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West Madison urban horticulture field day set for Aug. 18

July 27, 2007

Want to make your green thumb even greener? Stop by the Urban Horticulture Field Day at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s West Madison Agricultural Research Station, on Saturday, August 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It’s a great place to get new ideas and answers to perplexing problems, sample fresh produce and tour one of the area’s most extensive collections of flower and vegetable varieties, including many that haven’t yet appeared in seed catalogs.

Among the garden’s draws are its many specialty gardens. A shade garden includes selections of Wisconsin native shade-tolerant plants and hybrid selections. An Italian vegetable garden features vegetables provided through a sister city program from Moldava, Italy. There is also a garden of Wisconsin native prairie plants, a rain garden, a collection of truly uniquely shaped gourds, the Renew America’s Food Tradition garden featuring heirloom vegetables, a garden sponsored by the Wisconsin Commercial Flower Growers Association, and several others.

Experts will be on hand to answer questions and identify and offer advice on weeds, soil problems, urban wildlife and insects (bring soil and insect samples in plastic bags). There will be presentations throughout the garden on topics ranging from invasive plant species to insects to plant nutrition.

Bring your appetite and sample the salsa, roasted garlic and peppers, Italian vegetables, Asian vegetables, tomatoes and numerous sweet and hot peppers – all grown at the station. Recipes will be available.

Bring the whole family. The Children’s Art in Garden program includes stepping stones inlaid with seed and or glass mosaics and face painting. The Young Shakespeare Theater of Madison will have actors strolling through the garden in costumes from several of the bard’s plays. Children can join in a scavenger hunt to find the flowers that are found in Shakespeare’s plays.

The field day is a joint project of the West Madison Agricultural Research Station staff, University of Wisconsin-Extension specialists and researchers at the UW–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

The West Madison Agricultural Research Station is located at 8052 Mineral Point Road, about a mile west of the beltline.