2014 MSU Extension Smart Gardening Conference

The 2014 Michigan State University Extension Smart Gardening Conference will be held in Grand Rapids on Saturday, March 8, 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The day includes 4 lectures and a vendor marketplace. Participants will learn how their everyday efforts at home can have earth-friendly impacts. The 2014 presenters are:

  • Melinda Myers, nationally-known gardening expert, TV/radio host, and author: “Create a Smart Garden with Year-Round Interest”
  • Dr. George Bird, Michigan State University, Department of Entomology: “Smart Soils and Good Practices: Keys to Building a High Quality, Sustainable Garden”
  • Chuck Martin, Horticulturist at Dow Gardens: “Practicing Phenology is Phun!”
  • Dr. Douglas Tallamy, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware and author of Bringing Nature Home: “Smart Gardening for Life”

For more information or to register download this PDF.

Proven Winners presents Outdoor Living Extravaganza

Proven Winners is once again bringing this educational gardening seminar to Michigan on Saturday, March 8 in Grand Rapids. Attendees will learn from experts about creative new ways to use color, the easiest ways to grow plant varieties, how to put together exceptional containers, and much more.

In addition, participants will receive a bag of exciting gifts, including a plant. Plus, lunch, beverages, and snacks, as well as plenty of chances to win great prizes. Even non-gardeners will enjoy this relaxed and entertaining look at what’s new in outdoor décor.

For more information and to register, click here.

Light up your life with glow-in-the-dark plants

The plant in regular light, left, and in darkness, right. (Credit: Bioglow)

The plant in regular light, left, and in darkness, right.
(Credit: Bioglow)


When it comes to living things that illuminate, a plant is probably your best bet for a low-maintenance conversation piece to have in your home. It’s much easier to deal with than a jellyfish, or even a glow-in-the-dark cat. Bioglow is preparing to offer its bioengineered Starlight Avatar autoluminescent ornamental houseplants to the public.

Competing companies have popped up, but Bioglow has been leading the movement ever since molecular biologist Alexander Krichevsky created what the company calls the first light-producing plants and published his findings in 2010.

Read the full story here…

Chicago Botanic Garden hosts orchid show

Paradise Jewel 'Flame' (Photo: By Dougie WII via Wikimedia Commons)

Paradise Jewel ‘Flame’ (Photo: By Dougie WII via Wikimedia Commons)

The Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show will provide an infusion of warmth and color to guests visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden this winter. The event will run daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, through Sunday, March 16, 2014.

Visitors will enter the exhibition through an orchid-and-palm allée, then view a large orchid tree surrounded by other displays. The greenhouses will be filled with orchids on trees, in the ground, and suspended on hanging structures. The effect will give visitors the feeling of being surrounded by colorful, fragrant blooms. Guests can also wind their way through orchid columns as they read about conservation efforts.

This showcase of unusual and stunning orchids will give visitors the opportunity to learn about one of the largest, most diverse and revered flowering plant families.

The Illinois Orchid Society will have experts on hand to answer questions, provide re-potting services, and offer a marketplace every weekend.

For more information, click here.

Stunning macro photography of bees

Megachile fortis (Photo: Sam Droege via Flickr)

Megachile fortis (Photo: Sam Droege via Flickr)

We discovered these fascinating macro photographs of bees and other insects by Sam Droege, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Bee Monitoring Lab. Friend or foe, all are interesting to look at. Check out his gallery on Flickr.