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Local News

FRED gardening symposium set for Sept. 21 in Riverside

RIVERSIDE – Gardening enthusiasts and and green thumb newbies will have a chance to learn from a number of landscape architects and designers at the FRED (Frederick Law Olmsted Riverside Education and Design) day-long garden symposium Sept. 21. 

Riverside is known for its outdoor spaces, many of which were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, a 19th century American landscape designer.

“Riverside, I like to think of it as the first conservation community in America,” said FRED co-chair Cathy Maloney. “Because Olmsted designed it with all native plants, with 50 percent green space and so forth. Part of what we try to do with these design seminars is [promote] sustainability and conservation.”

The event will include displays from a number of exhibitors, vintage garden artwork, landscape designs and flowers to plant. New this year is a display titled “Beyond the Barrel” that will demonstrate imaginative ways to harvest rain water. Participants will also have eight class options to choose from, including:

• Walk & Talk Landscape Design: A sidewalk tour by Scott Mehaffey, former landscape architect for the city of Chicago and the Morton Arboretum.

• Sneak peek of “The Living Green”: A preview of a documentary on the “dean of landscape architecture,” Jens Jensen.

• Garden Makeovers: A class with Tony LoBello of Mariani Landscape.

• The Late Summer Garden: A class by Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm.

“I think it’s an opportunity to get exposure to a lot of different ideas and inspiration in one day,” Maloney said. “You get a chance to see garden design in real life, if you will, because it’s the only symposium that uses real-life public spaces as the laboratory.”

Registration is open on FRED’s website, Pre-registration is $20 for four classes plus the keynote session – featuring TV and radio gardening personality Mike Nowak – a 25 percent savings from the full price. 

FRED is sponsored by the nonprofit Frederick Law Olmsted Society, Home Depot of Countryside and Riverside Public Library. The event takes place at Riverside Village Hall and Riverside Public Library. 

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