The 24th annual Spring Garden Clinic will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018, from 9:00 am-3:00 pm at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260. Program information and registration will be available on this web page in late January.



The 23rd annual Spring Garden Clinic was held on Saturday, March 4, 2017, from 9:00 am-3:00 pm at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260. There were 249 people who attended the event in 2017.

The Spring Garden Clinic is designed for beginners and experienced gardeners. It offers information on a variety of gardening topics and gardeners may select one out of three topics at four concurrent sessions during the day. Gardeners also get a chance to network with other gardeners. Participants must register prior to the day of the event

If you wish to receive information via e-mail on the 2018 Spring Garden Clinic or other gardening programs in 2017-2018, please e-mail Debbie Schelske (dschelsk@purdue.edu).

The topics and speakers for the 2017 Purdue Extension-Marion County Spring Garden Clinic were:

“Creating the Structured Native Home Landscape” by David Gorden, ASLA

Description: Not every property is conducive to the creation of a prairie or natural woodland. There either isn’t the space, the appropriate setting or the aesthetic inclination to have plantings that look too “natural” or in some cases “wild.” This discussion will consider how to incorporate native plants into your "un-natural" setting.

Bio: David Gorden is a landscape architect with Mark M. Holeman, Inc. in Indianapolis where he has been designing landscapes for over 25 years. A graduate of the University of Illinois, he is a past president of the Indianapolis Museum of Art Horticultural Society and the Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. A soldier in the battle against invasive plants, he serves on the Indiana Invasive Plant Advisory Committee and board of the Midwest Invasive Plant Network.

“Vegetable Garden Pests” by Jim Barbour

Description: Insects feeding on home-grown vegetables are a fact of life for many gardeners. You can choose to tolerate the damage or try to prevent it. Attend this session to learn more about vegetable crop enemies and what you can do to defeat them.

Bio: Jim Barbour grew up in Lawrence Township and worked with his father in the orchard and vegetable business. He was the Commercial Horticulture Educator with Purdue Extension-Marion County for over 25 years and his responsibilities included education for commercial clientele involved in greenhouse production, nursery, flower production, ground maintenance, and fruit production. He presently provides horticultural assistance and training through his business JMB Consulting.

“What’s New in Home Food Preservation?” by Christina Ferroli, PhD, RD

Description: Join me as we explore new equipment from the countertop boiling water bath canner to a new food processor for easy processing of tomatoes. Find out what is a good investment of your dollars, resources and time these days and where to go for the most up-to-date home canning information and recipes!

Bio: Christina Ferroli, PhD, RD, is an Extension Educator in the area of Health and Human Sciences. She has worked for Purdue Extension-Marion County since 1997. Dr. Ferroli is a registered dietitian and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Public Health/Community Nutrition Practice Group. Her educational programming focuses on promoting a healthy life-style for adults and youth. She is a certified Food Safety trainer with The National Restaurant Association. Dr. Ferroli also teaches food safety skills to youth, consumers, and food service workers. She is an advocate for preventive health care and for raising public awareness of nutrition, health, physical activity, and weight management issues in adults and youth.

“Providing Habitat for Wildlife around Your Home” by Aaron Stump and Steve Van Zant

Description: This presentation covers strategies for encouraging and protecting wildlife in your backyard.  Learn the essential needs of wildlife, what role Indiana native plants play, and how to sustainably maintain your landscape.

Bios: Aaron Stump has a BS in Environmental Science from IU and is the Habitat Programs Coordinator for Indiana Wildlife Federation. He is involved in community outreach efforts to encourage the adoption of sustainable landscape practices and the creation of habitats in every backyard. Steve Van Zant is an environmental advocate with  a passionate interest in habitat and native plants for our Indiana wildlife. He is a board member of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, Certified Backyard Habitat Host, and is actively involved with the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society as well as The Central Indiana Land Trust.

“Don’t Be a Buzz Kill: How to Protect Pollinators in Your Garden” by Cliff Sadof

Description: Worried about keeping pollinators healthy and working in your garden? Cliff will discuss who the pollinators are and what they need from you to be happy and healthy. He will also review Purdue’s latest series of pollinator bulletins, and how you can use them to keep a buzz on in your garden.

Bio: Cliff Sadof, Professor and Extension Specialist, Purdue University, has been the specialist on insect pests of ornamentals for 27 years. He conducts an active research program on emerald ash borer and other pests of ornamentals at Purdue University. He and his colleague Janna Beckerman, put together the Plant Doctor Series of Apps that can help you diagnose problems on a wide variety of trees, flowers and vegetables.

“What Not to Plant” by Carrie Tauscher

Description: This presentation gives an overview of Indiana’s most commonly planted invasive or aggressive woody landscape plants from tree to groundcover. It includes a review of selected State and Federally listed invasive species as well as those considered invasive by the Indiana Invasive Species Council. The speaker will take a look at the impact plant selection for your backyard oasis can have on our native ecosystems. You will see the challenges of changing the cycle of plant production perpetuating bad choices among consumers that includes both producers and consumers of landscape plants; and you can re-introduce yourself to some of the great native alternatives you can use to replace invasive or overplanted trees in your plant palette.

