Ohio State University Extension
Cultivating people, plants and communities.

Winter Educational Series

Posted by Jacqueline Kowalski at Dec 30, 2020. No Comments.

What better way to spend a winter evening than with the Summit County Master Gardeners as they share information and demonstrate beautiful art forms?  Do you need of a bit of plant inspiration?  We think you will find some here.  Check out the schedule below and click the register button to reserve a spot. 

Wednesday, February 3, 6:30 p.m.


The seed catalogs are arriving in the mail, the nursery shelves are stocked, and the online seed purveyors are ready for business.  Now’s the time to refresh our seed-starting skills and learn a few new tricks.  No fancy equipment is needed, but Summit County Master Gardener Vince Matlock will show us the tools and techniques that will get your seeds off to a good start and lead to success throughout the season.  Why start your own seedlings at home?  You can have the varieties you want at the time you want them, and—it’s FUN!

Vince Matlock grew up on a small farm, and growing vegetables has always been a part of his life.  After completing the Master Gardener Backyard and Local Foods specialization and participating in the Summit Urban Farming Initiative in 2010, he and his wife, Linda, started Rainbow Gardens LLC, a small vegetable farm using raised beds, drip irrigation, high and low tunnels, integrated pest management and a big fence.  Currently Rainbow Farms sells at the Countryside Food and Farms market at Howe Meadow.  Vince starts thousands (and thousands) of seeds at home under lights each winter and spring.

Wednesday, February 17, 6:30 p.m.


We all understand that native plants are critical to the life cycle of pollinators and are essential to maintaining a healthy ecosystem.  But how can the average homeowner effectively incorporate them into an existing landscape?  Kevin O’Brien, Landscape Designer, has done just that and will share how he has been transforming his award-winning home landscape into a garden that is rich in species diversity and life.  Kevin will challenge our thinking about how we look at our gardens and landscapes and inspire us to begin our own journey with the beauty and functionality of native plants.

Kevin O’Brien designs and creates landscapes across northern Ohio. He has been practicing landscape design for more than 20 years at Lifestyle Landscaping, Inc.  His built projects have received awards at both the state and national levels and have been featured in garden books, industry publications and local magazines.

Wednesday, March 3, 6:30 p.m.


Kokedama is Japanese for “moss ball”, which aptly describes this centuries old Japanese tradition.  While Kokedama began as a means of highlighting the exposed root system of a bonsai specimen, it has evolved to be an elegant plant potted up in a spherical shape and then covered in moss.  Summit County Master Gardener Heidi Schwarzinger will describe this art form and its variations and show us how to create one. 

Heidi Schwarzinger is a master “crafter” as well as a Summit County Master Gardener.  She acquired a love of all things green at a young age from watching her “oma” tending her extensive vegetable garden. Heidi, whose B.A. is in Interior Design, has worked in the design and wall coverings industries.  She enjoys dabbling in and teaching many crafts, and has taught jewelry making and “bling-a-lings” (bedazzling handbags, sunglasses, shoes, etc.).  She especially enjoys combining her design skills and horticulture knowledge in classes such as “Get Dirty” container gardening sessions and Kokedama.  

Wednesday, March 17, 6:30 p.m.


We plant a tree, digging the proper hole, watering judiciously, and pruning to promote health and beauty.  Bonsai takes this plant care to a whole new level.  This Japanese art form uses cultivation techniques to produce miniature trees that mimic the shape and scale of full-sized trees.  The trees must reflect the aesthetic qualities found in nature through balance, simplicity, and harmony.  During this special demonstration bonsai enthusiast Greg Cloyd will demonstrate bonsai techniques and detail bonsai planting and care.

Greg Cloyd is a Summit County Master Gardener and has been studying bonsai for over thirty years.

Once registered you will be sent a Zoom link, which will give you access to the program on the day and time indicated.  If you have registered for a program, you will be sent a link so that you can re-view the recording at your leisure.  Those links will be sent out approximately one week after the program date.

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