Creative Gardening Series 2014

Creative Gardening Series free lectures cedar rapids iowa

Three FREE lectures presented by ISU Extension and Outreach Linn County Master Gardeners.


at Cedar Rapids Public Library

Whipple Auditorium
450 5th Ave SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

(No registration required.)


Thursday • MARCH 276:30pm–8:30pm
presented by: Bill Shores
Small Space Food Gardens
Bill Shores will offer an overview of techniques to produce food organically in small urban/suburban spaces. Through photos and garden planting graphics, you will gain an understanding of the process of designing a successful food garden. Topics include efficient use of in-ground space, intensive and succession planting techniques, raised bed gardens, season extension, indoor gardens, and building and maintaining healthy soils. 
Bill’s Bio:  For the past 18 years Bill Shores has specialized in creating and maintaining space-efficient, organic gardens suited to the urban environment including indoor gardens, small-space in-ground gardens, raised bed & container gardens, and deck & rooftop gardens. Bill has managed both home-based and commercial gardens and understands the differing needs of both.  Currently, Bill manages gardens for Chef Rick Bayless in Chicago, growing a wide array of food and ornamental crops in a variety of spaces. Together these gardens serve as a living laboratory where Bill works to perfect and teach about the Garden Space Concept.  Bill has an undergraduate degree in Management, a Master's degree in Plant Biology and has studied organic agriculture, ornamental horticulture, landscape design, permaculture, and integrated pest management.

Thursday • APRIL 36:30pm–8:30pm
presented by: Mike Nowak
Guys on Grass (Organic Lawn Care 101)Mike Nowak
As a die-hard gardener, Mike's philosophy about lawns can be summed up in this phrase: “When in doubt, rip it out.” Yet, as a radio show host, he knows that people love their lawns, so his compromise is to preach the gospel of organic lawn care. He notes that 68% of consumers say that their concern for the environment is a consideration when buying lawn and garden products. Yet these same people are the ones who are afraid of what their neighbors will think if they don't have a lawn that looks like a golf course fairway.  In this talk, Mike looks at why the concept of the “perfect lawn” is so harmful, starting with that lock-step mentality and moving on to the use of synthetic fertilizers and pervasive pesticides. He explains how some simple cultural practices can be just as effective as expensive chemicals to keep your lawn green and healthy. He shows you why what's in your soil is at least as important as what's above it. And he dares to ask the question, “Why are weeds so bad?” (Hint: they're not.) 
Mike’s Bio:  Mike Nowak is host of the aptly-named “The Mike Nowak Show,” Sundays from 9 to 11am on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT 820AM and 92.5, 92.7 and 99.9 FM. For a decade before coming to WCPT, he was the host of WGN Radio's “Let's Talk Gardening” and has appeared on WGN-TV Channel 9, CBS 2 Chicago and the DIY Network. He is also a writer and award-winning columnist for Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. In the April, 2011 issue, Garden Design Magazine lists Mike’s show as one of five radio programs “we’re listening to.”  Mike is an Illinois Master Gardener and Openlands TreeKeeper. In 2002, he co-founded the Midwest Ecological Landscaping Association and served as MELA's president for four years. He is president of the Chicago Recycling Coalition and part of the Speakers Network for, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting natural lawn care and grounds maintenance.


Thursday • APRIL 106:30pm–8:30pm
presented by: James H. Locklear
The View from Phlox Mountain  James H. Locklear
Phlox is a genus of 60 species that includes many of America’s most beloved wildflowers, and has yielded plants that are cultivated by gardeners around the world.  Jim Locklear, director of conservation at Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens, spent a decade researching and writing a book on this important group of plants that was published by Timber Press in 2011.  His illustrated presentation will explore the ecology of phlox species in the wild and the history of their use in the garden.
Jim’s Bio:  Jim Locklear has had a love of plants since childhood and has been fortunate to work in public gardens most of his career. Formerly director of the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Kansas and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, he is currently director of conservation for Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska.  Jim has worked with plants in the wild and in the garden. He received a B.S. in biology from the University of Central Missouri and an M.S. in plant and soil science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. As a botanist, he has conducted field studies of imperiled plants for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy and has published papers on taxonomy and nomenclature in the genus Phlox. As a public garden professional, he has experience in master planning, collection and exhibit development, and education, interpretation, and outreach programming. He has introduced several Great Plains native wildflowers into the nursery trade. Jim has published articles in gardening and nature magazines including American Gardener, American Nurseryman, Fine Gardening, Horticulture, NEBRASKAland, and Wyoming Wildlife. He contributed two chapters to Rock Garden Plants of North America (Timber Press, 1996). His first book, Phlox: A Natural History and Gardener's Guide (Timber Press, 2011), is the result of 15 years of research and writing that took Jim all across America to study phlox species in their natural habitats.


Creative Gardening Series

The Creative Gardening Series is presented by the Linn County Extension Master Gardeners, a dedicated group of volunteers, trained by Iowa State University. They share their horticulture knowledge with the community through demonstrations, classes like the Creative Gardening Series, events and the Hortline. For unbiased, research-based answers to your horticulture questions call the Hortline: 319.447.0647.

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