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Gardeners put down roots at Fall Expo

Master Gardeners’ plants draws big crowd to 2-day event

POSTED: September 29, 2012 12:05 a.m.

If you like to make things grow, the Hall County Master Gardeners’ Fall Garden Expo is the place to be.

Held at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center in Gainesville, the two-day event brings together gardeners from all over the area. It began Friday and continues from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

“We have plant vendors from this state and other states that have a variety of plants that are appropriate for fall planting,” said Marsha Dickey, co-chairwoman of the Expo.

A variety of trees, plants and flowers are for sale and a total of 32 vendors, according to co-chairman Bill Dickey.

Besides plants, vendors are selling gardening supplies, garden or outdoor decorations, glass art and nature and floral paintings and photographs.

“We have several groups here such as Georgia Grown, Keep Hall Beautiful, Habitat for Humanity and Elachee Nature Center,” Marsha Dickey said.

Expo attendees can enter a raffle to win a prize, with drawings held every half-hour.

Attendees can also pay to enter a raffle from The Redbud Project. Money from the raffle goes toward the conservation of green space and plants in Hall County.

“We have master gardeners, so that people who have all sorts of gardening questions can get them answered,” Marsha Dickey said.

That’s just what local gardeners were looking for Friday.

“I’m looking for native plants that deer won’t eat. It’s hard,” Gainesville resident Linda Jones said.“I’m enjoying seeing plants that I’ve never seen, plants that nurseries don’t normally stock.”

Betsy Pennington and Nelson Carter, both of Gainesville, came together.

“I’ve been wanting to come for the past few years,” Pennington said. “I wanted to come check it out.”

“It’s fun to see all of the different things you can put in the garden, not just the plants,” Carter said.

Attendees interested in becoming a master gardener can get information at the expo on Hall County’s upcoming classes in January.

Marsha Dickey said that to become a master gardener, one must take the required courses and exams, then volunteer at least 50 hours, 25 of them in Hall County’s Cooperative Extension office answering questions from clients.

The Georgia Master Gardeners are affiliated with the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Studies Cooperative Extension.

Marsha Dickey said money raised from the expo goes to fund Hall County Master Gardeners’ projects such as the Junior Master Gardeners, the butterfly garden at Elachee Nature Science Center and an annual butterfly release.

The Master Gardeners will hold a Spring Expo on April 5-6 at the Ag Center and the Garden Walk in May.


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