Spring Gardening Seminars Are in the Air

By: Nalee Vang, Communications Intern
With springtime approaching (finally!), many of our local garden retailers are hosting gardening clinics, programs and seminars. Want to spruce up your spring gardens or learn a few more tips? Attending any of these events will help give you some more ideas and prepare you for spring!

Courtesy of firstteam.com

The Master Gardeners of Summit County presents the Portage Lakes Garden Series. Taking place on the last Tuesday of each month, garden experts will teach you how to get your gardens in the best shape ever! Programs begin at 6 p.m. in the Portage Lakes Branch Library, 4261 Manchester Road, 330.644.7050. Please register in advance for each session. Light refreshments will be served.
March 31 – Seed Starting by Lee Paulson
April 28 – Converting Glass to Garden by Vince Matlocki
May 26 – vegetable Gardening by Sarah Vandenburg

Donzell’s Flower and Garden Center (one of our Dreamscape Vendor Partners) is hosting FREE garden seminars every Saturday at 11 a.m. All of the seminars are located at their Garden Center (937 E. Waterloo Road in Akron). You MUST register for the seminars by calling 330.724.0550, ext. 110.

March 14 – Speaker: Dale Cochoy, Akron Canton Bonsai Society. Dale has grown bonsai for many years and his experience is invaluable. He brings examples of plant varieties, demonstrates potting & shaping techniques, and care tips.
March 21 – Speaker: Jim Voytis, Espoma representative. Since 1929 The Espoma Company has been the pioneer in natural gardening solutions. Gives you insight into what makes Espoma products so special.
March 28 – Speaker: Lee Paulson, Master Gardener Lee covers the basics for those who want to enjoy their own delicious fresh-picked vegetables. You don’t have to plant acres to reap the rewards of homegrown flavor- let Lee show you how!

Dayton Nurseries (also a Dreamscape Vendor Partner) located at 3459 Cleveland-Massillon Road, will present the following seminars beginning at 11 a.m. and usually last about two hours. The cost is $10, or $6 for garden club members. Dayton will provide coffee, tea and a light lunch at no additional cost. Seating is limited to 70. To signup, call 330.825.3320 or email info@daytonnursery.com.

March 7 – Are You Out of Your Gourd?
March 14 – Welcome Back Warblers
March 21 – What’s New for Spring?

Graf Growers Garden Center (also a Dreamscape Vendor Partner) located at 1015 White Pond Drive, will present the following workshops/events. To register or for more information, call 330.836.2727 or visit the website.

March 21 – Celebrate the opening of our Terrarium Bar with a Terrarium Workshop at 10AM and Fairy Garden Workshop at 2PM. Be the first to see our new miniature shop full of tiny plants, unique containers, tropical air plants, accessories & more! Both workshops will be hands-on. Bring a container from home or purchase one here. The workshops are free with potting soil provided. Participants pay for plants and accessories used. You can choose to attend both workshops or just one. Call to save yourself and a friend a seat. All ages are welcome to attend.
March 28  – Decorate your front door and porch for Easter and spring! Join us to plant cold tolerant container gardens using early spring favorites such as pansies, tulips, daffodils and more! Breakfast will be served at 9:30AM, followed by a short talk about early spring containers with Lisa Graf. Then the hands-on planting will begin! Bring your containers from home or purchase ones here. All ages are welcome to attend. Registration is required. Call or email karlie@grafgrowers.com to sign up!

Community Pride Trailer

By Alexandra Clarke, Walsh Jesuit High School Senior Expierence Student

The Board of Directors introduced the Community Pride Trailer three years ago to be used by organizations, civic groups, and neighborhood volunteers to restore vacant and abandoned property. The Community Pride Trailer was made possible by grants from the Dominion Foundation and Charter One Bank. Through the rental of the 25 foot box trailer, the community can share Keep Akron Beautiful’s urban beautification experience with citizens who want to cleanup vacant property in their neighborhoods. Inside the Trailer is landscape equipment and cleanup supplies for volunteer groups to transform lots into green spaces.

Just this year 7 groups have used the traieler and 8 more groups are already signed up. Within the 7 groups that have already used trailer 92 bags of litter and debris were collected and 597 flowers, veggies, bulbs, and trees have been planted. 191 volunteers have used the trailer from groups like City Hope, Dominion East Ohio, Glendale Community Garden, Eleanor Heller 101 Group, the Akron Racers, and Adolph Community Gardens. Other groupls like The Carovillese Club, East Akron Community Development Corporation, MT. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, Akron YMCA, Summit County Historical Society, The Akron Urban Garden, and The Ohio & Erie Canal have already signed up to use the Community Pride Trailer!

The Community Pride Trailer season started on April 25 and ends on October 28, 2014 but you can schedule your event today! Go to www.keepakronbeautiful.org to book the trailer for a project that will benefit the community. Citizens of Akron can complete an application form and view the requirements safety commitments and equipment list for the program online, or at the offices of Keep Akron Beautiful. KAB staff transports the trailer and works with your designated Project Coordinator at each job site.


