Saturday Events

2022 State Conference Saturday Sessions

  1. Continental Breakfast
  2. Tracy DiSabato-Aust 1st Keynote
  3. State Master Gardener Awards
  4. 1st Breakout Sessions
  5. Lunch
  6. Tracy DiSabato-Aust 2nd Keynote
  7. 2nd Breakout Sessions
  8. 3rd Breakout Sessions

Tracy Di-Sabato-Aust will be signing books on Saturday ! More information to come on this.

Continental Breakfast

Saturday kicks off with a continental breakfast. Registration will be open for new arrivals.

Tracy DiSabato-Aust 1st Keynote

Color, Texture & Form for Visionary Effects

In a well-designed border, we often notice the beauty of the combinations of plants more than the individual plants themselves. To achieve this sense of interplay, it’s useful to think about an artistic approach to color and visual texture: the patterns created by the lines and forms of combined leaves, branches, and flowers.  Instead of using threads or yarns to weave texture, gardeners can stitch together the varied colors and patterns of plants to create living tapestries. Join us for this dynamic and creative discussion on the use of color, texture, and form in the garden that will elevate your designs to visionary status.

State Master Gardeners Awards

Awards, Awards, Awards ! These will be presented on Saturday after our 1st Keynote. Master Gardener counties and individuals will be recognized for their hard work in the past year(s) educating the public on research based gardening work.

1st Breakout Session – Morning Before Lunch

Steve Turner, Educator, Oakland Community College, Detroit, Arborist and Columnist
ADVANCED “Making the Grade: Everything to know about Planting, Restoring and Saving Your Trees

If you love trees, this presentation is for you! Steve is an irrepressible force in the Michigan tree community. Known statewide for his innovative managing of tree health, Steve will cover SGR’s (stem girdling roots), improper and proper planting techniques, over-mulching, identifying tree problems, techniques for fixing them or when to throw in the towel and replant. He’ll share an amazing catalogue of pictures and videos including before and after pictures of grade restorations. 

Brenda Dziedzic, Conservation specialist for Monarch Watch, author and highly regarded moth and butterfly advocate
Growing Native Plants that the Caterpillars, Butterflies and Moths Need

Brenda Dziedzic is known far and wide as a butterfly and moth advocate and expert. She speaks and teaches in multiple media: horticultural journals, TV shows, newspapers and professional conferences for invertebrates. Debra will discuss the components of a butterfly/moth garden using native plants, focusing on planting in groups, multiple locations for host plants, plant arrangements, sunning spots, overripe fruit, places to puddle, nectar plants and host plants. She will go into depth about the native host plants that the butterflies and moths use.

Pam Bennett, Author, Program Director Ohio State Master Gardener Volunteer Program, and Interim Program Director Chadwick Arboretum
Blending Native Plants into the Perennial Border

Description is forthcoming !

Debra Knapke, Educator at Columbus State Community College, prolific author. Known affectionately as The Garden Sage
Simplifying Your Garden Without Diminishing Your Joy


There are many reasons to simplify your garden: moving to a smaller home and yard, physically not being able to maintain a larger garden or just making the choice to define what you want from your garden instead of trying to have it all.  True success in simplifying your life and subsequently your garden, depends on understanding its parts and how they fit within the bigger picture.  The way to find joy in your garden is to know what you want from it and not going crazy trying to achieve it.  Debra will use her own garden and others’ to provide inspiration for the creation of a simpler, blissful garden.


Your lunch selections for Saturday include bread and butter and Turtle Cream Pie.

