Master Gardener event scheduled for April 16

By Melody Curtis
Saline County Master Gardener

BENTON – Springtime is planting and growing time and the Saline County Master Gardeners’ Annual Plant Sale will[more] inspire garden enthusiasts in Central Arkansas to get out and dig. The event will be Saturday, April 16, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Saline County Fairgrounds. Admission is free.

Sun and shade plants for the garden, and trees such as Japanese maples, dogwoods and crape myrtles, will be available to help jump start your spring planting. From daylilies to roses and gardenias, to vegetables and herbs, there will be something for every gardener. Many of the items are grown by Master Gardeners in their gardens and greenhouses.

“Again this year we will have special interest tables. Each table will have plants for sale and printed material relating to that special interest,” Sandy Rial, plant sale chairperson said. “One special interest table will be on herbs; another on butterfly gardening, and plants that will attract butterflies to your garden,” Rial added. Always wanted to grow beautiful house plants? Another special interest table will provide you information on how to select plants suitable for indoors.

Featured speakers this year are:

9 a.m. – Dr. Jim Robbins “What is HOT in Arkansas”

Dr. Robbins of the University of Arkansas, Cooperative Extension Office in Little Rock, has recently returned from a horticulture trip to China, and will give us the latest scoop on what to plant in Arkansas this year.

10:15 a.m. – Chris Olsen “Colorful and Awesome Plants”

Chris, manager/designer for Botanica Gardens, will show off all the plants featured in his talk and some lucky people will have the opportunity to purchase and take home these unusual plants.

11:30 a.m. – Janet Carson “Creating the Landscape You Have Always Wanted”

Janet, well known to gardeners in Arkansas through her weekly column, In the Garden appearing in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a horticultural specialist with the University of Arkansas, Cooperative Extension Service in Little Rock.

Bring a pint of your garden or lawn soil for free testing. Learn how to successfully treat for fire ants, grow roses and propagate native plants. The growing and proper pruning of crape myrtles will be covered. Do you like to take in “Yard Sales” on Saturdays? No problem. Gently used garden items will be for sale at very affordable prices. And while you’re there find out about becoming a Master Gardener.

“From educational and vendor booths to a silent auction, there will be fun and entertainment for all ages. But be sure to come early for the best selections,” Rial said. 

The event is co-sponsored by the Saline County Master Gardeners and the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture. For more information call Sandy Rial, 501-993-4390 or Ron Matlock 501-303-5672.

To get to the fairgrounds from the east (Bryant/Little Rock) take exit 116 (Sevier, South Street) off Interstate I-30, cross over I-30 and turn right onto South Street, then left onto the service road. The fairgrounds will be on the left, past Holland Chapel. If coming from the west, (Hot Springs/Texarkana) take exit 116. The fairgrounds will be on the right.

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