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What to do in the garden now

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The Growing Place

Cantigny Park

West

March

March 1, 8, or 15
Maple Tapping Pancake Picnic
Bundle up the family and celebrate the bounty of trees with maple tree tapping and maple syrup sampling. Learn about the history of maple tapping and see how it’s done. Also: outdoor pancake picnic next to a cozy fire! The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. $25. Info: 630-968-0074 or www.mortonarb.org.

March 6
Invaders Watch Training Program
Get involved in monitoring and reporting invasive plants that are new to our region. Learn how to identify 34 target species that threaten our natural areas. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. Info and registration: 630-719-2468.

March 6
“Native Plants for Any Yard”
Incorporate native perennials into your existing landscape. Taught by Sharon Yiesla, plant clinic assistant. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $33. Limit 20. Class registration includes Arboretum admission. Info and registration: 630-719-2468.

March 8
“Bonsai for Beginners”
Training wire, bonsai soil mix and pruners supplied. Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center, 2010 E. Main St, St. Charles. 11 a.m. to noon.  $10 plus cost of bonsai starter plant and pot.  Info: 630-584-0473.

March 8
“Identifying Herbaceous Plants in Winter”
Learn to identify plants without leaves or flowers and explore the Schulenberg Prairie and adjacent woodlands. Taught by Scott Kobal, ecologist with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Includes winter hiking on dirt trails. Dress for the weather. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 8 a.m. to noon. $43. Limit 20. Info and registration: 630-719-2468.

March 8
“Beginning Birdwatching”
Learn about finding birds, equipment, what to wear, keeping track of your observations and more. Meets indoors and outdoors. Dress for the weather and walking on trails (close-toed shoes and long pants). Bring a water bottle plus binoculars and a field guide if you have them. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois, Route 53, Lisle. 9 a.m. to noon. $33. Limit 12. Info and registration: 630-719-2468.

March 9  
“Colors Galore: My Adventures with Daylillies on a Farm in Western Kane County”
 The program for the monthly meeting of the Chicagoland Daylily Society.  Presented by Lee Craigsmyle. The Community House, 415 W. 8th St., Hinsdale. 1:30 p.m. Free. Refreshments. Info: 708-848-9843 or www.chicagolanddaylilysociety.org.

March 16
“Grow Vegetables from Seed”
Includes lighting, soil types, containers, sowing schedules and plant selection with an organic gardening and permaculture expert. Take home a tray of heirloom tomato seeds ready to germinate. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. 1 to 4 p.m. $33. Info and registration: 630-719-2468.

March 29
“Start Your Garden from Seeds”
Learn the best way to start seeds in and out of the garden. Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center, 2010 E. Main St., St. Charles. 10 to 11 a.m. $10. Info: 630-584-0473.

March 29
“Improving Your Home Landscaping”
Learn about basic design principles, soil conditions, proper plant placement, pruning techniques and new plants. Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center, 2010 E. Main St., St. Charles. 2 to 3 p.m. $10. Info: 630-584-0473.

April

April 1, 4, 12 or 13
“Fairy Garden 101”
(ages 5 and up). You will receive a pot, soil, choice of three fairy garden accessories and three plants to create your own fairy garden. Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center, 2010 E. Main St., St. Charles. April 1 from 10 to 11 a.m.; April 4 from 1 to 2 p.m.; April 12 from 3 to 4 p.m.; April 13 from 1 to 2 p.m. $35. Info: 630-584-0473.

April 5 or 8
“Spring Container Planting”
Create a flowering container with cold-tolerant plants. Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center, 2010 E. Main St., St. Charles. Saturday 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. $15 fee Includes potting soil, fertilizer and container. Plant material extra ($25 for a10-inch pot; $35 for 12-inch; $45 for 14-inch.) Info and registration: 630-584-0473.

April 12 and 13
3rd Annual Fairy Festival.
Scavenger hunts, fairy garden contests, demonstrations, classes and workshops all weekend. Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center, 2010 E. Main St., St. Charles. Info: 630-584-0473.

April 12 or 13
“Make Your Own Fairy Garden”
Bring your own pot from home or purchase one at Heinz Brothers. Soil and design instruction provided. Fairy garden items, plants and statues available for purchase. Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center, 2010 E. Main St., St. Charles. Experts available to help Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Info: 630-584-0473.

April 13
Monthly Meeting of the Chicago Daylily Society
Includes annual spring salad luncheon and a speaker. The Community House, 415 W 8th St., Hinsdale.  1:30pm. Free. Bring a friend. Info: 708-848-9843 or   www.chicagolanddaylilysociety.org. 

April 19
"Vegetable Gardening Made Easy”
Learn the best and easiest way to start, grow and harvest vegetables. Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center, 2010 E. Main St., St. Charles. 10 to 11 p.m. $5. Info: 630-584-0473.

