Posted by: Kath Usitalo | January 15, 2013

Yardening: Think Spring at Dow Gardens Seminar

great_lakes_gazette.com_yardening_logo_11.23.12 copyThe brief period of warm weather last week and the arrival of a seed catalog (yes, they’re still printed on paper!) got me thinking about doing something with the yarden this year.

Digging in the dirt was something I looked forward to every season since we bought the house and replaced the grass with ground cover, perennials and a fish pond. I haven’t spent much time out there in the last couple of years, and my neglect made the weeds very happy. I called the landscape “naturalized.”

But the other day I got wind of the “Know & Grow Seminar” scheduled for Saturday, February 23 at Dow Gardens in Midland and just reading about the program further inspired me to look critically at our yarden again. The seminar runs from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.and features three speakers in the Bullock Creek Auditorium:

(Dow Gardens photo)

Think spring at the Dow Gardens Know & Grow Seminar (Dow Gardens photo)

  • Dan Hinkley, author, “plant explorer” and Liberty Hyde Bailey Award Recipient, will speak about “The Forgotten Elements of Good Design” and “New and Exciting Perennials, Shrubs, and Trees for American Gardens.”
  • Two-time Quill and Trowel Award winner Suzy Bales will talk about “The Down to Earth Gardener,” the title of one of her 14 books.
  • “Favorite Ferns, Funkia (Hosta) and other Foliage Flora” will be the topic of Dow Gardens Horticulturist and Curator of Woody Plants Chuck Martin.

The fee includes lunch and you can register online. Sign up before February 8 and the cost is $60; after that you’ll pay $75.

Dow Gardens, developed in 1899 by Dow Chemical Company founder Herbert Dow, now covers 110 acres and is open year ’round.

Even if I don’t make it to the February session, maybe this is the year I check Dow Gardens off of my To Do list. I’d like to explore the landscape developed on Dow’s philosophy: “never reveal the gardens’ whole beauty at first glance.” It meshes so well with that of our yarden—I’m still glancing at it in search of its whole beauty.

Visitor Info Click: 

Midland, in the Great Lakes Bay Region

Pure Michigan



  1. “Yardening” is the bestest word ever. It makes me smile as much as receiving a seed catalog. Even without snow on the ground.

    • I hope my yarden forgives me and welcomes me back in a couple of months!

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