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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Master Gardener Conference 2016

Conference time, is the time to meet up with old friends, meet new, all coming together sharing the passion for gardening, knowledge, and meeting other people volunteering to make an impact on their own communities.

It is a time of experts in their field stimulating us to want to do a better job more intelligently. We had several choices of subject matter and speakers. Prior to the event we signed up for the speaker and subject.

We had the privilege of Dr Michael Dirr talking to us about the use of trees and shrubs and the need of trying new species. He gave us a virtual tour of his personal gardens. Dr Dirr is a very personable speaker . He wrote the bible on trees. Everyone needs his book in your library.

Janice Kirchenbauer and Dr. Dirr Book Signing

Sue Steinen and Dr. Dirr on Noble Trees
Bill Hahn is the Arborist and Horticulturist for the city of Akron. He stressed the use of tough trees for urban areas. Our Park Director, Sue Heppeard, would have loved this segment.

Bill Hahn, City of Akron Arborist and Horticulturist
Dr. Dan Herms, a Professor, State Extension Specialist, and Chair in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University , talked about how to avoid disease by design to control insects.

Dan Herms, Ph.D. Department of Entomology, OSU
Dr. Doug Tallamy was full of knowledge and information, plus had a great sense of humor with his presentation . He certainly kept our attention, not only with the subject matter but a lesson on public speaking. He knew his subject and could have fun with it. I loved him.

Dr. Doug Tallamy and me
Pam Bennett, our State Master Gardener Volunteer Program Director, gave out awards and reported on the value of the Master Gardener program. Her excitement transfers to all of us around her. There are over 3,500 Master Gardeners around our state giving hundreds of hours to their communities.

There were vendors offering up unique products for purchase.  Had to have it.

Fun Stuff

The Summit County Master Gardeners did a great job correlating this conference. The speakers, accommodations, and the food  were excellent. It was a completely filled event. Do plan to attend next year, mark your calendar.

Feeling inspired.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Children in the Gardens

Who would have thought that the creation of a small one acre parcel in a park could be turned into a lovely nature learning experience for so many youth. Since the completion of the Smiley Park Children's Garden it has brought outdoor educational opportunities to the youth in our community.

Every summer the Van Wert Master Gardeners develop programs for the kids. The purpose of the programs is to introduce them to the gardens. To teach them various concepts of gardening; how to plant, the benefits of insects, the care plants require and much more. Each session is full of fun, activities and a finished project to take home at the end of each session.

Master Gardener's Volunteering and offering their expertise to educate our youth in the world of gardening.

Connie, Ruth Ann, Cheryl, what great leaders and volunteers

Special guests speakers are called upon at times to help with specific programs. Curtis Young, OSU Extension Educator talked with the kids on the World of Insects and introduced the kids to the types of insects that you find in a garden. 

Kids were shown oversized insects to real live ones.

Many times other organizations offer assistance through donations such as these seed pods. The seed pods were made available from Van Wert Family Health, through Scotts Miracle-Gro. All the kids were given information on the pods and able to take home at the end of the day.

Each program offers learning experiences through hands on doing.

Benefits of Bees in the garden and building their own Bee Hotel.

"Name that Tune", was a program on listening to the birds sing and how birds do good things in the gardens. The kids built their own bird habitat to take home.

"Blooming Boots", was learning about plants such as these succulents that are easy to care for and don't require the time consuming task of watering that most flowering plants do. Each child planted their own type of boot or shoe

The Children's Garden offers the opportunity for outdoor class room to the youth of our community. This is made possible through the volunteer hours of the Van Wert Master Gardeners. If you are interested in the Master Gardener program and would like to volunteer, check this out. They are always looking for a few helping hands in the garden and working with the kids.

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


It seems like its been some time since the last post. Oh wait, it has been a long time! Feels like I should reintroduce myself as well as my partner in crime, but we will skip all the formality because if you are reading this, you know who Two Girls With a Purpose are. All kidding aside, an apology is in order for being on such a long hiatus. However, I must say in our defense we've been pretty busy!

Within the past year I've been the reciepent of two more grand babies. How precious they can be. With the miles between us, my husband and I have had to do a little traveling.

Wyatt Emerson Heppeard, February 15, 2015

Easton Ryan Heppeard, May 26, 2015

Oh how they have grown!


Louise and her husband have been guests at local hospitals, but that is all in the past.

Louise & P.Allen Smith "Van Wert Blooms"

On top of that Louise had a years worth of planning a special program held in our very own back yard called, "Van Wert Blooms with P. Allen Smith and Friends". What a success that was but that is a whole other blog in itself.

Our last blog talked of our travel to Toronto for the Bloggers Fling.  We have done a little traveling too; Louisville, Nashville, Cultivate '16 then of course the numerous trips to various nurseries. All these adventures and more we plan to share.

From Kentucky to Tennesse
Cultivate '16 Columbus, OH
Please, come back soon. We promise to be here sharing our wisdom (if we find it), travels, adventures and happenings in our home town.

Until then!