If your inspiration for next season’s garden is suffering a dry spell, the odds are in your favor. The Hall County Master Gardeners’ fall expo is set for this weekend.
Spanning Sept. 23-24 at Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center in Gainesville, the two-day event will showcase over 30 vendors dealing in annual and perennial plants, trees, shrubs, vegetable plants, garden art, hardware and other garden accessories.
The vendors aren’t just representing the Peach State, but a couple of its neighbors as well — something expo chairman and Hall County Master Gardeners President-elect Vic Flock believes is a testament to the reputation and success of the event.
“With gas prices as they are, they know this is such a good show that they’re willing to come from Alabama and South Carolina to get here,” he said.
In the speaker’s tent, a series of garden experts will be taking the mic to offer their insight on food preservation basics, handling invasive plant species in North Georgia, seed collection and preservation and caring for spring and summer perennials in the fall.
The presentations are slated for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
While the program’s spring expo tends to draw a bit of a larger crowd than its fall counterpart, the latter is a prime time to start planning and planting next year’s garden, establishing roots ahead of the heat of summer.
“Maybe it’s that instant gratification (that) all the plants are blooming (at the spring expo) and I can stick them in the ground and I can see them and they’re beautiful right away,” Flock said. “But fall really is the best time to plant, because the leaves are not competing with the roots now. The soil is still warm, and the roots are going to grow beautifully. If you want a blooming forsythia or a blooming azalea in the spring, well, you put (the bulb) in the ground in the fall.”
Excitement for the biannual event is only building, Flock added, as next year marks its 20th anniversary in Hall County.
Since its inception, the expo has mirrored the Hall County Master Gardeners’ motto of “beautification through education,” offering the community a chance to not only buy plants to spruce up their landscaping, but “to get educated” on some of the best gardening practices and find answers to pressing questions.
Attendees don’t need to have a green thumb, Flock said, just a passion for plants.
Admission is free for children and $2 per adult, which goes to support the Hall County Master Gardeners’ various projects, such as its youth gardening program aimed toward cultivating the next generation of gardeners in the local school system.