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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Master Gardeners will help you get ready for spring

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Symposium explores edible plants, change of seasons in the garden

KINGSTON, R.I. — January 12, 2012 -- When the cold of winter gives way to the warmth and budding plants of spring, the University of Rhode Island Master Gardener Association and the URI Outreach Center will host their 2012 Rhode Island Gardening Symposium focusing on “Food, Flowers & Family,” a day of guest speakers who will talk about everything from edible flowers to getting your children into the garden.

The event will be held Saturday, March 3 from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., just in time for experienced and novice green thumbs alike to bolster their planting knowledge for the growing season.

And, as a bonus, those who attend will be able to enter a free raffle to receive an in-home consultation by a trained URI Master Gardener. Several consultations will be awarded.

The event will take place at the URI Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences on the University’s Kingston Campus.

“Participants can pick up a lifelong hobby that will keep them and their families healthy by learning how to grow nutritional edibles in their gardens, yards or even in tight urban spaces,” said Sejal Lanterman, URI Outreach Coordinator and NBC 10 Plant Pro, who will host one of the sessions.

Barbara Emerson, of Edible Boston magazine, will open the day’s events by talking about integrating edible plants into an ornamental garden and edible flowers into a vegetable garden.

Award-winning author Sydney Eddison will explore “Change: The Passage of Time in the Garden” and Kerry Ann Mendez, garden consultant and author, will talk about the outrageous colors you can enjoy from perennials during the three New England growing seasons.

URI Master Gardener Rudi Hempe will lead a panel discussion to answer questions about growing vegetables and Hope Leeson, an expert from the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, will explain how to add native plants to your garden.

Lanterman will present techniques for “Preserving the Bounty,” and Julie Christina, director of education at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, will lead a special session about children and gardening.

For more information, call the Outreach Center at (401) 874-2900, email outreach@uri.edu or visit http://cels.uri.edu/ceoc/events.