Spring arrives early in Starkpatch USA

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Vendors moved into the Mississippi Horse Park today transforming it into a tropical paradise and marketplace for gardeners.

The Everything Garden Expo will be open to the public from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, and again 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Cost of entry is $5 and children six and under will be admitted free.

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I chatted with vendors as they set up their displays and was fascinated with Cliff Crowell’s booth which features a 35-foot water feature (lead photo).  He dug waist deep into the floor of the arena to lay the groundwork for his stream which is surrounded by 15-foot trees!

It looks like it’s been their for 20 years, rather than the two hours it took to put it into place.

At left, SGK Landscapes constructed a huge arbor which will be raffled off for $1 per ticket.  Proceeds will be used for playground equipment at Ward Stewart Elementary School in Starkville.

Around the corner, the Oktibbeha County Co-op unloaded several truck loads of spring flowers and I knew Spring had finally arrived.

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Nita, Jane and Charlotte (above) prepared the hospitality area featuring food from 15 different local restaurants. Most vendors said they are not accustomed to being treated so royally.

What to expect on Saturday

Among popular seminar leaders are Felder Rushing and Garden Mama Nellie Neal. Topics on Saturday will include Garden Design 8:45 – 9:45 a.m.; “All About Growing Tomatoes,” 10-11 a.m.; “How to Grow Echinacea (coneflowers)” 11:15-12:15 p.m.; “Plants from Grandmama’s Garden” 1 – 2 p.m.; “Urban Community Forestry” 2:15 – 3:15 and “Gettin Real in the Garden with Felder Rushing” 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Activities for children on Saturday include “Flower Power” 8:45 – 9:45 (limited seating), and again, 10-11 a.m.(limited seating). From 2:15 – 3:15 p.m., The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science will present “We’re Wild about Mississippi Wildlife” featuring native wildlife.

Sunday’s line-up

Topics on Sunday will include “Invasive Weeds: A cancer in the Landscape” 12:30 – 1:30 p.m; “Gardening 12 Months Out of the Year with an Emphasis on Winter Gardening” 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.; and “Food from your Backyard” 3 – 4 p.m.

Children will be treated to a magic show featuring The Amazing Matskifosa from 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Throughout the two day Expo, drawings will be held for valuable door prizes from Mantis, Lowe’s, Black & Decker, Sears, Oktibbeha County Co-op, Barnes and Noble, and Scotts Miracle-Gro. The first 250 visitors on each day will receive complimentary handouts on gardening.

I hope to see you there!

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