Sun hats, plants and more on sale

A great opportunity to buy excellent plants for your garden is coming next weekend — the Master Gardener Spring Fair, being held May 2 and 3 at the Jackson County Expo.

The Spring Fair, advertised as the largest between Portland and San Francisco, is a place where you can get both answers and plants. There will be more than 200 vendor booths, many of them new this year, featuring garden-related wares that range from cacti to worms, books to rare plants, patio furniture to sun hats, and much in between.

And, of course, plants. Master gardeners have been busy raising thousands of plants — 26 varieties of tomatoes alone — plus veggie seedlings from artichokes to zucchini. Lots of perennials will also be available, including grape and ornamental grass starts.

Plant growers from throughout the valley, including both large and small nurseries, will be there, so you can do some comparison shopping.

Eleven free classes offered both Saturday and Sunday will feature a variety of topics, including organic gardening, mulching, gardening in raised beds, growing great tomatoes, food preservation and gardening with children. The Oregon State University Plant Clinic will be on site, as will Stan Mapolski, our local "Rogue Gardener," who will broadcast his Saturday morning garden show from the fair. He'll also be teaching a class afterward.

While you're in the classroom area, visit the Master Gardener educational booth, featuring lots of educational activities for children that will hold interest for adults, too.

New this year is a wine-tasting pavilion, featuring some of our local wineries. While you sip a glass and catch your breath, you might make book purchases your next goal. A new vendor this year features new gardening books, while gently used gardening and cookbooks can be found at the Book Shack. Proceeds from the used-book sales go to the Master Gardener-supported scholarship fund.

See you there.

On Saturday, May 9, Chris Hubert of Quail Run Vineyard will teach a class on "Summer Care of Grape Vines." The class will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, 569 Hanley Road, in Central Point. Cost is $5; call 776-7371 for information.

Carol Oneal is a past president of the OSU Jackson County Master Gardeners Association. E-mail her at

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