Springtime in the Park: Gardening Extravaganza coming up this Saturday

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Lincoln County Master Gardeners’ Spring Gardening Extravaganza is coming to Railroad Park this year.

After staging the Extravaganza at the Lincoln Civic Center the last few years, “we decided it needed to come downtown,” said local Master Gardener Shirley Estes Monday.

“I love them being downtown because I think our downtown is a very picturesque setting, and it just complements downtown to have them,” said Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Kay Burton. “It also lets them be closer to the restaurants and the stores.

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“I think it’s going to boost the Master Gardeners quite a bit with the Spring Fling,” Burton said, noting that the retail promotion at local businesses also is Saturday (please see related story on the Spring Fling).

Sponsored by the Master Gardeners and the Lincoln County Extension Service, the event is scheduled for Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in both the south and north sides of the park. The small section of Cherokee between the north and south park areas will be blocked off so visitors can walk back and forth to all the exhibits, Estes said.

Educational seminars will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, starting with “Leila’s Favorite Plants from Herbs to Ornamentals,” presented by Dr. Lelia Kelly, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Then “Must Have Plants from the Extravaganza,” will be at presented at 11:30 a.m. by Rebecca Bates, Extension Service county director, followed by “Care and Maintenance of Lawn and Garden Equipment,” at 1:30 p.m., presented by Master Gardeners Homer Richardson and Steve Edge.

Some 15 vendors will be set up from 8:30-4:30 with landscape plants, and yard and garden art and supplies.

Visitors also will have an opportunity to have lunch at a picnic in the park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A hamburger and trimmings with a drink will be on sale for $5; additional drinks will be $1, and homemade ice cream will be on sale for $1.

Estes said the Extravaganza also will feature members of the Brookhaven Regional Arts League, who will have art on display for sale and will be painting in the park from 8:30-4:30.

There will be something for all ages, including children, at the Extravaganza, Estes added. “There will be events for children. They can pot up a plant and take it home with them.”

Master Gardeners are gardening enthusiasts who have gone through the Mississippi Master Gardener training offered through the Extension Service and are dedicated to sharing a love of gardening with others.

The Gardening Extravaganza annually draws gardeners from throughout the region, and Burton expects a significant economic impact on the area for the weekend, particularly with Spring Fling the same weekend. “It impacts our restaurants and other stores that provide gasoline, food, lodging. It’s positive for our sales tax in Brookhaven.

“It always has a positive impact because they really have a great group (of Master Gardeners) across the state. It’s more than just plants; they have seminars, too,” Burton said.

“If the weather’s pretty with all the shops open 9 to 5, too, it’s going to be one of those high energy days that get people outside,” Burton added.

For Extravaganza vendor information, email cathy1313@hotmail.com.