Spring has sprung! Area gardeners are invited to celebrate the arrival of the gardening season—and gather a cornucopia of helpful ideas—at the UW Family Gardening Day on Saturday, May 9, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
The free, family-friendly event runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the university’s Allen Centennial Gardens, Steenbock Memorial Library, and D.C. Smith Instructional Greenhouse, where UW-Madison and UW-Extension experts and volunteers will be on hand to answer all kinds of questions about plants, soils, weeds and pests; offer advice and tips for gardens large and small; and host a variety of demonstrations and displays, including topics such as limited-space gardens, edible gardens and ergonomic tools for lifelong gardening.
“Gardening is a great activity for the whole family, and we have a lot of fun and educational activities that can get you growing both indoors and out,” says event organizer Johanna Oosterwyk, manager of the D.C. Smith Instructional Greenhouse.
There will be plenty of fun, hands-on activities for kids. At the greenhouse, children will be able to assemble tiny terrariums (using deli containers they can take home), look at insects under a microscope and assemble unconventional flower arrangements. Young visitors to Allen Centennial Gardens can make a “living locket” containing a seed that they can wear home.
While supplies last, Allen Centennial Gardens will also be distributing Pasta Four-Packs—sets of tomato, oregano, basil and pepper plants—for visitors to take and plant in their home gardens.
Across the street from the gardens, Steenbock Memorial Library invites visitors to check out its extensive collections related to gardening, horticulture and floriculture, including UW-Extension materials for master gardeners. The library will also distribute information about various local gardening resources and services, including extension.
And don’t forget to start or end your visit with a trip to the Babcock Hall Dairy Store, which will be open and dishing up all sorts of ice cream treats.
Allen Centennial Gardens, Steenbock Memorial Library and the D.C. Smith Instructional Greenhouse are all located within two blocks of each other, at 620 Babcock Drive, 550 Babcock Drive and 465 Babcock Drive, respectively. Free parking is available in Lot 34 at 1480 Tripp Circle; in Lot 36 just west of Steenbock Library; and in Lot 40 behind Babcock Hall.