Get a Green Thumb Queens Botanical Garden to offer series of free talks at Queens libraries throughout summer

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Let’s Go Outside, an adult summer reading event offered by the Queens Borough Public Library, is geared toward both apartment dwellers and homeowners — anyone who is interested in cultivating a bit of green.

“You learn as you grow,” said Patty Kleinberg, QBG director of education, who takes a holistic approach to gardening. “Summer can be a particularly trying time for gardeners — scorching sun, excessive heat, drought, insects that munch their way through your tomatoes. Chemicals and overwatering are not the solution. And what happens to your plants when you go away on vacation? That can also be stressful — for both you and your plants!”

QBG, which is located in Flushing and is open free of charge year-round, offers an ongoing schedule of weekend workshops for adults and children alike.

Kleinberg realizes that not everyone is able to take advantage of these programs. “We are thrilled that Queens Library has invited our staff to visit branches throughout the borough so we can answer questions, give advice, and encourage people to try new techniques,” she said. “Not everyone has a chance to visit Queens Botanical Garden, so this is a wonderful opportunity for Garden staff to meet community residents and bring our education programs to them.”

“Let’s Go Outside” is funded by fines and fees collected by Queens Library. Go to, for branch information.

“Partnering with Nature” with Patty Kleinberg, director of education

You can’t fight Mother Nature — and why would you want to? Understanding the natural growth cycle of plants enables a more rewarding gardening experience. This workshop provides an overview of natural gardening concepts, composting, lawn care, proper cultural practices, and strategies for times of drought.

July 28, 6 p.m., Hollis

“Backyard Composting” with Patty Kleinberg

Anyone can compost. Learn the method that best suits your needs. You’ll use less water and fertilizer, and avoid trips to the garden center for costly topsoil and peat moss. Find out how to grow the best flowers and vegetables ever using your homemade compost.

July 18, 2:30 p.m., Whitestone     

“House Plant Care and Clinic” with Fred Gerber, Director of Education, Emeritus

Learn the basics of watering, light, feeding, soil, and potting. Bring your own house plant for diagnosis and recommendations.

July 18, 2 p.m., Howard Beach     

Aug. 11, 4 p.m., Middle Village     

Aug. 13, 2 p.m., St. Albans     

Aug. 20, 10:30 a.m., Woodhaven     

Aug. 26, 2 p.m., Bayside     

“Plant Propagation” with Fred Gerber

See how to propagate both indoor and outdoor plants. Stem and leaf cuttings, layering, division, and starting from seeds will be demonstrated.

Aug. 18, 6 p.m., Hollis Branch

“Designing Your Own Herb Garden” with Cynthia Reed, horticulturalist

This workshop explores space — be it a windowsill, terrace, rooftop, or backyard garden — and how to plant the type of herb garden you desire.

Aug. 22 2 p.m., Peninsula Branch

“Cooking with Herbs” with Cynthia Reed

Learn the general techniques for using fresh, dried, and frozen herbs as well as how to make herb-flavored vinegars, oils and butters, and salt-free herbal blends. Edible flowers and what foods go with what herbs will be covered.

July 30, 10:30 a.m., Woodhaven Branch    

July 31, 2:30 p.m., Auburndale Branch

Aug. 4, 6 p.m., Flushing Branch    

Aug. 12, 2:30 p.m., Fresh Meadows Branch

“Healing with Herbs” with Cynthia Reed

This workshop covers the do’s and don’ts of medicinal herbs. Learn how to choose and store herbs as well as the medicinal uses of herbs as teas, syrups, compresses, poultices, oils and ointments, and herbal baths.

July 22, 3 p.m., Maspeth Branch    

July 25, 2 p.m., Ravenswood Branch    

July 29, 1:30 p.m., Broad Channel Branch

For information about upcoming programs and concerts at Queens Botanical Garden, which is located at 43-50 Main St. in Flushing, call 718-886-3800 or go to

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