Celebrate the coming of spring at the Putnam County Master Gardener Association’s Garden Fair from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on March 19th at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. Garden Fair is free and has something for everyone: education, garden-related shopping, kids’ activities, free trees and a chance to buy a tasty homemade lunch made by our master cooks.
Fairgoers will be treated to three fabulous speakers who will be sharing their knowledge of shrubs, annuals and mushrooms. Bill McKnight, aka The Mad Botanist, will be speaking at 10 AM. He is the author of Rantings of a Mad Botanist: A Comprehensive Guide to Gardening and Land Use in Central Indiana. McKnight will be discussing his favorite shrubs for Central Indiana. Expect to be entertained and introduced to unique shrubs that are well suited for our area. At 11:30 AM, Master Gardener and popular speaker Colletta Kosiba will help us put the “bling” in our gardens using annuals that give us that “pop” of color. Colletta believes that there is a whole world of annuals to choose from besides marigolds and petunias. The third speaker of the day is Nathan Edwards, a resident of Putnam County and a Master Gardener with a passion for mushrooms. Edwards has photographed Indiana's wild mushrooms for decades and he began cultivating mushrooms as both a hobby and an extension of his garden. Folks who attend Edwards’ 1:30 PM presentation will come away knowing how to cultivate mushrooms at home.
Throughout the day, fairgoers will be able to browse local vendor booths for plants, produce, local honey, garden art and gifts. Native Plants Unlimited (https://nativeplantsunlimitedshop.com/) will be selling hard-to-find native flowers, grasses and sedges that support pollinators. John Chapin of Tree Frog Gardens will have plants, trees and shrubs for sale. American Mushroom and Spice (https://www.americanmushroomandspice.com/) will offer fresh and dried mushrooms as well as kits to grow mushrooms at home. Aquatic Design (https://www.aquaticdesign.net/) will also be there. They specialize in building and maintaining ponds, aquaponics and hydroponics. There will be yard art, made from upcycled materials by Rusty Windmill (https://www.facebook.com/RustyBloomers/). There will be other vendors as well, selling a variety of gardening-related things, including locally produced honey. Shop the Master Gardeners’ Shed sale for gently used gardening tools, pots, books, and other gardening-related items.
Youngsters are encouraged to attend Garden Fair as well. They are invited to visit the popular Kids’ Corner, which offers gardening–related activities that have been created especially for their interests.
And finally, everyone should pick up a free redbud sapling or a white pine sapling. The popular tree give-away is once again sponsored by the generous folks at First National Bank.
The return of the Putnam County Master Gardener Association’s annual Garden Fair is a wonderful opportunity for gardeners and would-be gardeners to celebrate the end of winter and the coming of spring. Everyone is encouraged to come, visit the vendors’ booths, buy all kinds of gardening-related things, pick out special plants, choose a baby tree to plant in their yard, attend the presentations, treat themselves to excellent food, and get inspired for spring. Plan to come on Saturday, March 19th. We hope to see you there!
Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local
Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.
March 10 – Agronomic Tools for Tight Margins webinar, 12 Noon, Register at
March 12 – Ag Day Breakfast & Mini Farm Fest, 8am breakfast ($2), 9am program,
9:30am-noon free Mini Farm Fest
March 15 – April 26 – Gardening: Here’s the Dirt webinar series, 12 Noon on Tuesdays,
register https://tinyurl.com/2uhfxvrc register by March 11
March 19 – Garden Fair, 9am-3pm, free, Fairgrounds
March 21 – Putnam Co. Remove Invasive Plants meeting, 5:00 pm, SWCD Office
April 4, 11, 18 & 25 – Be Heart Smart, 5pm, virtual, $5, register by March 25th at
April 13 – ServSafe 1-Day Class & Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register at