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Skaggs: Before you start in the garden, hit the expo
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Spring Garden Expo
8 a.m.-6 p.m. April 9, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. April 10
Where: Chicopee Woods Agricultural center, Calvary Church Road (Exit 20 off I-985), Gainesville
How much: Admission and workshops are free; many gardening items for sale

After the bitter cold temperatures, ice and snow of this past winter, I fully expect spring fever to be rampant this year. Spring is an exciting time of year for those of us who consider ourselves gardeners. We cannot wait to get outside to dig, prune, plant and mow.

For those of you who fall into this category, you will not want to miss the eighth annual Spring Garden Expo set for April 9 and 10 at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center on Calvary Church Road in Gainesville.

If you haven’t been to the Agricultural Center, it’s a great facility. It has ample space for more vendors, more plants and more parking.

The Spring Garden Expo is sponsored by the Hall County Master Gardeners and Hall County Cooperative Extension. The Expo will kick off Friday with sale hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday we’ll be open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

This year’s Expo features three gardening workshops with special guest speakers, an "Ask a Master Gardener" information booth, a "hold and load" service for shoppers and a children’s hands-on gardening experience booth.

About 60 vendors are scheduled to be at the Expo selling a variety of items. As for plants, the Expo will feature annuals, perennials, daylilies, specialty trees and ornamental shrubs, hanging baskets, potted plants, herbs, ferns, hostas, hellebores, vegetables and more.

Other gardening-related items you can expect at the 2010 Expo include local honey, mulches, bird houses, stained glass animal and plant figures, cedar potting tables and garden benches, garden photography, mosaic garden art, metal sculptures and garden art, water garden design services, landscape design services, herbal soaps, soil amendments, Kombi garden tools, pruners and trimmers, gardening gloves and accessories and even containers and flower pots.

If you’re looking for that hard-to-find plant or the latest in garden trends, a trip to the Garden Expo will be worth the effort. Mark your calendars for this weekend’s eighth annual Spring Garden Expo in Gainesville.

The mission of the Hall County Master Gardeners is to advance the horticultural education of our members and the public by promoting the knowledge, interest, appreciation and enjoyment of gardening through meetings, projects, activities and newsletters.

In addition to the Spring Expo, the Master Gardeners sponsor other public events throughout the year, including the biannual Garden Walk, the Fall Garden Expo and the Fall Gardening Symposium.

They also support numerous community projects including maintenance of a portion of the Wilshire Park Gardens, the Cherokee Native American Garden at the Northeast Georgia History Center, Gardens on Green at the Hall County Board of Education and the Junior Master Gardener program.

For more information on the Master Gardeners and the Spring Garden Expo, go to

Billy Skaggs is an agricultural agent and Hall County extension coordinator. Phone: 770-531-6988. Fax: 770-531-3994.