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Master Gardeners plan virtual garden seminar

A virtual garden seminar hosted by the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Butler County will feature speakers on bulbs as companion plants, winters in the garden and how to turn shady garden spots into colorful and relaxing respites.

Kick off the autumn gardening season by attending the virtual Endless Summer Fall Garden Seminar hosted by the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Butler County Sept. 25.

From 8:30 a.m. until noon, from the comfort of your home, learn about a variety of garden-related topics from national and international gardening experts.

The cost is $20. Proceeds from the event support community gardening projects throughout Butler County.

After a brief introduction, the workshop will open with Brent Heath’s discussion of “Bulbs as Companion Plants.” Whether you are planning to plant bulbs in a fresh, newly prepared garden, or adding them to an existing one, Heath will introduce you to the right bulbs for the right areas.

With exquisite images illustrating his presentation, he will describe how to combine bulbs, perennials, annuals, ground covers and flowering shrubs to create a three season garden experience.

Heath is a third-generation bulb grower and co-owner of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs of Gloucester, Va. He has been awarded gold medals by many organizations in the horticultural industry. He is a daffodil hybridizer as well as a naturalist. He helps other gardeners understand that gardening in an earth-friendly way benefits pollinators and plants while preserving the earth for future generations.

“Winter is Wonderful (in the garden)” is the topic that will be discussed by Laura Deeter, Ph.D.

The garden in winter can be majestic, if not quite as colorful as it is in June. Deeter will discuss how to plan for an interesting winter garden that will have you wanting to put on your boots and coat.

She is a professor of horticulture at Ohio State ATI in Wooster, Ohio, where she teaches a multitude of horticulture classes. She was awarded the ATI Distinguished Teaching Award twice, the OSU Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Perennial Plant Association Teaching Award, the American Horticulture Society Teaching Award, Perennial Plant Association Service Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Landscape Association and Professor of the Year from Instructure. She travels extensively around the country speaking on a variety of topics ranging from taxonomy and nomenclature to shade gardens, design, color, and specialty gardens and plants.

After a 10-minute break in the workshop, David Culp will share his insights about growing plants in the shade.

Culp will show how to turn those tough, shady garden spots into a cool, colorful and relaxing respite.

Discover how he utilizes plants’ color, texture and size to achieve interest. His understanding of light, water and soil conditions required for a thriving shade garden adds depth to the context of his presentation.

Culp is the creator of the gardens at Brandywine Cottage in Downingtown. He has been lecturing about gardens nationwide for more than 15 years. His articles have appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Fine Gardening, Green Scene and many other publications. He is a former contributing editor to Horticulture magazine and served as chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Hardy Plant Society. He was vice president for Sunny Border Nurseries in Connecticut. He is a herbaceous perennials instructor at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square.

He has developed the Brandywine Hybrid strain of hellebores and was recently cited in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise on snowdrops. His garden has been featured several times in Martha Stewart Living and on HGTV. Brandywine Cottage is listed in the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Gardens. 

The workshop will conclude with information about additional resources and an evaluation. The registration link is

Diane Dallos is the Master Gardener Coordinator with Penn State Extension Butler County.