Gardens, Greenhouse, & Master Gardeners

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Family Gardening for Food and Fun, 2018  


Please join the Linn County Master Gardeners for an evening with the Master Gardeners, Family Gardening for Food and Fun programs, on the third Tuesday of the month, April through September, at the Lowe Park demonstration gardens and greenhouse.  The programs are listed below and will be followed by light refreshments.  

Make a paper pot and plant a seed

Tuesday, 17 April, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

In this workshop, you will learn how to make a square and round paper pot and the correct way to plant seeds.  This is a great family activity.


Container gardens

Tuesday, 15 May, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

This discussion will cover design and growing in containers.  We will have examples, and participants will have a preview of plants for sale at the Charlene Woeste Plant Sale, on Saturday, 19 May.  This year the sale will be at the American Legion in Marion.


Face Planters

Tuesday, 19 June, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Create a fun face planter using hand building techniques, in a collaboration with Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio’s (iCCGS) mobile art program.  Participants will first construct the pot using hand building techniques (pinch and/or coil) and then decorate it by adding a silly face---add glasses, mustache or anything else you can dream up!   Participants will then paint/ glaze their pots in vivid colors.  Finished pots will then be taken back to iCCGS’s studio for firing in their kilns.  Please note that the firing process will take anywhere from 2-3 weeks and participants will be notified by an email that their planters are ready for pickup at iCCGS (located in the Cherry Building across from NewBo Market in Cedar Rapids) 

Advance registration is required.  $15 fee due at registration.  Class size limited to 24.


Top SHADE Pollinator Plants

Tuesday, 17 July, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Tired of reading "Full Sun" on pollinator plant descriptions when your property is mostly shady?  Linn County Master Gardener Becki Lynch will share the best SHADE pollinator plants in her 1 1/2 acre woodland garden from spring through fall, as well as information on which "Full Sun" pollinator plants do well in shade.  There ARE pollinator plants for everywhere!


Salsa Making Workshop

Tuesday, 21 August, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Participants will have a chance to learn how to make a great salsa. 

Advance registration is required.  Class size limited to 20.


Build a Mini-hydroponics System

Tuesday, 18 September, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

This is a hands-on workshop where you will be able to build a mini hydroponics system, for growing greens indoors all winter. 

Class size is limited to 10.  Materials fee: $60.00

The Linn County Master Gardeners are a dedicated group of trained volunteers willing to share their horticulture knowledge, a love of gardening, an enthusiasm for learning, and a commitment to helping others.
Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, and gardens. They are willing to learn more and share their knowledge about horticulture. Master Gardeners attend classes taught by Iowa State University Extension staff and specialists. The program offers 40 hours of instruction that covers topics such as lawn care, flower and vegetable gardening, ornamental trees and shrubs, fruit crops, and houseplants. Training also covers insects, disease and weed control, soil and plant nutrition, as well as pesticide safety.
In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer 40 hours of service back to their local county extension programs by the end of the calendar year following completion of class hours. The type of service done by Master Gardeners includes: educating youth and the community, answering questions on the "Hortline," answering horticulture related questions at a booth at public events, and planting demonstration educational garden plots. Once the 40 hours are completed, interns become Master Gardeners and are then required to volunteer 20 hours a year and obtain 10 educational hours a year to stay certified.

Availability and Workshops

Master Gardeners are available at for questions and/or tours on the following schedule...

Lowe Park Greenhouse

Tuesdays, 10 a.m.–noon
Thursdays, 6:30–8:30 p.m.


Lowe Park Demonstration Gardens

Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m.–dusk
Thursdays, 9 a.m.–noon


Taube Park Farmers' Markets

1st, 3rd, & 4th Saturdays of the month, 8–11:30 a.m.

An Evening with Master Gardeners

The Linn County Master Gardeners would like to invite you to a Family Gardening for Food and Fun evening at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month from April through September. The evening will be an informal/interactive discussion of pertinent topics followed by a snack and beverage. Topics being considered are seed starting, container gardening, pollinators, keeping weeds and pests at bay, harvesting and storing the garden, and putting the garden to bed. The evening may include a walk through the demonstration gardens, the orchard, or just around the Park.




Lowe Park GreenhouseThe Lowe Park Greenhouse is a joint project between the City of Marion and the ISU Extension Linn County Master Gardeners. The greenhouse is used as a classroom for educational workshops, growing plants for the Lowe Park demonstration gardens, the Linn County Master Gardener Plant Sale, flowers for the Marion Parks Department & the donation of vegetable plants to low income families who are supplementing their diet with home grown foods, and various other projects.


Children's Discovery Garden SignageThe Linn County Master Gardeners’ Lowe Park Demonstration Gardens and ABC Discovery Garden offer an outdoor plant growing lab. Visit our public outdoor plant learning lab at Lowe Park, 4500 N 10th Street in Marion, Iowa.

Demo GardensTwelve continuously developing gardens are available for public education and enjoyment. The gardens are accessible all day, every day. Take a self-guided tour through the gardens using the Demonstration Garden Brochure available at Lowe Park in the garden mail box (pictured above). Linn County Master Gardeners are available to answer questions regularly on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings.

Demonstration Orc hard
The Lowe Park Orchard was planted by local volunteers and is cared for through a partnership between Trees Forever, Fruit TreeKeepers, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Linn County Master Gardeners. As the trees and bushes mature they will provide beauty as they bloom in the spring and produce delicious and nutritious snacks for visitors to Lowe Park as the fruit ripens. The orchard will be used for educational opportunities such as pruning, pest management and harvesting.