Master Gardeners gathering for expo

Published 12:15 am Monday, April 30, 2012

Natchez! Get ready to reach out and greet the smiling faces of the 500 Master Gardeners flocking to town this week. Master Gardeners from all over the South are excited to be coming to historic Natchez, noted for its beauty, its gardens, its spectacular bluffs, its river and its hospitality! Lets make them feel welcomed!

Our first Southern Regional Master Gardener’s Conference and Garden Expo is Tuesday through Friday at the Natchez Convention Center and the Natchez Community Center.

The first day of the conference includes registration, bus excursions to private and public gardens, access to the Gardeners’ Expo and time to explore Natchez.

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The next two days the Convention Center will be buzzing with activities including a program packed with keynote presentations, workshops, walking tours, vendor shopping, gardening forums, silent auction and more.

Keynote speakers feature the “Gestalt Gardener” Felder Rushing, landscape architect Rick Griffin, horticultural experts and innovators Dave Shanklin, Lee Stanley Wise Jr., Nicholas Staddon and Robert (Buddy) Lee.

Thirty-five workshops will keep people stimulated and thrilled. The final day, Friday, includes a choice of several different bus and driving tours. Each offers a selection of outstanding sites and historic attractions.

At the same time the Gardener’s Expo at the Community Center will also be going on and is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Gardeners will have the opportunity to fill their flower beds and yards with flowers, plants and one-of-a- kind art from the first-ever Gardener’s Expo.

Gardening related items from more than 30 vendors from across the South will be on sale, and horticulture specialists from Mississippi State University’s Extension Service will also be on hand to offer expert advice and answer questions. The Expo will be at the Community Center at 215 Franklin St.

There are tickets still available for the Friday’s bus tours and can be purchased at the Expo on Thursday at the MSU Extension Service booth.

The conference is jointly hosted by the Mississippi Master Gardener’s Association and MSU Extension Service. It has taken three years of planning with lots of hard work, many sponsors and a great deal of cooperation from the entire state of Mississippi.

We thank everyone for making it possible. Come and enjoy the free Gardener’s Expo. “A town who plants together, laughs and enjoys life together!”


Mary Jane Gaudet is a member of the Adams County Master Gardeners.