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Free landscape workshop coming

Are you interested in beautiful landscaping with less lawn to maintain? Does your backyard design need to accommodate pets? Would you like a landscape that is both attractive and practical, producing food for your household?

Learn how to achieve these landscaping objectives and more with tips from the experts at the 11th annual Environmental Landscape Workshop on Saturday, March 21, at Woodbury City Hall.

The workshop is free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary. This year's program will emphasize environmentally friendly practices, with speakers on healthy lawns and gardens, edible landscaping, reducing turf, and landscaping for pets. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends around noon.

The workshop additionally will be broadcast live in South Washington County on cable television Channel 16 and later replayed. The program also can be viewed on the Internet via web streaming on the South Washington County Telecommunications website at

Tips for healthy lawns

In the first presentation, scheduled for 8:40 a.m., Angie Hong will discuss "Tips and Techniques for Healthy Lawns and Gardens." The session will focus on easy techniques for keeping lawns and gardens healthy while reducing impacts on our water resources.

It will include suggestions for working with clay soils common in Woodbury. Hong is the water resource education specialist with the East Metro Water Resource Education Program.

At 9:30 a.m., Winnie Williams will present "The Edible Landscape: Landscaping with Taste." She will show a number of fruits, vegetables, and herbs with ornamental qualities that combine well with more traditional plants in the landscape.

A Washington County Master Gardener, Williams has volunteered many hours landscaping with Habitat for Humanity and teaching classes on backyard fruits. Her talk reprises a popular session from the 2006 workshop.

Reduce your turf

If you're interested in alternatives to part or all of your lawn, be sure to attend Evelyn Hadden's session, "Design Ideas to Shrink Your Lawn" at 10:30. Hadden is the author of "Apprentice to a Garden" and editor of Her examples will include rain gardens, prairie and woodland gardens, island beds, herb gardens and much more.

In the final session of the morning, Fran Kiesling, owner of Dirty Dog Landscape Consulting & Design Services Inc. will share her knowledge about "A Dog in the Garden: Landscaping for Pets." Her techniques are designed to keep dogs engaged outside so they won't dig and chew and wear paths through the lawn. Her presentation will start around 11:20 a.m.

Ask the experts

All sessions will include a question and answer period. In addition to the presentations, there will be informational displays and handouts. University of Minnesota-Washington County Master Gardeners and city staff will be available to answer questions throughout the morning.

The Landscape Workshop is sponsored by the Woodbury Environmental Advisory Commission, a volunteer group that advises the city council on matters relevant to sustainability including solid waste, air, water, land, energy, and other natural resources.

Woodbury City Hall is located at 8301 Valley Creek Road. Questions about the workshop can be directed to City Hall at (651) 714-3500.