Bulbs and More fall conference on Oct. 12 in Tyler

Susan Minatrea

Susan Minatrea, a Smith County Master Gardener, helps a visitor at last year’s bulb sale. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

More than 60 plant bulb varieties to be offered

Writer: Robert Burns, 903-834-6191, rd-burns@tamu.edu

TYLER – The Smith County Master Gardeners’ “Bulbs and More” sale — a combined bulb sale and educational event — will be held Oct. 12 at the Harvey Convention Center located at 2000 W. Front Street, Tyler.

The bulb sale, which is always a popular event, will feature more than 60 varieties, including 21 daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, irises, lilies, orchids, amaryllises, cannas, gingers and more, according to Anne Brown, past president of the Smith County Master Gardeners Association and current co-coordinator of the Heritage Rose Garden project.

Also for sale, Brown said, will be container trees, shrubs and many plants grown by Master Gardeners. The Native Plant Society will also have plants available for purchase.

The event is hosted by the Smith County Master Gardeners and the Texas A&M Agricultural Extension Service in Smith County, said Keith Hansen, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent for Smith County.

Oxblood lilies

Oxblood lilies are a highly sought-after bulb that will be offered in the Bulbs and More sale. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Keith Hansen)

Admission to the event is free, with bulb prices ranging from $4 to about $15, Brown said. Proceeds from the plant sales will go to support local Master Gardeners projects.

“We work in four different gardens,” she said. “For example, we support a gardening program for pre-K at the Tyler Day Nursery on the Tyler north side, the Heritage Rose Garden project, the IDEA Garden, and of course we have our Secret Garden at the East Texas State Fair.”

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., with presenters beginning at 9 a.m. This year’s speaker is David Whitinger, creator of the websites http://AllThingsPlants.com and http://davesgarden.com .

Both sites are well known and respected by avid gardeners throughout East Texas and the world, Brown said.

Whitinger is a Master Gardener in Cherokee County where he has extensive gardens, she said. His presentation will be titled “50 Best Tips for Gardening,” a general overview of the very best gardening tips he has accumulated over decades of gardening.

Whitinger will be followed by Smith County Master Gardener Merlin Eck, who will give a Powerpoint presentation of the bulbs and other plants on sale.

The sale will begin at 11:30 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.

Though the sale will officially end at 1 p.m., there will still be Master Gardeners on site to clean up and serve the public, Brown said.

Bag of Bulbs

Bulbs will be offered individually and in bags, according to organizers of the Bulbs and More sale on Oct. 12 in Tyler. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Keith Hansen)

“If we have something they want, we’ll stop cleaning up and sell them, but we’re usually sold out by then,” she said. “Starting time is important information, because no plants or bulbs will be sold before then. Those attending the conference will get a minute head start on the plants. Things get snatched up very quickly. As a matter of fact, some folks develop advance game plans on getting the bulbs they hope to acquire.”

For more information about Bulbs and More or Smith County Master Gardeners, call Master Gardener Rae Meinen at 903-590-2980.

More information on horticulture programming by AgriLife Extension in Smith County can be found at http://agrilife.org/etg or http://scmg.tamu.edu/.

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