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Due to the Covid 19 Virus, this event is postponed until 2021.
New date is Saturday, April 17, 2021

Tickets will go on sale January 1, 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021 – Full Day
Doors open at 7am. – Conference begins at 8am. and ends at 4:15pm.
Oakland Schools Conference Center
2111 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford, 48328

Betty Peters is the Chair for this event.

In addition to the educational aspect, our day includes continental breakfast, lunch, snacks, and all educational materials.  We have live jazz during morning registration (Detroit guitarist Ron English) and at lunch the Dave Tatrow Quartet. We also offer a garden market which includes outstanding artisans selling plants, garden objects, books, jewelry, etc. There are many door prize drawings throughout the event, and 50/50 raffle grand prize drawings at the end of the day. We also sell Master Gardener merchandise. Quart-size takeaway plants for each attendee provided by one of our premier sponsors, Proven Winners® ColorChoice® at the end of the conference!

This year, “All That Jazz” will present legendary Detroit guitarist Ron English during morning registration, and The Dave Tatrow Quartet during lunch hour shopping.

It is open to the public, one need not be a master gardener to attend. Annual attendance is 360.

Keynote Speakers in 2021 are:

Rick Darke
Celebrating and Conserving the Resiliency of Accidental Landscapes

Rick DarkeAccidental landscapes including urban post-industrial and post-agricultural sites offer living proof of the resiliency of biological relationships. Gardeners – who practice the art of nurturing life – will be increasingly effective as they develop strategies for working with the regenerative power of plant and animal communities. Using examples of designed landscapes with spontaneous origins, Rick Darke will explore concepts that revise the way we think of “Nature” and the ways we define horticulture and gardening.

Doug Tallamy
Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home

Douglas Tallamy

Specialized relationships between animals and plants are the norm in nature rather than the exception. It is specialized relationships that provide our birds with insects and berries, that disperse our bloodroot seeds, that pollinate our goldenrod, and so on. Plants that evolved in concert with local animals provide for their needs better than plants that evolved elsewhere.Tallamy will explain why this is so, why specialized food relationships determine the stability and complexity of the local food webs that support animal diversity, why our yards and gardens are essential parts of the ecosystems that sustain us, and how we can use our  andscapes to connect the isolated habitat fragments around us. It is time to create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems rather than degrade them.

Heather Holm
Attracting Bees and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants

Heather Holm

Most insects have a positive impact in our landscapes. Native plants can be selected to attract specific bees and beneficial insects including predatory and parasitic wasps, beetles, flies, true bugs, and lacewings. Learn about the predator-prey relationships of these flower-visiting beneficial insects and how they help keep problem insect populations in balance. The life cycles, diversity, and nesting habitat of native bees will also be
covered along with examples of native plants for different site conditions.

Heather Holm is an author and pollinator educator spending most of her time passionately educating audiences about the fascinating world of native bees and the native plants that support them.

Susan Martin
Lessons Learned Under The Trees

Shade. Most of us have it, but many of us are unsure what to do with it. Over a decade of experience gardening in every degree of shade near the Lake Michigan shoreline has taught Susan many lessons and ignited her passion for shade gardening. Much of what she has learned you’ll never find in books, and she is ready to share the inside scoop. Learn how to take advantage of the conditions you have, not those you wish you had, and discover life beyond hostas in the shade garden.

Susan Martin is an avid gardener, writer and speaker from Holland, Michigan. Find life beyond hostas in this beautiful, engaging presentation.

Earlybird tickets are $80 and go on sale January 1, 2021.
At midnight, January 31, the price goes up to $90.

Registration at the door is NOT available.

Pricing includes continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and program materials.
Cancellation policy: No refunds are granted, however, registrations are transferable.
Registration Deadline: Midnight, April 1, 2021

Three Luncheon Choices:
Box lunch includes a beverage, cookie, chips, fruit and utensils.

  • Vegetarian Michigan Cherry Salad (Vegetarian choice)
    Dark Mixed Greens, Dried Cherries, Candied Walnuts, Apple Straws, Mandarin Oranges, Cucumber, Tomato, Crumbled Blue Cheese, House Dressing (on the side)
  • Chicken Michigan Cherry Salad 
    Chicken, Dark Mixed Greens, Dried Cherries, Candied Walnuts, Apple Straws, Mandarin Oranges, Cucumber, Tomato, Crumbled Blue Cheese, House Dressing (on the side)
  • Turkey Sandwich
    Sliced Deli Turkey, Sliced Swiss, Sliced Tomato, Lettuce, Sliced Deli Bread, Condiments (on the side)

The speakers who have books available will be signing them throughout the day.
Master Gardener Continuing Education Hours: 5 hours CE Credits, VMS Category – Environmental Stewardship: Native Plants


Our past speakers/authors include: Margaret Roach, Sue Gaviller, Dr. Richard Bitner, Rick Darke, Melinda Myers, Laura Deeter, Art Cameron, Allan Armitage, David E. Perry, Stephanie Cohen, Stacey Hirvela, Will Allen, Kerry Ann Mendez, Matthew Benson, Karen Bussolini, Ellen Ecker Ogden, Barry Glick, Shawna Coronado, Kelly D. Norris, Jessica Walliser, Paul Zammit, Ken Druse, Craig LeHoullier, and Vanessa Gardner Nagel.

2019 Educational Conference Images by Paul Katzman

2018 Educational Conference Images by Chuck Andersen

2016 MGSOC Educational Conference