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Festival to bring out green thumb in all

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

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 special events.

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

• When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

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

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

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 last year's event was well received despite a drop in attendance, which she attributed to the economic downturn. Otherwise, the festival averages about 800 people in attendance.

Macie said the Master Gardeners festival returns this year with many popular attractions and exhibits and some new ones sure to spark children's interest in nature or help the local lawn warriors keep their yards green and healthy.

"It is our biggest event of the year, and we use it as a fundraiser but also as an opportunity for a community educational tool on landscaping," Macie said.

The festival will have a children's activity area for face painting, crafts and clowns and build miniature green houses. This year, the "Five Senses In Nature" presentation offers children a chance to learn about nature through sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

New this year is the local Order of the Arrow lodge members in the Yellow River District of the Boy Scouts of America will hold an Indian lore demonstration with an Indian artifacts display.

Also, Master Gardeners will be available to offer gardening advice and sell locally grown plants such as Knockout Roses and Camellias.

"The Master Gardeners grow a lot of the plants that will be for sale, so you know they will grow here," Macie said. "We also use local nurseries for our large blocks of plants like our Knockout Roses, both red and pink, for the same reason."

Demonstrations on proper tree planting and getting the most out of your azaleas will also be presented during the festival.

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.