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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Sustainable roses, drought tolerant plants highlight URI GreenShare Field Day on Sept. 17

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Event features gardening workshops, tours, free refreshments, activities

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 2, 2005 -- The University of Rhode Island will unveil plans for a sustainable rose garden and sell disease-resistant and pest-resistant rose bushes at bargain prices during the 15th annual GreenShare Field Day on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event will be held in and around the URI Botanical Gardens on the corner of Upper College Road and East Alumni Avenue on URI’s Kingston Campus. Sponsored by URI’s Cooperative Extension Education Center, GreenShare Field Day will include plant sales, gardening workshops and tours, free refreshments, and environmental activities that are free and fun for the whole family.

A rendering of the sustainable rose garden will be unveiled at 9:45 a.m. and Chet Clayton, an 87-year-old Narragansett resident who donated $25,000 to the URI Master Gardener Foundation for the garden, will be honored.

“The roses we’ll be selling are the same hard-to-find varieties that we’ll be planting in the garden next spring, so I’m expecting demand for them will be high,” said Marion Gold, director of URI’s Cooperative Extension Education Center and the event’s coordinator.

The featured workshop at GreenShare Field Day is "Designing Drought Tolerant Landscapes," led by URI Landscape Architecture Professor Will Green. The workshop begins at 11 a.m.

“This is a timely issue because gardeners all around New England are struggling with water issues in times of drought,” said Green. “What can we do to give plants what they need without taxing our water supplies? Selecting and placing plants appropriately will certainly be our first consideration -- from lawns to groundcovers to trees and shrubs.”

Another highlight of the day will be a demonstration of plant dyeing by URI Master Gardener Ellen Stone, who has practiced this ancient art for many years. According to Stone, when certain plants are boiled they release various colors from their leaves, roots or flowers that can be used to dye fabrics.

Other workshops scheduled include “Organic Landscaping Today,” “Interpreting Your Soil Test Results,” and “Strategies for Backyard Tick Bite Protection.” Demonstrations will also be held on weed control, corsage making, butterfly gardening, compost bin construction and mosquito prevention. Free pH testing is also available to gardeners bringing a one-cup soil sample, and compost bins will be on sale “dirt cheap.”

For additional information, call 874-2900 or email

For more information on this and other gardening questions,
go to the URI Master Gardener website at