Robert Turley, Chaney, John A. | 4/22/2005 1:20:56 AM
The 2005 Southwest Louisiana Garden Festival is set for April 2-3 in the outdoor covered arena at the Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.
As part of the festival, landscapers, garden centers and nurseries in the area will provide displays of the latest ideas to help gardeners fulfill their dreams – all under a single roof.
"The outdoor covered arena will be filled with trees, shrubs, ornamentals, seasonal color and vegetable plants to satisfy the garden enthusiast," said LSU AgCenter horticulturist Robert M. Turley. "Sometimes people lose track of time as they gaze at the beauty of the flower displays, landscape displays and the garden decoration ideas."
The festival also will feature sales of a large variety of plants and garden accessories, educational talks by noted garden speakers and nursery professionals, displays of lawn and garden equipment and many arts and craft items.
Participants in the festival can purchase plants and gardening items and make arrangements with a 4-H Club member participating in the Rent-A-Kid program to move the items from the arena to their automobiles in the parking lot.
"The public should take advantage of the LSU AgCenter’s plant health clinic," Turley said. "All you have to do is bring a sample of a sick, diseased or distorted plant, and our experts will offer a free diagnosis and recommend a treatment."
For those who want to take advantage of that service, Turley said plant samples should be handled carefully to ensure they remain fresh and undamaged.
Speakers at the garden festival on April 2 will discuss growing herbs, gourds for ornaments, citrus and pecans, as well as ponds, waterfalls and streams in the home garden landscape.
On April 3, speakers will cover growing bromeliads, plants and trees for landscapes and what’s new in tropicals.
The district garden clubs of the area also will present their standard flower show with artistic arrangements and many classes of horticultural specimens.
In addition, LSU AgCenter agents, horticulturists and Master Gardener volunteers will be available during the two-day festival to help gardeners identify plant problems, to make recommendations to correct problems and to provide other tips on lawn and garden care.
Festival events will start at 9 a.m. both days.
Additional information can be obtained by calling Turley at (337) 475-8812 or a flier can be downloaded from the Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com/parish/calcasieu. (Click on Horticulture and then on Garden Festival 2005 to reach the festival page.)