The Ellis County Master Gardeners seek to provide residents and visitors with ideas that bloom at their annual lawn and garden expo, which takes place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at the Waxahachie Civic Center. 

The event will feature more than 100 vendors showcasing the latest products to transform a person’s lawn or garden. It will also feature a plant sale with almost 20,000 herbs, perennials, peppers, tomatoes, and vegetables. There will also be educational classes for adults and children. 

“We are going to have a large plant sale area with plants of all kinds. Some of them we have grown in the greenhouse,” Master Gardener and leadership team member April Smith said. “The plants will include primary perennials that are native and adaptive to our area.”

Master Gardener president Susan Knapp shared Smith’s thoughts about the popularity of the event and the support it receives from the community. The Master Gardeners anticipate around 3,000 people will attend this year. 

“We have people that come back year after year,” Knapp said. “There is a backlog of people waiting at the doors because they want to get the best selection at a great price. They know to get there early. It is great pricing but it is also tax-free. 

“It is just a wonderful deal,” she said. “This is not only our outreach but it is our gift to the community to provide these top-quality plants at great prices and a lot of free education.”

The expo will have vendors with products for both the outdoors and inside of a person’s home. There will be vendors that will showcase homemade products such as jams, jellies, baked goods, crafts and soaps well as food vendors. 

Guests to the expo will have the chance to take advantage of classes to learn more. The keynote speaker is Daniel Cunningham, a horticulturist with the Texas A&M AgriLife’s Water University program. 

“Some of the classes will be hands-on and some of it will be teaching people,” Knapp said. “Daniel is a well-known speaker in Dallas and Fort Worth and will have that first hour, 11 a.m., to tell people about the plants. 

“We are very familiar with him and he is very knowledgeable,” she said. “He is becoming better known all the time.”

The other adult classes will be led by Master Gardeners. There will also be a children’s workshop room that will feature educational exhibits and hands-on activities in a lively atmosphere led by the Master Gardeners. One such exhibit includes the Texas Honeybee Guild with its live honeybee demonstration hive. The children’s activities will be in the Crape Myrtle Room of the civic center. 

Throughout the event, door prizes will be given out. Along with their admission, guests receive one free door prize ticket. Prizes range from high dollar items like lawn equipment to plant arrangements and potted plants. Drawings will be done every 10 minutes and winners will be notified by a text message. People do have to be present to win. Guests have the chance to purchase additional tickets and some will be given out by vendors. 

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 cash the day of the event. Before the event, tickets can be picked up for free from such sponsors as the Waxahachie Sun and Citizens National Bank. The Waxahachie Sun is located 200 N. Rogers St., Suite B, in the downtown business district. Citizens National Bank is located at 200 N. Elm St. in Waxahachie. 

Credit cards can be used to make plant purchases; the civic center is located at 2000 Civic Center Lane in Waxahachie. Parking is free.

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