Serving the Community
Fall Seminar and Bulb Sale (Bulbs & More)
Seminars on gardening are often available in the Spring, but in 1997 few addressed gardening during the Fall. The Smith County Master Gardeners wanted to fill this void by getting outstanding speakers, to make presentations relevant to season which would encourage gardeners to take advantage of this opportunity for planting. Furthermore, they wanted to present this program at no cost to the participants. The Bulbs & More event continues to be presented each fall at the Harvey Convention Center with several hundred regularly in attendance.
Many people in the community believed that growing Spring blooming bulbs meant refrigerating the bulbs, planting them and treating them as annuals. There are a group of bulbs that have grown in this area for years without all the fuss of treating them as annuals. The MGs researched the availability of these bulbs, mainly daffodils and jonquils in the beginning, and found that they were not readily available in the retail market and often were available only in limited quantities.
In October 1999, the first Fall Bulb Sale was held and was an instant success, selling out in less than one hour.
The success of the Fall Bulb Sale continued in ensuing years and beginning in 2001 the Fall Seminar and the Fall Bulb sale were combined into a single event. The seminar subjects focused on bulbs and following the presentations, the attendees rushed to buy the bulbs offered, which include a diversity far beyond the original short list with over 12,000 bulbs offered.
The 2011 event will be on October 8th, at the Harvey Convention Center.
Northeast Texas Gardening Guide & Calendar
This project began in 1997, organizing to create a gardening calendar for 1998 as a means of raising money to support the activities of the Smith County Master Gardeners and to provide pertinent gardening information to the purchaser. From the beginning this was a successful venture and beginning with the 1999 calendar, a colored painting was reproduced for the cover. The painting, a watercolor, was done by a Master Gardener and for the next few years a new painting was produced for the covers.
As the Guide was developed, more and more gardening information was included and each year that information is revised and updated, for the benefit of the gardening community. The colored covers have been changed to a photo taken in the community and chosen by the committee.
Home Garden Tours
There are many beautiful gardens in Tyler and the surrounding communities and often the best are not available for viewing by the general public. With this in mind, the MGs sought out gardens among their membership and others in the area, asking permission to include them in a public garden tour. The first tour was in May 2002 and tours have been held annually since. There was no tour during 2007, but the tours resumed in May 2008. Read information on the 2011 event.
Rose Garden Guides
Tyler’s famous Rose Garden hosts many visitors every year, including groups who arrive by bus to view the gardens. The Smith County Master Gardeners have formed a team to serve the Tyler Parks & Recreation Department by being trained and informed guides for these out-of-town visitors.