Baton Rouge to host Master Gardners - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Baton Rouge to host Master Gardners

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News) – More than 500 gardeners from throughout the southeast are expected in Baton Rouge for the Southern Region Master Gardener Conference Oct. 21-24.

Gardening enthusiasts have been invited to hear speakers on a wide range of topics focused on plants, according to Donna Montgomery, publicity chair for the event.

"The East Baton Rouge Master Gardener Association is hosting this conference, which will be based at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at College Drive and I-10," Montgomery said. "The theme for this year's conference is Sharing Our Southern Roots."

Because anyone interested in gardening may register for the conference, Montgomery is encouraging attendees to invite a spouse or a friend.

A Southern garden marketplace will be open throughout the conference for participants to see and buy new and established plant products from associated businesses.

"There will be product displays from horticulture vendors and participants will tour many local landmarks and well-known sights of interest," she said.

Tours will include guided excursions to Imahara's Botanical Garden and Afton Villa Gardens, Rosedown Plantation and The Myrtles, Houmas House Plantation, Burden Museum and Gardens, Hammond Research Station, a Cajun night at White Oak Plantation featuring Cajun food and music, a tour of Manchac Swamp and lunch at Frenier Landing.

Keynote speakers at the conference will include:

– Marcelle Bienvenu, researcher and consultant on Creole and Acadian cooking and author of "Who's Your Mama? Are You Catholic? and Can You Make a Roux?," talking about her personal culinary journey.

– Mary Palmer Dargan will speak on healing the earth one garden at a time; Norman Winter focusing on the color presentation in your garden each season.

– Joe Lamp'l giving the "dirt" on healthy soil.

– Douglas Tallamy explaining how to bring nature home.

Also on the agenda are 24 breakout sessions where presenters will give information on a wide range of topics from hummingbirds, butterflies and natural habitats to choosing the right plants and your cooking style, Montgomery said.

"Conference registration can be done only online at the conference website," Montgomery said. "Early registration is open now and ends on July 15."

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