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18th Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale April 25 at Botanical Center

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Master Gardeners offer donated plants for sale the last weekend of April each year as a fund-raiser for their activities.

Master Gardeners offer donated plants for sale the last weekend of April each year as a fund-raiser for their activities.

That slightly itchy feel along with a strong desire to scratch some dirt with your hands and trowel must surely mean that the 18th annual Master Gardener Plant Sale in Greene County is coming on Saturday, April 25, at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center located in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Parks, 2400 S. Scenic, Springfield, Mo.

Time for the sale is an early bird friendly 7:30 a.m., and some birds show up even earlier to reserve a place in line.

Members of the Master Gardeners of Greene County gather plants to sell from their own gardens – and from the two city gardens that Master Gardeners maintain in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park and at the Xeriscape on South National – at this sale.

People are advised to arrive early if they want the best choices of shrubs, small trees, bulbs, perennials, annuals, grasses, ground covers, houseplants, vegetables, herbs and garden related items. The sale continues until the plants are sold out.

“Each year we try to make the sale better than the year before,” said Catherine Banks, chair of this plant sale Committee. “Some Master Gardeners are getting ready to start Heirloom tomato seeds, pepper and herbs to be available for the sale. Some people divided plants from last autumn and are overwintering them now. Other Master Gardeners are growing succulents, cacti and other small plants to plant in the papercrete pots we made last fall. This spring we’ll begin to divide plants in our Demonstration and Xeriscape Gardens.”

Master Gardeners will be on site to assist with purchases and answer questions. Cash, checks and credit or debit cards are accepted.

“The quality is excellent and the prices are real bargains. Those factors have made this annual event very popular among area gardeners,” said Patrick Byers, a horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The fundraiser helps the Master Gardeners of Greene County maintain the public demonstration gardens and serve the public by providing quality lawn and garden programs as volunteers of University of Missouri Extension.

Last year, members in the Master Gardeners of Greene County chapter gave more than 23,000 hours in volunteer service.

Additional information about the plant sale is available online at www.mggreene.org/plantsale.
Or, for more information about the sale in Greene County, contact the Greene County Extension Center at (417) 881-8909.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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