cloudy
Friday July 31st, 2015 7:35PM

Master Gardeners Expo returns with spring

By Kelsey Williamson
GAINESVILLE - The popular Hall County Master Gardeners' expo returns to town on April 5 and 6 at Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center in Gainesville, bringing over 60 vendors ranging from native plants to whimsical garden art.

The event, which is in its 11th year, started as a small gardening show and has been growing every year, according to the expo's co-chair, Vicky Ginn.

"As time went on, it became more and more popular with the public with the spring expo, of course, being more popular because people are really unaware of the value of getting their shrubs and their plants in the fall to get them in the ground in the dormant season," Ginn said.

The Master Gardeners host two expos each year, one in spring and one in fall, but the spring event still remains the most popular, and over 3,000 people visit the agricultural center each spring to marvel at the plants, art and other garden novelties.

Ginn emphasized the variety of vendors the expo brings and notes that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

"We have a huge variety, not just nurseries," Ginn said. "We have garden decor, garden tools, yard art, water barrels, whimsical art, floral photography, perennials, annuals, natives, almost anything you can think of and probably more than that."

Most people come for the plants, primarily perennials, according to Ginn, but people are purchasing other garden-related items more and more frequently.

"More and more wonderful things are gaining popularity, such as bird houses and glass work, and yard art," Ginn said. "That's so much fun because the gardener can really express themselves further through the yard art."

At the spring expo, attendees can also take part in a number of different workshops, demonstrations and presentations, all of which are free with admission. The most popular of these seminars, according to Ginn, are ones that involve people at all levels of gardening from master to beginner.

"Some of the seminars on composting and on vegetable gardening are the most popular," she said. "Or family-oriented gardening sessions that incorporate children, teaching children how they can plant the seen and then watch it grow as they nurture it, water it and give it the right amount of soil and light."

The expo is one of the largest events of the year for the Hall County Master Gardeners, but the organization partakes in numerous other events around the region to promote gardening through their motto, "Beautification Through Education."

"We get involved in just a lot of different avenues like children's groups," Ginn said. "We go to libraries, and all of our seminars are free to the public."

In addition to teaching about gardening, the group also actively cultivates a number of local gardens in the Gainesville area.

"We work through different types of non-profit organizations, such as the victory garden at the Northeast Georgia History Center," Ginn said. "That's a garden where we plant produce and then donate it to different organizations that can use it."

The Master Gardeners also operate "Gardens on Green," which aims at beautifying the area around Green Street. They also use the gardens to educate people about techniques for getting the most out of their gardens at home or elsewhere.

To further the organization and gardening in general, the Hall County Master Gardeners work with a group of younger kids who are interested in the craft as well.

"We work with the junior master gardeners, and we're trying to establish more of a foothold with the schools to raise awareness about gardening with the youth," Ginn said.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Agencies spend afternoon clearing wreck on Athens Hwy
Athens Highway was shut down at Gillsville Highway for most of the Friday afternoon rush hour following a traffic accident and ensuing fire.
4:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
Maysville man charged in Homer armed robbery
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Banks County Sheriff's Office charged a Maysville man in connection with Thursday's armed robbery at a Homer credit union.
4:31PM ( 3 hours ago )
Permit suspended at ropes course where Cumming teen fatally injured
Tennessee has suspended the operating permit at a Knoxville ropes course after an 18-year-old from Cumming, Georgia was fatally injured there last week.
By Associated Press
1:34PM ( 6 hours ago )
Mayor asks residents to support 2016 regatta on Lanier
Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan is asking residents to contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to show their support for the annual National Championship Rowing Regatta planned for Memorial Day weekend in 2016.
12:06PM ( 7 hours ago )
Electric vehicle charging stations installed on UNG Gainesville, Dahlonega campuses
The University of North Georgia (UNG) has installed electric vehicle charging stations on its Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses, one of several new conservation initiatives on UNG's four campuses.
By AccessWDUN staff
10:59AM ( 8 hours ago )