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See how Fall Expo can help you grow your gardening chops
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Patty Bair browses through a selection of shrubs Friday afternoon at the Chicopee Wood Agricultural Center during the 2017 Hall County Master Gardeners Fall Garden Expo. The plant expo will continue today from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. - photo by Scott Rogers

It’s the best time of year to plant, and the Hall County Master Gardeners have everything covered. Their Fall Garden Expo will offer plants of all kinds along with helpful information to make gardens look their best during this time of year.

The expo is set for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 28-29 at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center. 

Hall County Master Gardeners Fall Garden Expo

Where: Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center, 1855 Calvary Church Road, Gainesville

When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28; 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 29

Cost: Adults $2, children free

More info: 770-535-8293

There will be native plants, shrubs, evergreens, perennials, yard art and more. Cost is $2 at the door for adults; children are free.

“We have new, interesting vendors for people to look at, and of course, we have our old standbys coming back,” said Liz Dietz, chair of the Fall Garden Expo. “Of course there will be people there with the fall interests like mums, pansies, lots of gourds and pumpkins and that kind of stuff.”

Of the 36 vendors at this season’s expo, a new one is  Tea Time Chimes, which Dietz is excited about because of its unique offerings: Wind chimes made from afternoon tea items such as teacups, saucers, teapots and spoons.

Four speakers will teach classes and share their knowledge with guests. At 11 a.m. the first day, Hall County Master Gardener Becky Mensinger will teach a hands-on class, “Using the Bounty of Your Garden to Decorate for the Holidays.” At 1 p.m., Joshua Presley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent at the University of Georgia Hall County Extension Office, will teach about pruning.

On Saturday, the director of Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department will talk about composting and Sandy Asbill of Sangrit Enterprises will provide, “Beyond Organic: Get Your Bugs to Attack the Weeds.”

“Our motto is education,” Dietz said. “We always offer two speakers each day because that is what our platform is. And the Master Gardeners program statewide is to take the education that we get from University of Georgia and extend it to the community, so were here to educate the community in horticulture.”

The education aspect is Dietz’s favorite part of the Master Gardeners and their events. Expos feature many different kinds of vendors that allow visitors to answer all their questions, especially at the “Ask a Master Gardener” table.

“You have the opportunity there to ask questions with the person who owns the nursery, or in some cases, the actual grower themselves,” Dietz said. “And they are all local growers. You’re buying stuff from people that are in the local area ... rather than buying a plant that was grown in Ohio or the West Coast.”

As the 2,000 expected visitors admire all the plants the expo offers, Dietz hopes they see the positive sides of planting during this time of year. She said people often don’t realize what it can bring in the coming seasons.

“The fall is the better time to plant, especially trees and shrubs,” Dietz said. “We’re going into the wet season and plants have the time during winter for their roots to establish themselves. They need to establish that root ball during the wet season, and then they’ll come out in the spring.”