Photo by Alex Pajunas
ASTORIA — Clatsop County Master Gardeners will present the 2016 Spring Into Gardening seminar Saturday, May 14 at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds. Admission is free.
Gardening for Taste and Beauty is the theme. Presenters will teach about ornamental edibles both as landscaping features and in containers.
The first speaker, Weston Miller, will give the talk “Incredible Edible Ornamental Gardens” from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Attendees will get the skinny on blending edibles and ornamentals for a delicious, low-maintenance landscape. Discover salad-boosting herbs and flowers, fruit trees for small spaces, and native plants that hide “berried” treasures. Learn easy organic care methods and best varieties for blueberries, strawberries, tree fruits, grapes, kiwis, culinary herbs and more.
Miller has a passion for beautiful edible garden landscapes. An associate professor at Oregon State University, he serves as community and urban horticulturist for OSU Extension Service and manages the popular Metro Master Gardener program in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.
From 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Maggie Stuckey will talk about “Container Gardening with Beautiful Ornamental Edibles.” Stuckey, author of “The Bountiful Container” and other garden and cook books, will show how to put together a container garden of edible plants: vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers. If you love to grow good things to eat but have limited space this is for you. Stuckey will explain the advantages of container gardening as well as the challenges. As a hands on demonstration, she will prepare three containers of mixed edibles to be raffled off in the afternoon.
Then, from 12:35 to 1:30 p.m., the nonprofit North Coast Food Web will share its culinary know-how with “Let’s Eat Flowers”: demos and tastings focused on creating a feast for the eyes using flowers. Attendees will learn how to make candied flowers, use flowers as garnishes on the plate, and grow and preserve violets, roses and lavender.
Spring Into Gardening offers more than just its featured seminar speakers. There will also be a plant sale, vendors, raffles and family fun.
This year, the plant sale’s varied selection will be more mature and soils are more ready for transplanting due to the later date of Spring into Gardening. This is an opportunity to purchase economical locally grown healthy plants that thrive in coastal soils. Selections includes a variety of perennials, potted cedar trees, ornamental grasses, ferns, bleeding hearts, herbs and apple trees. Plants are from the master gardeners demo garden at the fairgrounds and their private gardens. Master gardeners will be on hand to help attendees identify what’s best for individual growing conditions and general home gardening advice.
Commercial vendors will also be selling vegetable and flower starts. There are more plants this year, including organic vegetable starts, garden and patio art, dahlia tubers, tools, antiques, books, lawn services, artisan foods and more.
The winner of a special raffle has the opportunity to create the garden of their dreams. The “A Days Work” raffle guarantees that the Tongue Point Job Corps Landscaping Class will provide eight hours of landscaping and yardwork supervised by their instructor. The raffle winner provides materials; the students provide the labor. Past winners give rave reviews of paths and walls, raised beds, gardens dug and planted, shrubs and trees installed, and berms created. You do not need to be present to win. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at the OSU Extension office or from a master gardener.
Local merchants and individuals also donate to the popular Master Gardeners Raffle. This year it will be more streamlined and user-friendly. Items include restaurant certificates, hotel accommodations, landscape services and other items.
The event welcomes all ages. Children can bring their parents to learn about and create bugs, buds, bumblebees, bats and slugs. A Worm Farm and a Slug Farm will show these garden helpers in action doing their work.