From Bulbs to Blooms
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 to Blooms 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, attendees can buy the bulbs and more that are offered for sale.
Calendar Garden Journal and Planning Guide
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 educational 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.
For a more information, go to gardening-guide-calendar/.
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.