Spring Garden Expo
When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 3 and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 4
Where: Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center, 1855 Calvary Church Road, Gainesville
Cost: $2 adults; children free
More info: www.hallmastergardeners.com or 770-535-8293
As the temperatures begin to rise and flowers begin to bloom, the Hall County Master Gardeners are putting the final touches on its upcoming annual Spring Garden Expo.
“It’s so much fun, everybody is so happy and everybody has a good time,” said Mindy Wade, Spring Expo Chairman for the Master Gardeners. “We have almost 60 vendors, selling all kinds of appropriate native trees and shrubs for the area. We have garden art, composts, pots, garden T-shirts, ground covers, perennials, annuals. (It’s) everything you would need for the garden.”
The event will be 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 3, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center. The covered venue is minutes from Interstate 985 and offers free parking and covered dining areas to enjoy food from Sweet Butts BBQ in Gainesville.
“It’s a great site because it’s undercover, but it’s still outside,” Wade said. “So even if the weather is not good, it’s a great venue to come to because your protected undercover so you won’t get rained on.”
Admission is $2 for adults. Children may enter for free at the venue at 1855 Calvary Church Road, Gainesville. While the event will occur rain or shine, four-legged friends and other pets are not permitted.
The Spring Expo offers visitors a wide selection of native plants, trees and shrubs, an array of garden products and goods.
It will also feature advice from experts to help any size garden get ready for spring. Each day two sessions will feature experts speaking on various subjects.
Becky Mensinger will kick off the 11 a.m. Friday session with a talk on “Using Art in Your Garden.” At 1 p.m. Rudi Kiefer will lead the session on “Weather Patterns and How They Affect Gardening in Georgia.”
On Saturday, Jim Seymour will host “Critters in the Garden” at 11 a.m. Bob Bradbury will lead Beekeeping 101 at 1 p.m.
“We try to have four (speakers) every expo,” Wade said. “Bob Bradbury, for example, is a repeat speaker. Every time we have him people just flock to see him, to hear him speak because he’s so interesting. He’s a great speaker on bees.
“People are starting to realize the importance of pollinators in the garden and so they want to come out to see what can they do to do their part to keep the pollinators.”
For visitors picking out plants and running out of arms to carry them, free cart rentals will be available. A plant holding area will also be available in the event selections are too large to carry.
The expo will also feature an Ask-a-Master Gardener Booth to answer specific questions or offer advice on any gardening needs.
Last year’s event hosted more than 60 vendors.
“We probably have at least a 75 percent vendor return rate,” Wade said. “People come out and they’re looking for the same vendor, ‘Where’s that guy I bought that special shrub from last year?’ They can come right to expo and find the person they were dealing with in the fall, or even last spring.”
About 25 percent of vendors are new this year, including some from North Carolina, South Carolina and a couple from Alabama as well.
“As master gardeners we all love plants, so we try to bring in what we all love,” Wade said. “So landscapers, the everyday home gardeners ... there’s something for everybody there.”
For more information, call 770-535-8293, or visit www.hallmastergardeners.com.