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10/3/2012 6:00:00 AM
Flower, garden fest focuses on health

The largest home gardening event in the Southeast will focus on more than healthy plants during the festivities in Crystal Springs on Oct. 5 and 6.

"Healthy Living - Healthy Gardening" is the theme for the 2012 Fall Flower and Garden Fest at Mississippi State University's Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station.

The 34th annual fall fest will take place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission and parking are free.

The Let's Go Walkin' Mississippi initiative will kick off this year's event at 9:30 a.m. Friday with a 1-mile fun walk.

Visitors can tour a 3-acre garden of vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Additional gardens featuring butterfly and hummingbird attractions, banana trials and shade-loving plants will be available.

Specialty crops, ornamental grasses, and both All-America Selections and Mississippi Medallion award-winning plants also highlight the grounds.

Master Gardeners, MSU specialists and others will conduct seminars throughout the fest.

They will discuss managing ponds, beekeeping, composting and creating backyard wildlife habitats.

Wagon-ride tours will be available all day.

Walking tours on a variety of subjects - flowers, vegetables, plant diseases, insect ID, trees and high tunnels - will be led by experts in their fields.

Vendors will be on hand to provide food and drinks.

One of the most popular areas each year is the plant vendor area west of the pond, where more than 50 vendors will have thousands of plants, garden tools and yard art available for purchase.

Those with Smartphones can use a new app to view the complete schedule of events for both days.

For instructions and to download the app, go to

The MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station sponsor the Fall Flower and Garden Fest.

The Truck Crops Station is located 25 miles south of Jackson on Highway 51.

Travelers on Interstate 55 should take exit 68.

For more information, contact Rick Snyder, event coordinator, at (601) 892-3731, or visit the event website at The complete schedule is posted on the website.

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