Friday Events

All Friday events are open to both Master Gardeners and their guests. You will register each person separately. Alternatively there are many other things for your guests to do while in Cleveland. See the page Destination Weekend for more information.

2022 State Conference Friday Sessions

Friday will be as busy as Saturday ! We have many activities for you to participate in:
1. Workshops
2. Bus Tours
3. Reception and Dinner
4. Keynote

Friday Workshop
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Chuck Omer, Self-taught student and teacher of Bonsai; creator of amazing specimens
You Can Grow Bonsai in Ohio!

Chuck has mastered the art of Bonsai and is happy to share his techniques with you. Bonsai, or Penjing as it is known in China, is an old form of cultivating trees in containers that can be traced back to at least the 8th century in China.  While most any temperate or tropical tree or woody shrub can be developed as a bonsai, varieties with small leaves, short internodes and the ability to grow well in containers are generally used. 

Bonsai can readily be developed using regular nursery stock or small to medium sized trees or shrubs dug from the landscape.  While developing a bonsai takes time, you can usually create an interesting one in a few seasons.  During my presentation I will show an example of a tree being developed as a bonsai and demonstrate some of the techniques used, including pruning and wiring of branches.  I will discuss how to cultivate and maintain bonsai in Ohio during the seasons, including what to do with bonsai during the winter months.

Friday Workshop
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Bob Wodzisz, Beth Murphy, beekeepers
“Hands-On Beekeeping, Minus the Bees!”

In this session you will hear from experienced bee keepers on both solitary and colony (honey) bees.  This isn’t just a presentation – you will have hands-on experience with the hives, equipment, and materials these beekeepers regularly use to “keep” their bees as well as extract honey for sale.  Why do they use a smoker ? Why do they wear white ? What are all those boxes for ? All workshop attendees will be entered into a drawing to visit a honeybee apiary to see beekeeping in-person.

Bus Tours

Begin your weekend with one of our two whole day bus tours in Greater Cleveland.

Pick one of two exciting excursions:

1 – University Circle – Ohio’s Most Spectacular Square Mile!

2 – East Side Gems

The bus tours include lunch, drinks, and snacks. We do encourage you to bring your own water bottle so we can reduce the amount of disposable water bottle trash generated.

When you register you will have the choice of the following for lunch:
1. Roasted Turkey and Avocado BLT
2. Tuna Salad Sandwich
3. Mediterranean Veggie Boxed Lunch (Vegetarian)
4. Citrus Asian Crunch Salad (Vegetarian)
5. Greek Salad (Vegetarian and Gluten Conscious)

Click here for detailed information on the bus tours and lunch choices.


On Friday evening we will have time for you to mingle and meet other Master Gardeners and their guests. A cash bar and complementary hor’douvers will be available.


After the reception we will move into the main ballroom for dinner and dessert. We have options for gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian diets. All dinners include a steak house wedge salad, tomato, cucumber, carrot), bread and butter, asparagus, herb & garlic risotto, and key lime pie for dessert.

When you register your dinner choices will be:
1. Crusted Chicken (parmesan herb crusted with tomato cream sauce)

2. Free Range Chicken Breast (balsamic and tomato relish) – Gluten Free, Dairy Free

3. Atlantic Salmon (citrus butter) – Gluten Free

4. Pasta Primavera, marinara sauce, assorted grilled vegetables – Vegetarian and Vegan

Friday Keynote Presentation by Debra Knapke

After dinner Debra Knapke will give us a presentation on The Garden Aesthetic.

The Garden Aesthetic is a dynamic concept. Gardens and landscapes throughout history have alternated between a naturalistic style and a highly ordered art form as society has defined what is appealing in an outside space. Today the garden aesthetic seems to be split. Do we want beautiful gardens? Do we want useful functional ones? Do we want both?