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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Patio Possibilities one highlight of URI GreenShare Field Day on Sept. 18

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Annual event features gardening workshops, tours, activities

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 1, 2004 -- Homeowners looking to spruce up their landscape with a new patio should plan to attend the University of Rhode Islandís 14th annual GreenShare Field Day on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rain date is Sept. 19.

The featured workshop of the event is "Patio Possibilities: How to Design and Construct Your Perfect Patio," led by Richard Clark, owner of Clark Farms Garden Center, and URI Plant Sciences Professor Richard Casagrande. The workshop begins at 10:15 a.m.

"Patio construction can be complicated, especially if there are elevation issues to deal with, but a properly designed and landscaped patio can go a long way toward creating a beautiful backyard and increasing the value of a home," said Casagrande. "Our workshop will take participants step-by-step through the construction process to help homeowners determine if a patio is right for them, and whether to do it themselves or hire a pro."

GreenShare Field Day will be held in and around the Learning Landscape Gardens on the corner of Upper College Road and East Alumni Avenue on URIís Kingston Campus.

Sponsored by URIís Cooperative Extension Education Center, the event will include gardening and environmental activities that are free and fun for the whole family.

Among the workshops scheduled are ďSustainable Roses: Not a Contradiction in Terms," "Hardy, Long-Blooming Hydrangeas," ďand "Composting: The Basics and Beyond." Other workshops address water gardens, pruning, hostas and daylillies, and environmentally friendly gardening.

In addition to the composting workshop, demonstrations of composting will take place all day by URI Master Gardeners and staff from the R.I. Resource Recovery Corp., which will also sell composting bins for $25, less than one third of their regular price.

The R.I. Nursery and Landscape Association will kick-off the event by donating $30,000 to URI during a ceremony at 9:45 a.m. The donation completes its $50,000 pledge made last year to establish an endowment to maintain the Learning Landscape Garden.

Other activities at this family-oriented event include demonstrations of raised bed gardening, irrigation methods and container gardening, as well as cooking demonstrations, plant sales, and childrenís activities. Free pH testing is also available to gardeners bringing a one-cup soil sample. Samples of weeds and pest insects will also be identified.

For additional information, call 874-2900. For a complete schedule of the dayís events visit the website: www.uri.edu/ce/ceec/plantpro.html.