Bio: Carrie Tauscher is the State Community and Urban Forestry (CUF) Program Coordinator with the Indiana DNR. Her program provides the statewide technical/financial assistance, education, training, and outreach, to communities across Indiana, working to advance urban forest management for the health, well-being, safety, environmental and economic benefit of our communities. Carrie holds degrees from Iowa State University in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. She is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist with Tree Risk Assessment (TRAQ) qualifications. She is Vice President of the Indiana Arborist Association; a chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. Carrie began her career at The Morton Arboretum as an Inventory Technician for an i-Tree eco study of the 7 county Chicagoland region. She continued with The Morton Arboretum’s Community Trees Program working with municipal urban forestry programs in the Chicagoland region and administered the Illinois Urban Wood Utilization Team before coming to Indiana in 2012.

“New Plant Sampler” by Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Description: Get a sneak peek at some of the best new annuals, perennials and shrubs for the garden, including introductions from the last few years, and see some of the latest, greatest trends for tropical plants.

Bio: Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, the Hoosier Gardener (http://hoosiergardener.com), is a popular speaker on various garden topics and sustainable living. She is an Advanced Master Gardener who is author of The Visitor's Guide to American Gardens and co-author of the Indiana Gardener's Guide. Jo Ellen is editor of Iowa Gardener, Michigan Gardening, Minnesota Gardener, and Wisconsin Gardening magazines, and writes regularly for Indiana Gardening. She is a weekly garden columnist in The Indianapolis Star, and writes about food for Edible Indy. She is treasurer of the Garden Writers Association, a director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art Horticultural Society, and member of Indiana Landmark’s Cultural Landscape Committee.

“Planning and Planting Your Vegetable Garden” by Tyler Gough

Description: Learn how to produce more organic vegetables in your garden! We will focus on intermediate and advanced gardening skills such as garden planning and layout, crop rotation and cover cropping, planting schedules and succession planting for maximum production, and the top tips for a productive garden.

Bio: Tyler Gough, Farm Manager, Indy Urban Acres, oversees the planning and operation of all aspects of three organic farms dedicated to ensuring that families in need have access to healthy foods. Tyler is also the President of the not-for-profit Narrow Gate Gardens, Inc., whose mission is to create and help sustain community gardens to support food pantries. Tyler continues to support the idea that each member of our community should be able to attain proper nutrition for themselves and their families, and to have access to the educational tools necessary to provide for themselves.

“Growing and Loving Daylilies” by Cynthia Miller Wilhoite

Description: This presentation introduces some of the new forms and colors of daylilies. It will also include a short guide on how to grow daylilies well.

Bio: Cynthia Miller Wilhoite collects Daylilies (as well as Hosta) and maintains a collection of 2000 daylily cultivars spread over 4 acres. Cynthia’s husband Chris is an avid plant collector as well, with varied collections of Aroids and Arisaema from all over the world. (They met in 1997 at the AHS National Convention). Cynthia has served as Vice President of the Genus Hosta, American Hosta Society. She speaks on Hostas and Daylilies all over the United States. Cynthia is co-owner of Soules Garden, a nursery in Indianapolis established over 50 years ago, and she has had the gardens on several national tours. She teaches classes for the Great Lakes Regional Hosta College and is Master Leaf Show Judge for the American Hosta Society.

“Growing and Using Culinary Herbs” by Greg Monzel

Description: Herbs are easy to grow and add old-world charm and character to your garden. Learn cultivation tips for classic as well as unusual culinary herbs, plus recommendations for preserving and using your favorites.

Bio: Greg Monzel, community herbalist, has grown and cooked with fresh herbs from the garden for over 20 years. Greg is an early childhood and youth educator at The School at Distelrath Farms, and teaches foraging and herbal medicine classes at White Pine Wilderness Academy. His newest project is Wild Persimmon School of Wellness, a home-based school for herbalism and yoga. More can be found at wildpersimmonwellness.com.

“Ecological Pest Management for the Vegetable Garden” by Ginny Roberts

Description: When you’re growing a garden, it can sometimes feel like you’re just working to feed the neighborhood bugs. The reality is that your garden is a cafeteria for all kinds of insects. However, not all of them are there to feed on your veggies! Many insects actually see those pesky plant-eaters as dinner. This session will teach you ways to make sure you are catering to the natural enemies rather than the pest insects.

Bio: Ginny Roberts has been Purdue Extension-Marion County’s Urban Garden Program Assistant for the past 19 years. She has helped hundreds of schools, neighborhood and community organizations, churches, youth groups and clubs successfully start gardens throughout Marion County.

“Top 10 Landscape Pests in Indiana during 2016” by Steve Mayer (ONLINE LECTURE NOTES AND HANDOUT NEAR BOTTOM OF THE PAGE - PASSWORD PROTECTED)

Description: This presentation will cover the top 10 insects & mites and top 10 diseases & disorders found in central and southern Indiana nurseries by DNR inspectors in 2016. Information will be provided on the identification and control of these woody plant problems.

Bio: Steve Mayer is the Purdue Extension-Marion County Educator who directs the Consumer Horticulture program. He is coordinator and instructor for the Master Gardener program in Marion County. Steve has been employed as a horticulture educator with the Cooperative Extension Service for over 30 years and has worked with Purdue Extension since 1997. He is a regular contributor to Indiana Gardening magazine and the Senior Life (Indianapolis edition) newspaper. Steve has a B.S. and M.S. in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.