Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Visalia Garden Festival, March 18 & 19

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Trees are blooming, grass is growing, and kids are playing outside! 

The Tulare County Library and the University of California Tulare/Kings Master Gardeners are ready to welcome Spring at the Visalia Garden Festival on Saturday, March 19, 2016, from 9 am to 1 pm. Please join us for this fun and informative event on the south lawn of the Visalia Branch Library at 200 W. Oak Avenue.

Come by on Friday, March 18, for a “Preview Day” from 12 noon to 2 pm, featuring the Master Gardeners’ information/diagnosis/FAQ booth inside the Visalia Branch Library. Do you have a garden related problem or question? Bring it to the experts!

For the main Festival event on Saturday, the UC Master Gardeners staff the informational booths on a wide variety of subjects. One area covers edible gardening, where experts offer advice about vegetable gardens, citrus trees, and other fruit trees. This booth also includes details about planting, fertilizing and integrated pest management. A second area covers landscape maintenance with discussions on drought tolerant landscape design, turf choices, irrigation systems, and general yard maintenance issues. A third booth contains information on ornamentals including succulents, annual, and perennial plants. This area focuses on California natives and drought tolerant selections. The fourth booth, on landscape pillars, features experts offering advice and information on tree, shrub and vine selection suitable to the Central Valley’s climate and drought situation. The City of Visalia’s Natural Resource Conservation Division representative offers information on low-water use landscapes and other water conservation practices.

Bring the kids for a scavenger hunt during the Festival!  They visit the different booths and ask questions of the Master Gardeners to get the scavenger answers. They can learn so much about the gardening world and win a cool prize upon completion of the hunt!

In conjunction with the Garden Festival, the Visalia Friends of the Tulare County Library hosts their “Spring Cleaning” Book Sale, scheduled from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm inside the Library. The sale features a variety of books, including fiction, mystery, history, biography, art, and cookbooks, with prices starting at $ .50 each. Special sets and coffee table books are priced at $5.00 each. In addition to this selection, the Friends gathered gardening related books for this joint event. Come and find gardening and outdoor treasures, so you can be inspired to start a garden of your own!  Proceeds from the Friends of the Tulare County Library sale benefit the Tulare County Library Summer Reading Programs at all our branches.

Master Gardeners are members of communities trained by the University of California Cooperative Extension in different aspects of plant science. These volunteers completed a 17-week training program and passed the certifying exam. To remain certified, they complete annual educational and volunteer requirements. Founded in 1972 in Washington State, Master Gardener programs have spread to over 45 states and 4 Canadian provinces, with more than 45,000 volunteers. In California, Sacramento and Riverside led the way with pilot programs in 1980 with many of those original graduates still active today. Programs now thrive in more than 50 counties across the state and are a significant resource of gardening information. They are the official "formal volunteers" of the University of California Cooperative Extension.

All Visalia Garden Festival events are FREE. No registration required. For more information, contact Tulare County Library's Visalia Branch at 713-2703, visit us online at, or drop by in person at 200 W. Oak Avenue in Visalia.