Butterflies, bouquets, basic landscaping, and balancing the ecosystem by choosing native plantings were the order of the day at Purdue Master Gardeners of LaGrange County’s 6th Annual Spring Symposium on March 24. More than 100 gardening devotees from Northeast Indiana attended the day-long event on the LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds.
LaGrange County Gold Level Master Gardener Jim Lewis, a former florist, led participants through designing their own take-home fresh flower arrangements.
Alan Clayton, certified landscape designer and Purdue Master Gardener, emphasized landscape guidelines to help homeowners enhance the “curb appeal” of their property while keeping maintenance at a minimum. He focused on design elements of space, color, proportion, texture, balance, and rhythm.
Naturalist Jody Heaston discussed how to attract monarch and other butterflies through gardening. She recommended providing the water, shelter, food and space needed by butterflies in general, and listed plants that provide the nectar preferred by specific butterflies.
Marissa Jones tied together the activities of the day with a thorough discussion of the area’s natural ecosystem. She emphasized the importance of sustaining water quality and an environment in which all links of the food chain can thrive. Incorporating plantings native to this area that require no fertilization, are naturally pest-resistant, and appropriate to the moisture level of the soil will assist in sustaining the environment.
Local gardening-related vendors had information and products for sale. Elijah Haven Crisis Intervention Center provided lunch as a fundraiser for that organization’s community programs. Door prizes and a silent auction featuring items donated by local businesses, organizations, and individuals rounded out the day.
Anyone interested in learning about Purdue Master Gardeners of LaGrange County should call the LaGrange County Purdue Extension office at 260-499-6334.