Master Gardeners festival and sale set for Saturday

CONYERS - The Rockdale County Master Gardeners are looking for a strong showing for their annual plant sale and festival Saturday that will offer family activities, arts and crafts and free gardening advice.

The event will be held at the county's Parker Road facility, located at 1400 Parker Road, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents will find items for sale relating to nature and gardening in general. Seminars on several gardening topics and plant advice will be offered throughout the festival, along with demonstrations and book signings.

Admission to the festival is free. All proceeds will benefit the county's Master Gardener program.

Jule-Lynne Macie, director of the University of Georgia's Extension office for Rockdale County, said the event helps support the Master Gardener program.

Community programs supported by the plant sale and festival include maintenance work at the Vaughn Memorial Gardens and Memorial Arboretum at the Georgia International Horse Park. Also, the event will benefit outreach programs such as the junior master gardener and other school programs.

Macie said the event has done very well in previous years and has averaged about 800 people in attendance.

"We've always tried to make this a family affair with lots of children's activities and items available for sale just in time for Christmas," Macie said. "And, it's a perfect time to plant."

Other groups, like the Rockdale County 4-H Club and Oconee Chapter of the Azalea Society of America, will have vending tents to raise money for their activities.

Master gardeners will offer hourlong clinics on gardening, beginning with native plants from 11 a.m. to noon. Advice on lawns, fall flowers and bulb planting and pruning will also be provided.

As in previous years, the plant sale and festival will also include nature book authors who will speak, including Conyers' own Orrin Morris. He will talk at 11 a.m. about his book, "Thirty Flashy Wildflowers in Rockdale County."

For more information on the Master Gardener program, call the Rockdale County Cooperative Extension Office at 770-278-7373. The Extension office is located in the Rockdale County Government Annex Building at 1400 Parker Road.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com

SideBar: If you go

· What: Rockdale County Master Gardeners Fourth Annual Plant Sale and Festival. The event will have free gardening advice and demonstrations, arts and crafts, nature gift shop, Chinese auction, food and drinks and children's activities.

· When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

· Where: Rockdale County Parker Road facility, 1400 Parker Road, Conyers.

· For more information: contact the Rockdale County Cooperative Extension Office at 770-278-7373.