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BURNET — It doesn’t matter if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool green thumb or somebody with a budding interest in gardening, the 15th annual Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show will arm you with the knowledge, ideas and tools to make 2013 the most bountiful year ever.“The show is a way for the Highland Lakes Master Gardeners to give back the things we’ve learned to the community,” said event organizer and avid gardener Sharon Jenson. “We’ll have a booth there to answer questions and provide help, but there will be so many other vendors and organizations geared toward lawn and garden to give people lots of ideas.”

The show is March 23 at the Burnet Community Center, 401 E. Jackson St. It’s open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with free admission, though donations are appreciated.

In the March 20 edition of The Picayune, readers will be able to find pages dedicated to the Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show.

As Jenson pointed out, vendors and organizations set up booths throughout the community center. People will be able to browse retail businesses that cater to the green-thumb types. There also will be lots of opportunities to purchase plants and garden-related items.

The Master Gardeners will even provide a holding area where, if you purchase several items, you can place them there and return to the show for more shopping or information gathering. That way you don’t have to wander among the booths loaded down with plants and gadgets or leave before you have a chance to explore every booth.

The service is free.

The show features two speakers: Richard Ashton will discuss “Growing Fruit in the South,” while George Cates of the Native American Seed Co. in Junction will present “Creating Diverse, Drought Tolerant Native Outdoor Living Spaces.”

“At the Master Gardeners booth, they will be giving demonstrations and discussions about rainwater collection, compost tea and sustainable gardening in the Texas heat,” Jenson said. “And, there will be Master Gardeners on hand to answer questions.”

The Highland Lakes Master Gardeners also will have a children’s booth where young green thumbs can explore the world of gardening and plants.

“We’ll have some hands-on activities for the children so they can plant seeds and other things,” Jenson said. “What we’re hoping with the children’s booth is we can tie it to the Burnet County Fair later this summer, so the kids will grow some plants and then show them in the fair. We really want to encourage kids to get involved in gardening and plants.”

Other local organizations setting up booths to help people with gardening and plant questions include the Highland Lakes Master Naturalists and the Highland Lakes Native Plant Society.

Last year, more than 25 exhibitors set up booths at the
event. But as word spreads about the event, Jenson said it continues to attract more businesses and attendees.

“It just keeps growing and growing,” she said. “People can come in the morning, hear one of the speakers, visit the booths, grab something to eat at lunch, listen to the other speaker and keep looking around. They can make it an all-day affair or just pop in as they like.”

And with food vendors on site, you don’t have to leave the event for a bite to eat.

“The show is just a great way to come out and learn about gardening and just about anything related to gardening, lawns or producing your own food,” Jenson said. “And all the donations go back into community projects the (Highland Lakes) Master Gardeners are involved in.”

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