  1. Chicken Salad Croissant – Chicken salad with grapes and toasted pecans, served on a buttery croissant with fruit garnish and kettle chips.
  2. Caesar Salad – Crisp romaine, parmesan cheese, focaccia croutons and caesar dressing (Vegetarian)
  3. Asian Chicken Salad – Breast of chicken, julienne red and green peppers, snow peas, carrots, mixed greens, water chestnuts, asian rice noodles, and ginger peanut vinaigrette (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Tracy DiSabato-Aust 2nd Keynote

High Impact Low Care Garden Plants

Are you searching for plants that will be high impact but low care? That will fit your sustainable landscape goals? Who isn’t? Finally, a look at dynamic, artistic, outstanding plants that may also be long-lived, tolerant of heat and humidity, cold hardy, non-invasive, as well as drought, disease and deer resistant. Ones that don’t require frequent pruning, deadheading or division and don’t require heavy staking to perform their best. Plants that will soon become your favorites because they are fantastic and yet they give you time for your busy life. Learn from a 41-year veteran gardening expert about what will look amazing without hours of work!

2nd Breakout Session – After Lunch

Adam Baker, PhD, The Davey Institute
“Monarchs – An ecological approach to the design of monarch butterfly and bee conservation habitat in urban areas”

In this in depth, science-based presentation we will explore the reasons behind the decline of the monarch butterfly, initiatives to preserve them, and approaches to designing optimal habitat. We will discuss how design influences use of small butterfly-centric conservation gardens (e.g. Waystations), the use of cultivated plants in conservation efforts, and interactions with an invasive predator that is prevalent in urban areas.

Enrico Bonello, PhD
ADVANCED: “Trees Talk: How Trees Defend Themselves
Even though it may appear that trees are helpless against the constant onslaught of organisms that try to kill them, that is far from the truth.  In fact, trees have sophisticated defense mechanisms that most of the time keep enemies at bay, allowing them to survive for decades, centuries, and, in some cases, millennia.  This presentation will provide a primer on tree defense and why it matters.

Carol Chernega, Author, Horticulturist, Columnist
Seven Mistakes Home Gardeners Make-and Their Solutions
Carol Chernega, author, educator and expert gardener, knows what works and what doesn’t. Let Carol walk you through the seven most frequent mistakes even experienced gardeners make as they design and cultivate their home landscapes.

She’ll identify these errors and offer solutions that will enhance the beauty and improve the health of your garden treasures.

Ashley Kulhanek, MS, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources
OSU Extension, Medina County
Weird Things Bugs Do

OH, ME OH MY, the insect world is full of surprises! Join Entomologist and Extension Educator Ashley Kulhanek to learn about the Weird Things Bugs Do.  As Master Gardeners we (hopefully) have begun to appreciate insects for their benefits and role in the environment, but let us also celebrate their amazing adaptations, behaviors and characters that make them so compelling!

3rd Breakout Session – After Afternoon Break

Nathan Rutz, Director of Soil, Rust Belt Riders
ADVANCED: “Friends in Low Places: Compost & the Soil Food Web

They’re not big on social graces, but the organisms in our soil are essential to all life on Earth. Learn how the plant – soil symbiosis works, and how humans, like Rust Belt Riders Composting, are and can be allies to the rhizosphere.

Tilth. Comes from an Old English word that means basically “to labor, to work”. Tilth is what happens when you work the soil.

Debra Knapke, Educator at Columbus State Community College, prolific author. Known affectionately as The Garden Sage
The Four-Season Garden

A garden can delight and stimulate the senses all four seasons of the year. Come and explore how your garden can capture the emerging life of spring, the hot colors of summer, the russet splendor of autumn, and the subtle beauty of winter.

Carol Chernega, Author, Horticulturist, Columnist
Deer Proof Your Garden”
Carol Chernega gardens on six acres in a Pittsburgh suburb, and has learned over the years which plants are a deer feast and which plants are ignored.  Join Carol for this entertaining and informative class which will teach you how to avoid wasting money on plants that become deer food and focus on those that will help you create a garden that’s a feast for the eyes, not for the deer.

Bill Hendricks, CEO, Klyn Nurseries and Champion of Master Gardeners
Fragrance in the Garden

Open your senses to creating new landscapes through the use of fragrance in the garden.  Many plants have fragrant flowers and others have fragrant foliage that can add an additional dimension to your landscape.