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Garden expo offers unique plants, plenty of info
Steve Miller, with No Longer Bound Nursery, sets up a display at the Garden Expo in April. The Fall Garden Expo is Saturday. - photo by Tom Reed

Fall Garden Expo

When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center, 1855 Calvary Church Road, Gainesville
How much: Free
More info: 770-535-8293

If your yard is barren, or you want to add to your already thriving landscape, you can check out this weekend's Fall Garden Expo for everything from hellebores and herbs to hanging baskets, trees and shrubs.

Lori Carson, president of the Hall County Master Gardeners, said this year's expo, which will take place Friday and Saturday at Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center, was extended from one to two days because fall is the perfect time for planting.

"Because the spring one is so successful, and because fall is a better time to plant, we wanted to give people more opportunity to see more things and have more things available," Carson said. "This will bring more vendors that normally wouldn't come, and it will give people more variety."

Carson said one of the main goals of the expo is to educate the public about the advantages of the fall planting season.

"Fall is the best time for the trees and shrubs, really," she said. "Spring is probably the best time for more of the perennials, but you can plant anything in the fall, really, and it just gives it the time to establish its root system before it gets really cold here."

When roots are well established, the addition of insulating mulch keeps plants better protected from the heat and lack of water that springtime brings.

"That's why fall is better, as long as you get it in the ground early enough," she said, adding that some of the seminars at the expo will be about fall planting. "You can't wait till December; you've got to get it in around October, November."

In addition to the seminars, which will be presented by Hall County Master Gardeners, the expo will feature more than 60 vendors with plants and trees, garden art and gardening products.

"We have people that (bring) trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, specialty plants like hostas," Carson said. "Somebody (will) specialize in shade plants, or somebody (will) specialize in sun plants, so they would be able to find all of their winter annuals, like the pansies and the mums, all those kind of things."

Carson said the expo also will feature unusual items and plants that can't be found at home and garden stores.

"Everything we have is really unique, especially the garden art," Carson said. "Most of it is handmade, so they're not going to find anything else like it anywhere. The plant material, too, it is not something that you can just go to a big retail center and find that easily. They'll be able to find things that are very unusual. And of course, everything's good for our area, because they make sure that it is, and the vendors will give good instructions about taking care of it."