walk — all in or around Cissna Park. Also, there will be vendors in the village park selling garden-related items. Anyone interested in being a vendor is asked to contact the UI Extension office in Onarga at 815-268-6051.

➜ The group learned that in July, Master Gardener members will be doing a program at the Onarga Public Library.  The theme of the program is “Reading Takes You Everywhere.” Master Gardeners Cynthia Swanson of Paxton and Mary Dickinson of Loda are working on the program.

➜ Dickinson, head of the speaker’s bureau, said she has had several requests for Master Gardener programs from the Loda Township Library, Piper City Public Library and Clifton Central Library. Dates will be available soon.

➜ Anita Boomgarden requested materials for the monarch butterfly watch program, including a tagging kit for monarchs, several books on monarchs for the Master Gardener library and a poster of the life cycle of the monarch. Materials will be available for members to use in presentations and possibly classrooms. Extra tagging kits may be made up to distribute to classrooms and interested groups.

➜ Members reported on a trip to the VA Hospital’s greenhouse in Danville on Feb. 21.  Members of the Vermilion County Master Gardeners explained what they did at the greenhouse and how VA members helped with gardening tasks. Members came home with cuttings to start for their own gardens. The trip may become an annual event for the local group.

➜ A unit field trip to Chicago Botanical Gardens is scheduled for May 30, the group learned. Members were sorry to hear that the trip is already sold out. However, a trip for the local Master Gardener group is scheduled for May 23. The group will be visiting Diane Noland’s garden in Homer. Members will meet at her home at 10 a.m. to tour her gardens. Members are to bring a sack lunch. In the afternoon, the group will be also visiting Barclay Gardens.

➜ Members were encouraged to clear off their section of the Idea Garden in Onarga whenever it is convenient for them. After members have worked, they are asked to email other members to let them know what has been done.

➜ A panel discussion on bees was to be held at the Champaign County Farm Bureau building on March 22, the group learned.  Delmar Owens was to be participating in the discussion. 

➜ A webinar entitled “Keep on Growing: Tips for Extending the Garden Season” was to be presented March 27 at the UI Extension office in Onarga, the group learned.

➜ The group’s next meeting was set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 10, at the UI Extension office in Onarga, with the Garden Walk Committee meeting at 9 a.m.

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