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FloraFest to offer plants and lectures

Did the April freeze almost do you in? Do you need some rejuvenation? Come to FloraFest and listen to lectures and purchase some plants to get your garden in gear. The Charlotte County Master Gardeners annual FloraFest will take place at the extension office in Charlotte Court House on Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Plants, lectures and even a bite to eat will be available.

The free lectures are always a popular part of FloraFest. “All about Lavender” will be the first lecture at 9 a.m. Bonnie Swanson, of Evergreen Lavender Farm, will discuss the culinary, health, beauty and decorative qualities of the lavender plant. Katie Martin, from the Department of Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries, will present “The American Black Bear” at 10 a.m. The presentation will include the habitat and habits of the black bear as it relates to Southside Virginia.

Now is an ideal time to plant most of the plants available at FloraFest.  There will be perennials, annuals, shrubs, roses, herbs and vegetables. Among the perennials are peonies, blackberry lilies, Oriental lilies, Siberian iris, flag iris, hellebores, Dutchman’s britches, Solomon’s seal, liriope, Russian sage, daisies, sedum, autumn aster, bee balm, bell flowers, obedient plant, hostas, sun drops and step-on ground cover. Shrubs include snow ball, beauty berry, fothergilla, forsythia, lilac, bridal wreath, winter jasmine and rose of Sharon.  There will be basil, parsley and mints and other herbs. Of course there will be tomatoes and peppers as well as other vegetables. One may want to wait a week or so before planting vegetables and annuals.

A raffle ($1 tickets) and food will be available.  Raffle items include a handmade wooden gathering tray and hand-woven basket and pottery. The Southside Virginia Herb Society will sell sandwiches and snacks, herb plants, herbal vinegars and herbal booklets at Village Presbyterian Church from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Propagated and grown by local Charlotte County master gardeners, these plants will have a great chance for success in area gardens. FloraFest will be held rain or shine. Proceeds from FloraFest fund scholarships and grants for students from Charlotte County.