Gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts will be able to do everything from learn how to start a basic garden to examine and photograph their own plants under a microscope at the Living Green Garden Symposium March 30.
The symposium, which is organized by the Downtown Bradford Business District Authority with the help of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Frame-Westerberg Commons at the University and includes lunch. Registration for the event will begin at 8 a.m.
Speakers will provide a variety of hands-on and make-and-take (some may cost extra) sessions or share their expertise before the keynote talk by Sally Cunningham, a garden writer and author of “Great Garden Companions” and the forthcoming “Buffalo-Style Gardens.” She has written a weekly gardening column for The Buffalo (N.Y.) News since 2006.
She has been named New York State Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional of the Year, Person of the Year by PlantWNY Professional Landscape and Nursery Trades and Person of the Year by the Western New York Land Conservancy.
Cunningham is also the creator of a garden tourism program for the AAA, is a master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension and co-founded Buffalo’s five-week annual garden festival that includes Garden Walk Buffalo and 14 other garden tours.
In addition to Cunningham, local speakers will address everything from pollinators to Zen gardening.
Dr. Mary Mulcahy, associate professor of biology at Pitt-Bradford, will give participants a much closer look at the world of plants in a biology lab, where she will have a variety of plant groups to examine under dissecting microscopes, including specimens of liverworts, ferns and flowers.
Participants are invited to bring their own interesting specimens for an up-close look. A few of the microscopes can also take photos. Those wishing to take photos with their mobile device should download Leica AirLab in advance to take home pictures of their explorations.
Dr. Denise Piechnik, assistant professor of biology, will speak about “Local Bee Pollinators and their Relatives. An entomologist, Piechnik will talk about local varieties of bee pollinators and how to promote good habitat for them.
For novice gardeners, Bill and Fred Graham of Graham’s Greenhouse and Landscaping will present a “Beginner’s Guide to Gardening and Updating Your Home’s Curb Appeal.”
Judd Beattie, aka Mr. Green Lawn, will talk about different lawns, keeping lawns at their best and how to eliminate lawn problems.
Master Gardener Bob Harris will help participants make a free tabletop Zen garden using their own materials or ones provided.
Other sessions are Proper’s Florist and Greenhouse on arranging flowers, Penn State Cooperative Extension master gardeners on mushroom gardens, Jeff Coast on hydroponic gardening and the McKean County Conservation District.
Vendors will include Bisett Building Center and Just Ask Rental, Dr. Greenlawn, Graham’s Greenhouse, Proper’s, Santo Vida Natural Wellness Center, Sears Hometown Store and Worth W. Smith Hardware.
Tickets are $35 and include lunch and snacks. Tickets are available in advance at Northwest Bank branches in Bradford, Kane and Smethport, Bella Capelli and the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce. Tickets, if available, can also be purchased at the door.
Pitt-Bradford students may attend for free with their ID, but are asked to register in advance by contacting Sheryl Silvas at 814-598-2590 or firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending a message to the Bradford Garden Tour Facebook page.
Some make-and-take projects have an additional fee. Those for a mushroom log, floral arranging and Zen garden have limited enrollment. Participants should call Silvas to sign up for those specific sessions.
Proceeds will benefit downtown Bradford and its gardens.