Master gardeners sow dreams of spring with show featuring sustainable practices

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Crocuses that popped out of the ground last week might still be under a few inches of snow, but spring will be in full bloom Saturday with the return of the Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners garden show.

The free event, “Gardening for a Sustainable Future,” will feature speakers, workshops, demonstrations, vendors, food trucks, and a garden garage sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 12 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St. This year’s show focuses on incorporating sustainable practices into gardening.

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Sharon Ashworth, horticulture and natural resources agent, said visitors would find inspiration and education at the garden show on topics including edible gardening, pest management, composting, sustainability, landscaping, and pollinator gardening.

“There will be a lot of information available,” she said. “If a person has interest in a particular topic that isn’t covered, they can ask about it at the resource table. We will contact them later with answers.”

A team of volunteers has been planning and organizing the show, which is the first since 2018, Ashworth said. The event, usually held every other year, was postponed and then canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19.

Ashworth called this year’s show “a full go” including hands-on, instructional garden workshops on scrap-wood birdhouses, metal garden art flowers, and wine bottle bird feeders. A root-view micro garden workshop will send participants home with a partially transparent plant container, which organizers hope might interest young gardeners.

“They can take it home, fill it with soil and watch a plant grow,” Ashworth said. “They can see what’s going on underground.”

Information booths and vendors will be in Building 21. Workshops and demonstrations will take place in adjacent facilities and at the master gardeners’ new hoop house located south of the Flory Building.

Garden workshops require registration and a materials fee for those featuring take-home projects. Space is limited. A schedule of speakers and additional information can be found on the Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners website.

Ashworth said she hoped for a good turnout despite the cold weather.

“We are so excited to show people what we have and to educate the public,” she said. “We are ready for spring.”

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Andrea Albright (she/her), reporter, can be reached at aalbright (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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