Green Thumb Extravaganza still growing into its third year

May 18, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A weekend event that was popular in Waynesboro in both 2004 and 2005 has really taken root and grown this year, organizers say.

This time around, several workshops will be offered during the Green Thumb Extravaganza, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Otterbein Church and Ministry Center parking lot at 912 S. Potomac St.

"The last two years it was really just a plant sale," Committee Chairwoman Darlanna Besecker said.

Several thousand plants, all donated, cost $1 to $5, while workshops in water gardening, planting basics, container gardening, basic landscape design and composting are free, she said.

"The businesses are finding out how big it is, and they want to jump in," Besecker said.

"I have no doubt God's blessing it. I'm very excited about it," Committee member Lori Wriston said.

Besecker has been collecting the plants at her house and donated many of her own because it's "always hard for me to throw plants away." Volunteers potted the plants over the past several weekends.


The plants include perennials, shrubs, ground cover, vegetables, heirloom-type tomatoes and a limited selection of fruits. They are labeled with the type, suggested care and a verse of scripture.

"The plants aren't just in Dixie cups. They're in pots, and they're healthy," Besecker said.

One of the featured speakers at the Green Thumb Extravaganza is Charles B. Thomas of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., who founded the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society.

"He has written five books, and he'll be doing a book signing," Besecker said.

The event was organized by a five-person committee and the Otterbein Church choir, which also decorated birdhouses for sale.

"The choir is a group that appreciates outreach," Besecker said.

One year, volunteers guided shoppers under umbrellas as it rained. Past events have drawn 400 to 500 people, she said.

"We have people coming from West Virginia and upper-state Pennsylvania," Besecker said.

Schedule of workshops:

  • Basic Water Gardening with Charles Thomas: Saturday, 11 a.m.

  • Container Gardening with Master Gardener Susie Bauer: Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. (Bring a container or purchase one at the event.)

  • Basic Landscape Design with registered landscape architect Dan Hockman: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.

  • Planting Basics with Hockman: Friday, 11 a.m.

  • Composting with Horticulturist Jeff Mullen: Friday and Saturday, noon
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