State scores coup with 2017 International Master Gardener Conference

State scores coup with 2017 International Master Gardener Conference

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Master Gardeners from across the country and Canada will gather in Portland for the International Master Gardener Conference in July 2017.

The conference signifies a coup for the state’s organization, according to Gail Langellotto, Oregon State University Extension Service master gardener coordinator.

“This is a big deal for Oregon,” she said. “We’re looking at it as a chance to show our colleagues and others how fantastic Oregon is and what Oregon has to offer in terms of gardening.”

Early registration is open for the event, which will be held July 10-14 at the Oregon Convention Center. Anyone interested in gardening is invited. About 1,000 people are expected to attend.

More than 45 classes will be given in concurrent sessions, according to Amy Jo Detweiler, a horticulturist for Extension and coordinator of the speakers. Classes embrace a broad range of topics, including garden design, edibles, bee health, disease and pest management, pruning, soils and history.

Three keynote speakers are on the agenda – Dan Hinkley, plant explorer and former owner of Heronswood Nursery; Renee Shepherd, founder and owner of Renee’s Garden; and John Marzluff, professor of environmental and forest sciences at the University of Washington.

Other well-known presenters are Lee Reich, horticulturist and author; Sean Hogan, owner of Cistus Nursery in Sauvie Island; Lucy Hardiman, Portland garden designer and author; Ramesh Sagili, assistant professor and bee expert at OSU; and Thomas Rainer, landscape architect, teacher and author.

“We are so excited,” said Langellotto, coordinator of the conference. “We’ve got an amazing speaker lineup. We were able to bring in experts from far afield we normally wouldn’t be able to afford. This is going to be so much fun.”

A garden-themed movie festival, trade show and 16 full- or half-day tours are also planned.

The event is sponsored by the Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener Program and the Oregon Master Gardener Association. Other major supporters include Ball Horticultural and the Clackamas County Master Gardener Association. Several of the speakers were underwritten by Timber Press, a Portland publishing company that specializes in gardening books.