Kick off spring with A Day in the Garden Patch

University of Illinois Extension Livingston County Master Gardeners would like to welcome spring after a long winter with “A Day in the Garden Patch from 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, April 6 in Pontiac.

A Day in the Garden Patch is all about inspiring, educating and encouraging gardeners, whether they have a balcony and a sunny window or an acre to grow. This educational event is for all who love plants and want to discover new gardening hacks and tips while having fun.

The morning will kick off with Kelsay Shaw from Possibility Place Nursery in Monee. Kelsay’s presentation, entitled Ornamental to Natives will cover why natives not only brighten home landscapes, but prove beneficial to birds, butterflies, and the environment.

Kelsay will share before and after pictures of plantings gone from regular ornamental to native-based landscaping. He also will discuss native plant benefits, and how to select the right plants.

Bob Streitmatter, from Luthy Botanical Garden in Peoria, will inspire to breathe new life into your garden with a little design, planting, accessorizing, and maintenance. While some of his tips are long-term projects, others can be implemented within a few hours.

Finally, a container making party will end the morning where participants will get to design and make their very own kitchen herb garden in a colander to take home. Livingston County Master Gardeners will provide great tips on growing and using herbs all summer long.

Space is very limited. A $20 registration fee will include morning refreshments, two garden-themed presentations, and one hands-on workshop, where you will leave with your very own container of kitchen herb gardens. The program will be hosted at the University of Illinois Extension Livingston County office, 1412 South Locust St., Pontiac. To register, visit or the Livingston County Extension Office at (815) 842-1776.