Gardeners get tips from a master at Baldwin

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 13, 2013

BIRMINGHAM — On March 16, get into the spring spirit at Baldwin Public Library with a special presentation by one of the area’s favorite master gardeners.

Nancy Szerlag, an avid gardener and long-time Detroit News columnist, will discuss the secrets to growing a great garden during the free hands-on program this Saturday.  The public is invited to learn about new garden products available to home gardeners along with growing techniques that can help beginner or even expert gardeners bloom a better bed this spring.

“After a cold Michigan winter, we wanted to give people the chance to start thinking about warmer spring weather and all the potential of the new season,” said Associate Library Director Matt Church, in an email.

Szerlag said she’s excited to talk about what she thinks are the “hot topics” in gardening relevant to Michigan growers this upcoming planting season. Among the items she plans to discuss are the challenges of the modern Michigan climate and new disease infestations which, according to Szerlag, will severely affect this year’s crop of impatiens.

“This mildew can live throughout the winter in the soil and it can also be airborne, so the major garden centers in metro Detroit are not going to be selling impatiens this year. I’m going to give gardeners some options of what they can plant, what’s going to be dramatic and fun to grow,” she said.

Szerlag said she also plans to discuss garden design, grafting solutions and much more. She also hopes to take questions from the audience, so each guest can take away something from the talk that will help inspire their own garden, no matter how green their thumb may or may not be.

“We’re trying to get people to realize you don’t have to go big or have a huge garden. But if you pick the right thing and put it in the right place, it’s going to work for you. Then you get hooked, like me,” she said with a laugh.

The Secrets to Growing Great Gardens presentation will begin at 11 a.m. March 16 in the library’s large meeting room. For more information, call (248) 647-1700 or visit

The Baldwin Public Library is located at 300 W. Merrill St. in downtown Birmingham.