2020 Symposium Schedule

7:30 AM – 8:15 AM 

REGISTRATION / Continental Fare

8:15 AM – 8:30 AM 

WELCOME / Opening Remarks

8:30 AM – 9:15 AM

RUSS EDGINGTON – Director / Muskingum Valley Park District / “Don’t Smother Me”

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

MARK DWYER – Owner Of Landscapes Prescriptions By MD / “Growing Herbs and Edibles”

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM


10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

JESSICA WALLISER – Horticulturist, Freelance Writer, Radio Host / “Container Savvy”

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM


12:00 PM – 12:45 PM


12:45 PM – 2:00 PM

MARK DWYER – Owner Of Landscapes Prescriptions By MD / “Designing the Four Seasons Garden”

2:00 PM – 2:15 PM


17th Annual “SPRING FEVER” Home Gardening Symposium

Featured Speaker : Mark Dwyer

“Herbs and Edibles” / “Designing the Four Seasons Garden”

Mark Dwyer owns Landscape Prescriptions by MD (www.landscapeprescriptionsmd.com), a horticultural consulting business focused on design and education located in Janesville, WI.  He formerly was the Director of Horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens (Janesville, WI) for 21 years.  He has degrees in landscape architecture and urban forestry.  His true passion is obtaining, growing, observing, photographing and enjoying all manner of plants.

Gardening with Herbs and Edible Plants

Herbs and edible plants can be exciting and components out in our gardens not just for their “conveniently functional” use in the kitchen but for their inherent beauty!  Incorporating herbs and edible plants in the garden can be creatively achieved through thoughtful design and the use of non-traditional spaces, containers and innovative combinations within your existing landscape.  We’ll talk about how to successfully grow, display and enjoy a wide range of herbs and edibles throughout the landscape! 

Designing the Four Season Garden

While we live in a climate with four distinct seasons, we should still enjoy the beauty that the garden provides year-round.  Incorporating blooming plants throughout the entire growing season window will help maximize color and interest.  However, through the appreciation and utilization of colorful and textural foliage, interesting conifers and other woody plants with colorful stems, ornamental bark and showy fruits, we can have a beautiful landscape for 12 months of the year.  We’ll discuss how to achieve this goal successfully!

Featured Speaker: Jessica Walliser

 “Container Savvy”

Jessica Walliser co-hosts The Organic Gardeners, an award-winning program on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the Acquisitions Editor for The Quarto Publishing Group’s garden imprint, Cool Springs Press, and a former contributing editor for Organic Gardening magazine. Jessica also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of The American Horticultural Society.

Her two weekly gardening columns for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review have been enjoyed by readers for over ten years. Jessica’s fourth book, Attracting Beneficial Bugs to the Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control, was awarded the American Horticultural Society’s 2014 Book Award.

The former owner of a 25-acre organic market farm, Jessica received her degree in ornamental horticulture from The Pennsylvania State University. She’s taught a diverse array of gardening topics for over 20 years.

Jessica is the author of six gardening books, including the Amazon best-seller Good Bug, Bad Bug: Who’s Who, What They Do, and How to Manage Them Organically and her newest book, The Gardener’s Guide to Compact Plants. She is also a co-founder of the popular gardening website SavvyGardening.com.

Jessica lives and gardens northwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and son, two cats, three chickens, two hermit crabs, and billions and billions of very good bugs.

Local Speaker: Janet Taylor Lehman

“Oh! For PEAT’S Sake”

Janet Taylor-Lehman considers herself an environmentally-conscious gardener. She firmly believes that the care and protection of all life on earth is up to each and every one of us. Because of this conviction, Janet has eagerly spoken to garden groups, Master Gardener Volunteers, symposiums, and others about how we can assist with the protection of various species of life. Her program topics include monarch butterflies, the global decline of insect populations, and peat moss.

Janet is a Master Gardener Volunteer (class of 2014) and is a member of a local garden club, Meadow-Vale.  The Taylor-Lehman’s gardened yard was chosen to be one of the garden spaces shown in the first annual Zanesville Museum of Art Beaux Art fundraiser, Art in the Garden, 2012.

In her ‘real life,’ Janet is a registered dietitian. She obtained her M.S. from Case Western Reserve University, worked with the National Health Service Corps, and spent many years in public health clinics and as an instructor at Ohio University Zanesville. Although she truly loved teaching about nutrition, Janet retired from her profession in December 2019.

Local Speaker: Russ Edgington

“Don’t Smother Me”

Russell Edgington is Executive Director of the Muskingum Valley Park District, a position he has held since August of 2017. Edgington brings more than 30 years of professional experience to Muskingum County, with prior service including positions at the Ohio Department of Natural Resource, Licking Park District and Five Rivers MetroParks. Edgington holds a master’s degree in Physical Education from Ohio University where he also attained an undergraduate degree in Outdoor Education. In his spare time, he enjoys training horses and teaching children and adults the sport of dressage.

MVGS Sponsors

 Platinum Sponsor:  ($1,000 Level and above)

  • The Community Bank
  • Timber Run Gardens
  • Old Stone House Nursery

Gold Sponsor:  ($500 level and above) 

  • Winland’s Complete Landscape Service
  • Century National Bank.

Silver Sponsor:  ($250 level and above) 

  • McCullough’s Tree Service, Inc.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Tom Bixler

Bronze Sponsor: ($100 level and above) 

  • Green Shades Garden Center
  • Coconis Furniture
  • Beckert Outdoor Power Equipment

Our Mission is to enhance the community through gardening and landscaping, public and private; and to promote horticultural education.