One large area of the student center was devoted to displays from
specialty groups such as the Lincoln Land Beekeepers, the Logan
County Herb Guild, the Wild One's Native Plants and Natural
Landscapes group, the Sangamo Valley Iris Society, Dwarf Iris
Society, the Prairie State Orchid Society, the Springfield Bonsai
Society, and Lincoln College's own Creekside Center for
The Master Gardeners also had a vendor table set up, selling garden
products. Off to one side was a small table of free garden seeds and
there was also a nice selection of door prizes that would be given
away at the end of the day.
In the first hour, the sessions included Home Canning and
Preserving, Home Brewing, and a Terrarium Program that included a
The home canning and preserving discussions were led by Jenna Smith
of the University of Illinois Extension in McLean County. Among the
subjects she addressed was how to avoid dangerous bacteria when
home-preserving. She also discussed the various types of fruits and
vegetables and how to best preserve them through two methods of
canning, freezing or dehydrating.
Troy Hanger of the Spirited Republic in Lincoln led a discussion on
home brewing. He brought with him the equipment used in home brewing
and explained how each piece was used to produce a homemade beer
product. Hanger also discussed the use of unique flavoring
ingredients to make custom brews unique to all others. He discussed
the use of hops as a preservative in beer, talked abut the different
types of hop product available, and passed around small bowls of the
different varieties for guests to see and smell.
Jennifer Fishburn gave a discussion on terrarium gardening and
offered attendees the opportunity to create their own garden in a
jar to take home. For the program, guests paid an extra $15 and were
provided with everything needed to create a long-lasting
Each participant received a large glass jar, rock and soil, moss,
and up to three plants. They constructed their terrariums with
assistance from Fishburn and volunteers from the Master Gardeners.
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In the second Hour, Logan County Master Gardener Jim Streubing,
who is also a Master Naturalist, discussed invasive plants in
the area. For the audience, some of the examples he defined as
invasive in Logan County and surrounding areas were a bit
surprising. Invasive doesn't equate to toxic or noxious. In some
cases, the plants that are considered evasive are attractive and
even desirable when first planted, but those same plants can
become a problem when they are over productive and spread to
areas where they are not wanted.
Ada Lynn Shewsberry put on a remarkable session on floral arranging
that kept her audience captivated as she quickly assembled beautiful
floral arrangements in front of their eyes. As she worked, she
explained the steps she was taking and why.
Balance she said begins with the container and putting the right
flowers and colors in the right place. She said for example when
using a white container always use white flowers as an integral part
of the arrangement. The reason she said was that otherwise, the
white container would dominate the arrangement and detract from the
The sixth session was led by Mel Tracy, a Master Gardener volunteer,
who discussed vertical gardening. She discussed what plants do well
in vertical gardens and talked about plants that climb naturally,
and those that don't but can be coached to do so by tying them up
She also talked about unique ideas for vertical gardening, such as
utilizing a shoe bag hanging on a wall. The individual shoe
compartments can be filled with soil and plants, to make a very
attractive wall garden that takes up zero yard space.
The day ended with a presentation by Kaizad Irani, who discussed
designing outdoor spaces that can be peaceful and therapeutic.