 Make sure to contact Keep Akron Beautiful and schedule your event today!

The Problem with Impatiens

By Alexandra Clarke, Walsh Jesuit High School Senior Experience Student

Remember Downy Mildew? The disease that crippled impatiens last year? Well it is still prevalent this year.

Downy Mildew is a selective strain that only affects impatiens “walleriana”, traditional impatiens, and double impatiens. New Guinea Impatiens and Sunpatiens are not susceptible to this disease. This is quite the disappointment for all of the shade gardeners out there. This disease is carried through both water and air born spores that travel through water droplets in the air. Colder temperatures will not kill the spores, and it is currently not cost effective to treat in the landscape. Downy Mildew was first seen in Akron in August of last year after a few rainy days. It first became problematic in Europe before spreading to both coasts of the United States.

Symptoms of Downy Mildew: 

  • White to gray fuzz on the undersides of leaves
  • Yellowish curled leaves that defoliate
  • Stems collapseimg_1203

The disease has advanced so much in this community it is not a question of if your impatiens are going to get it, but when. It is recommended not to plant impatiens for a period of years unless researchers find a solution.


There are Alternatives for Shade Gardeners!

New Guinea Impatiens and SunPatiens are a colorful option for beds or containers in partial shade. Begonias in shades of red, pink or white are easy to grow and bloom all summer. When looking for flowers for containers there are many varieties of begonias including Reiger Begonias with rose form flowers and Dragon Wing Begonias in shades of red and pink. New begonias with larger leaves, taller and bigger flowers called ‘Big BronzeLeaf Rose or Big Green Leaf Red. Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ with an airy white flower is a great filler. The colorful foliage of caladiums and coleus are another alternative for the shade garden!


New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea Impatiens





Dragon Wing Begonia










Make sure to check out these and other shade alternatives for your garden this summer! Don’t let Downy Mildew affect you!

Donzell’s Offers FREE Garden Seminars This Winter

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager100_1817

More Garden Seminars are in Akron this winter for you to enjoy! Donzell’s Garden Center, one of our Dreamscape Vendor Partners is hosting FREE seminars at 11:00 on Saturday mornings. Please phone Donzell’s reservation line at 330.724.0550 ext. 110 to register for seminars you plan to attend.

The upcoming seminars include:

Feb. 1 “Nature’s Way™ Brings Birds to Backyards” Speaker: a Nature’s Way representative- Combining innovative design technology with quality and durability, Nature’s Way bird products offer features that other companies don’t. This presentation features a demonstration of these unique features and give you tips on how to bring the birds to your yard.

Feb. 8 “Growing Orchids in Your Home”  Speaker: Akron Orchid Society. The Orchid Society presents an extremely informative presentation each year for us. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced grower, you’re certain to learn a thing or two from those that have grown orchids for many years!

Feb. 15 “Purple Martins Majesty” Speaker: Larry Hunter, Portage Lakes Purple Martin Society. Propagating purple martins and educating the public on the benefits of these birds is their mission. Learn about these fascinating birds that are primarily dependent on the assistance of humans in areas east of the Mississippi, whose population grows each year in the Portage Lakes, thanks to the enormous efforts of this group.

Feb. 22 “Seed Starting Basics” Speaker: Dan Stefancik, a Donzell’s Garden Guy- Dan keeps seed starting simple for those just starting out. It’s economical, fun for the family, and a great way to get a jump on the season.

Mar. 1 & 2 Greater Akron Orchid Society Show-  There will be no Saturday seminar. The Orchid Show offers exotic orchid displays, orchid vendors, and experts on hand to answer your questions. The show is free and open to the public in our greenhouse.

Mar. 8 “Spring Seeding & Feeding for the New American Lawn” Speaker: Tim Duffy, Jonathan Green representative. – Traditional lawn care methods only treat the symptoms and deplete the soil of what a healthy lawn really needs. Jonathan Green products work by treating the cause of lawn problems and letting nature do the hard work. Tim will have some door-prizes/giveaways for those attending.

Mar. 15 “Gardening with Herbs” Speaker: Barb Oare, Quail Hollow Herb Society- Growing and harvesting tips for many popular herbs you’ll want to include in your garden. Barb’s many years of herb growing experience always make her seminars interesting and informative.

Mar. 22 “Bonsai Basics & Beyond” Speaker: Dale Cochoy, Akron Canton Bonsai Society- Dale has grown bonsai for many years and his experience is invaluable. He brings examples of plant varieties, demonstrates potting & shaping techniques, and care tips.

Mar. 29 “Vegetable Gardening Basics” Speaker: Lee Paulson, Master Gardener- Lee covers the basics for those who want to enjoy their own delicious fresh-picked vegetables. You don’t have to plant acres to reap the rewards of homegrown flavor– let Lee show you how!

Thank you to Donzell’s for being a great partner to Keep Akron Beautiful! We hope you will join them at one of their upcoming events! Think Spring!