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GC Master Gardeners to hold Gardening Symposium March 12
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MONROE - The Green County Master Gardeners Association will present their ninth annual Gardening Symposium, "Garden Inspirations for All Seasons - Tasteful Gardening for Style and Fun," from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 12 at the Peppercorn Banquets at Ludlow Mansion, 1421 Mansion Drive, Monroe.

Both experienced and novice gardeners are encouraged to attend the public seminar. Participants will receive lunch, refreshments and resource materials with their paid registration.

The symposium will teach how to create a refuge to provide a fun, colorful retreat in which to relax and absorb the surrounding sights and smells.

Speakers and topics for the symposium include:

• Alison Phillips of the Garden Spot in Monroe, speaking on "Transforming Your Landscape Through Design." Phillips has a Bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from Iowa State University and is currently employed as a freelance landscape designer.

• "Flowering Shrubs for Season-Long Interest - Highlights from the University of Wisconsin Arboretum's Collection," presented by David Stevens, curator from the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, Madison. While often associated with spring, flowering shrubs can add color and interest throughout the growing season. Stevens will highlight some of his favorite flowering shrubs from the UW Arboretum's extensive collection.

• John Gishnock III, experienced landscape designer and stone enthusiast, speaking on "Gardens of Stone - Expressions of Our Local Environment." A multitude of pictures and explanatory slides will demonstrate how simple material and layout choices can help natural stone landscape features go beyond function to express the essence of the landscape. This discussion, which will focus on the use of local landscape materials, promises to cover aspects of natural stonework, including different functional, aesthetic and emotional uses.

• Nancy Nedveck of The Flower Factory, presenting "New and Unique Perennials," which will include photos of new varieties for 2016 and out-of-the-ordinary plants. See what new trends are for color and growth habit for perennials old and new.

• "Fresh from the Garden Herbal Treats," presented by Kriss Marion of Circle M Farm. Marion will talk about herbs, how they grow, what they do and how they can be used. A demonstration may include herbal dips and butters, herbal shortbreads or herbal ice cream.

Participants from the general UW-Extension Master Gardening training classes and certified members live in all areas of Green County. Part of their mission is to support gardeners and communities with information and resources. UW-Extension Master Gardener volunteers also are available to assist homeowners with horticulture questions through the Green County Extension Office.

Early registration for the annual Gardening Symposium ends March 1 and costs $35. After March 1, late registration and walk-ins will cost $40. For more information, contact UW-Extension Green County by calling 608-328-9440 or check the website at