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The Growing Place

The Growing Place, 25 W 471 Plank Road, Naperville (630-355-4000) and 2000 Montgomery Road, Aurora (630-820-8088) www.thegrowingplace.com. All classes held at the Aurora location.

March
March 1
“Backyards – From Boring to Beautiful”
A Landscaping 101 class. How to personalize your backyard and create spaces for multiple uses. Basic steps for privacy or enhancing a view. Aurora. 10 a.m.

March 8
“New and Noteworthy Plants for 2014”
Hear about introductions, up and coming trends and some unusual staff favorites. Aurora. 10 a.m.

March 15
“Vegetables: From Garden to Table”
How to get started and keep it simple. Plant a “salad bowl” of mixed lettuce seeds. Get a sneak peek at Growing Place’s 2014 vegetable and herb varieties. Reserve your vegetable plants now for pick up in early May. Vegetable seeds for purchase at a discount. Aurora. 10 a.m. $15. Registration required. Call 630-355-4000.

March 22
“Container Gardening: Indoors and Out”
A day of three classes devoted to container gardening. Meet garden designer Karen Chapman and author of the new book Fine Foliage. Special vignettes in the greenhouse illustrate some fresh ideas. Aurora.
10 a.m. – “Luscious Leaves” Learn about containers featuring foliage. Presented by Karen Chapman, whose book will be available for purchase and signing.
12 p.m. – “Make and Take: Magical Miniature Containers” Build a tiny garden in a container with a variety of houseplants, miniature accents, fairies, gnomes and more. Make your own or just watch. Cost of materials.
1 p.m. – “Ask the Experts: Designing with Containers” Growing Place designers will walk you through the process of creating a striking focal point with your front entry.

March 26
“Dinosaur Dish Garden.”
Take your inspiration from the movie Walking with Dinosaurs and build an exotic dish garden perfect for kids. Choose succulents, vessels, dinosaurs and many other accents. Both locations. 10 a.m. Cost of materials.

March 29 and 30
Opening Weekend: Celebrate Spring
Informative talks, tool sharpening services, sales and specials. Also: One-hour in-store landscape coaching appointments. Choose to target a small space or a container planting project. $30 special price through April 6. Call 630-355-4000 or email landscape@thegrowingplace.com to sign up. Fee includes coupon towards a plant purchase. Both locations.

March 29 and 30
Tours & Talks at Aurora

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Tool sharpening of pruners and shears while you wait.
11 a.m. – Spring Gardening: What to Do Now. Get a spring “to do” list for garden tasks.
1 p.m. – Greenhouse Tours: See What’s Growing!
2 p.m. – Hands On Pruning. Bring in pruners and shears. Sharpening while you wait.


April
April 5
Bluebird Arrival
The Growing Place’s signature ceramic bluebirds are back! Adopt one or a flock and receive an adoption certificate. Both locations.

April 12 and 13
From Garden to Table: Cooking Sampler
Join the Growing Place chef for a cooking sampler with tastings. Recipes inspired by spring’s first fruits and flavors. Focus on strawberries, early salads and creative uses for early herbs. Saturday in Aurora. Sunday in Naperville. Noon to 3 p.m.

April 19
“Incorporating Natives”
A Landscaping 101 class. Hear about natives that politely intermingle with existing beds, offer flowers, reduce maintenance and attract pollinators. Aurora. 10 a.m.

April 26
“Shady Characters: Pretty Plants that Thrive in Shade.”
Plants that offer flowers, color and texture in the shade. Also: combinations, tips and techniques for success. Aurora. 10 a.m.

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Cantigny Park
1s151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. To register, call 630-260-8162 or email register@cantigny.org. www.cantigny.org.


March
March 4
Greenhouse Tour
See the park’s spring bedding plants and summer plants in their early development. Led by Bob Carr, Cantigny grower. 11 a.m. Tour free; parking ($5) at the Visitors Center with shuttle service to the greenhouse. Registration required.

March 12
Blossom Bits: A Floral Designer’s Nuggets and Gems Advice,
tips and answers to your questions. Featured topic: herbal pet care for common disorders and diet supplements. Led by Beth Libby, Cantigny floral designer. Noon. Free with paid parking ($5). Bring a sack lunch if you like.


April
April 1
Garden Tour
See spring-flowering trees, shrubs and wildflowers. Led by Todd Henderson, Cantigny forester. Depart from the Visitors Center at 11 a.m. Free with paid parking ($5). No registration.

April 3
What’s new for 2014?
A presentation highlighting the park’s plants and plans for the main gardens, golf course and Idea Garden. 9 a.m. Free with paid parking ($5). Advance registration requested.

April 27
Garden Photo Tips
Receive advice, share your knowledge and enjoy the company of fellow shutterbugs in the spring gardens. Led by Cantigny volunteer Jim Frazier. 2 p.m. Free with paid parking ($5). Advance registration required. Limit 10.

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