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Greenhouse and Nursery Conference scheduled in Anchorage

Submitted by Debbie Carter
Phone: 907-474-5406

01/20/09

The 28th annual Alaska Greenhouse and Nursery Conference in Anchorage will highlight landscaping and include tips on growing turf, designing gardens and doing business with rural Alaska.

The conference is scheduled Jan. 27-28 at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown Hotel.

Conference organizer Julie Riley, an Anchorage horticulture agent with the Cooperative Extension Service, said speakers will talk about a wide variety of horticultural topics, including trees and shrubs, pests, invasive plants, parks and marketing opportunities.

The conference is aimed at commercial and public landscapers and horticulturalists, she said, but is also geared to serious gardeners or others thinking about getting into business.

"This is a great place to network with others," said Riley.

Brenda Adams, the founder of Gardens By Design of Homer, will talk about design considerations and techniques for launching a successful gardening business. She will illustrate her talk with before-and-after photographs of gardens she has designed, from kitchen gardens to the 6,000-square-foot garden at Homer's Stream Hill Park. She was awarded a National Landscape Design Award by the Perennial Plant Association in 2007.

The featured speaker, John Peter Thompson, is a Maryland nursery owner, the vice chair of the National Invasive Species Council and a sustainable agriculture advocate. He will talk about ornamental invasive plants and about design and maintenance practices of sustainable landscaping.

The Polar Grower Trade Show, with information from vendors and various agencies, will be available during the conference.

The conference will be directly preceded by the Alaska Peony Growers Conference, Jan. 26-27, also at the Marriott. The Alaska Division of Agriculture is sponsoring the peony conference, which will highlight peony research, and harvesting, storage and marketing of the cut flowers. The featured speaker is Piet Wierstra, an Oregon peony farmer who is president of the Pacific Northwest Peony Society.

For a link to the schedule for both conferences and a downloadable registration form, go to www.uaf.edu/ces. Registration is requested by Friday, Jan. 23.

CONTACT: Julie Riley at 907-786-6300 or afjar@uaa.alaska.edu.

DC/1-20-09/085-09