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Everything Garden Expo speakers share expert advice


Special to The Dispatch



Hobby gardeners and professionals alike will receive valuable tips in educational seminars at the Everything Garden Expo March 5-6 at the Mississippi Horse Park, 716 E. Poorhouse Road in Starkville. 


Show hours are 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, March 5, and 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, March 6. The cost of admission is $5, and children 6 and under attend free. More than 50 vendors of gardening equipment, plant materials and garden art will be on hand. 


Speakers for the two-day event are: 




Saturday, March 5



  • Landscaping 101 (8:45-9:45 a.m.): Brian Templeton of the Mississippi State University Landscape Architecture Department will offer an overview of landscaping, the role it plays in the home environment and how the pieces all fit together. 


  • Dang it: Varmints again! (10 -11 a.m.): Donna Beliech addresses the world of garden marauders. Moles, voles and squirrels wreck beautiful flowerbeds. Armadillos are just plain messy. Squirrels uproot freshly-planted flowers in decorative containers. Let''s not forget the biggest landscape plant eater in the South, deer. Learn how to deter animal invasions in this program led by an MSU-Extension Service Area Horticulture Agent.  


  • How to Grow Award-Winning Daffodils (11:15 a.m.-noon): These harbingers of spring are high on everyone''s list. No one does them better than Dr. Jack Hollister, a medical doctor in Starkville who cares for patients by day and tends his acres of daffodils after hours.  


  • Beautify with Native Plants (1-2 p.m.): Noted for her entertaining delivery, Kristin Lamberson is the interpretive gardens specialist at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs. She will share her vision for a new cultivated landscape, one that is more attuned and aligned with the natural world.  


  • Latest Tips from the World of Herbs (2:15-3:15 p.m.): Dr. Lelia Kelly is an associate Extension professor and the consumer horticulture specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Her duties also include statewide responsibility for the Master Gardener Program. Before joining Extension, she owned a landscape design and consulting business and a wholesale herb growing greenhouse operation.  


  • Cooking with Herbs (3:30-4:15 p.m.): Vicki Leach is chef and culinary instructor for the Viking Cooking School and a full time faculty member for the Culinary Arts Institute at Mississippi University for Women. She will demonstrate how to incorporate more flavors into meals with herbs.  


  • Do''s and Don''t''s of Container Gardening (4:30-5:30 p.m.): Dr. Jeff Wilson, Extension area horticulture agent, owned a landscape design, installation and consulting company for more than 25 years, managed a retail garden for seven years. He will demonstrate how to garden successfully in containers. 




    Sunday, March 6



    • How to Succeed as an Organic Gardener (noon-1 p.m.): Program leader Will Reed discusses organic pest control, heirloom tomatoes and tools of the organic gardening trade. The Tupelo native studied cultural anthropology and apprenticed at organic farms in northern California. He returned to Mississippi last year to establish Native Son Farm on 30-acres adjacent to his childhood home.  


    • Gardening for the Entire Family (1:15 - 2:30 p.m.): John Guyton believes life''s most important lessons can be learned in the garden: cooperation, weather forecasting, biology and all about the birds and the bees, math, nutrition and more. Guyton helped design the Mississippi Master Gardeners program and has been given the Great American Gardener Teaching Award by the American Horticulture Society. He''s an Extension faculty member in the MSU Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department.  


    • Vegetable Gardening Wisdom (2:45-3:45 p.m.): Popular radio host Garden Mama Nellie Neal returns to the Expo to discuss ideas and techniques to use in the vegetable garden right now. Neal writes a weekly newspaper garden column, maintains a website for gardeners, and is garden-book author. 


      Various garden authorities will man the information booth and field gardening questions. Consultants include Dr. Wayne Wells, Extension research professor, Turf grass specialist; Dr. Alan Henn, Extension professor, plant pathology; Dr. Blake Layton Jr., Extension professor, entomology; Dr. Keith Crouse, associate Extension professor, soil fertility; Dr Lelia Scott Kelly, associate Extension professor, consumer horticulture; Dr. Victor Maddox, geosystems research institute, plant identification and invasive plants; and Julie Broussard White, Oktibbeha County Extension director. 


      The Expo is sponsored by the Starkville Area Arts Council and Mississippi State University. Other sponsors include the MSU Extension Service, Mississippi Horse Park and the Mississippi Arts Commission. For more information, visit



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