Garden Variety: Upcoming Garden Show offers education, expertise

Next Saturday, April 28, the Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners are sponsoring a one-day educational Garden Show to celebrate spring and share their expertise. This free event is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence.

The Master Gardener Garden Show (previously called the Spring Garden Fair) has several components this year on the Fairgrounds. The main activities are in Building 21. The Dreher Family 4-H Building will house educational talks and workshops, and the area outside of the K-State Research and Extension – Douglas County office will host a plant sale.

In Building 21, show attendees will find educational booths on the following topics: ornamental gardens; pollinator gardens; lawns, trees and shrubs; soil, compost and mulch; vegetable gardens; family gardens; tools and tool care; horticulture resources; accessible gardens; gardening for crafters and yoga for gardeners. The master gardeners have also created an indoor sensory garden display to give gardeners ideas and inspiration that reach all the senses.

Douglas County Extension Master Food Volunteers, the sister organization of master gardeners, will also have a booth in Building 21. Master food volunteers work similarly to master gardeners through K-State Research and Extension but focus (as their name implies) on educating others about food and nutrition.

For the garden show, the master food volunteers are providing education on cooking with fresh herbs. They will have samples and recipes, as well as experts on hand to answer your questions. Each hour on the hour, starting at 10 a.m., volunteers will perform cooking demonstrations.

The African Violet Club is joining the master gardeners and master food volunteers in Building 21 to answer questions and provide information about growing African violets.

Besides the educational booths and demonstrations, Building 21 will host a (garden-related) craft sale, garage sale (great place to pick up gently used tools) and a raffle.

Across the parking lot in in Dreher Family 4-H Building, Douglas County Master Gardeners and the Horticulture Extension Agent are leading 30-minute educational seminars and construction workshops for bird feeders and houses. See below for the schedule and details.

The plant sale, held in the area between the Douglas County Extension office and the Dreher Family 4-H Building, features a variety of hardy perennials donated from master gardeners’ own gardens.

Although not affiliated with the master gardeners or Douglas County Extension, JB Tacos and Torched Goodness food trucks will have food and beverages for purchase at the event.

Free educational talks at the Dreher Family 4-H Building

9:30 a.m., Growing Herbs, taught by Master Gardener Sandra Siebert

10:30 a.m., Spring Birds in the Garden, taught by Master Gardener Ruth Ellen Bartels

11:30 a.m., Shade Gardening with Hostas, taught by Master Gardener Jeanne Klein

12:30 p.m., Wake Up Your Garden and Keep It Healthy, taught by Master Gardener Jack Landgrebe

1:30 p.m., Lawn Care, taught by Master Gardener Stan Ring

2:30 p.m., Growing Tomatoes, taught by Tom Buller, Horticulture Extension Agent

3:30 p.m., New Tree Basics, taught by Master Gardener Jon Standing

Bird feeder and house construction workshops at the Dreher Family 4-H Building

($10 per person to cover materials; register in advance to guarantee space through the Douglas County Master Gardener Facebook page or by calling Douglas County Extension at 785-843-7058)

9:30 and 11:00 a.m., oriole feeder construction

1:00 and 2:30 p.m., wren house construction

— Jennifer Smith is a former horticulture extension agent for K-State Research and Extension and horticulturist for Lawrence Parks and Recreation.