Members of the Capital Area Extension Master Gardeners are preparing for their third annual Spring Plant Market. This event is to be held on the front lawn of the Old Capitol Saturday, May 12, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Kentucky Historical Society has donated the use of this space and downtown merchants are supporting the festivities by featuring gardening wares, gardening antiques, plate lunch specials and special displays. Several vendors will also be at the event: learn from them about garden irrigation and installation, hardscape design in the garden, and gardening with natives. Shop for garden benches, wooden planters, hand-painted slate tiles and terra cotta pots, garden tools and gift items.
The Plant Market is a great way to stock up on annuals, perennials, ground covers, hostas, daylilies, hanging baskets for Mother’s Day, houseplants, herbs and vegetable transplants. Of special interest this year are items reflecting the continuing interest in heirloom plants. Green Zebra, Red Zebra, Crimson Carmello and Marvel Stripe are just a few of the heirloom tomato seedlings that will be available.
An heirloom is basically defined as an open-pollinated plant variety (one that has been naturally fertilized by wind, insects, birds, or mammals) that has been grown for at least 50 years. Heirloom plants often have a regional or family history as well since seeds from heirlooms “come true from seeds.” That is, they produce seeds that produce plants like themselves; no additional purchases of seed are necessary so a family often grows the variety for generations.
Also representing a crop that has historically been so important in our area will be hypertufa trays molded from tobacco leaves and ornamental “tobacco stick stars” to hang on your fence or wall.
The Extension Master Gardener program has graduated three classes of Master Gardeners over the last five years. The program is a two-part educational effort. Garden enthusiasts are provided many hours of research-based horticulture training, and in return they “pay back” local university extension agents through volunteerism.
Master Gardeners assist with garden lectures, exhibits, demonstrations, school and community gardening, phone diagnostic service, research and many other services. Capital Area Extension Master Gardeners is a non-profit organization. The proceeds from the Spring Plant Market will go to support CAMG projects, educational programs for the community, and the CAMG scholarship fund.