Master Gardeners looking to expand

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Master Gardener Patricia Henderson prunes yellow daisies in Parsons Patch – named after former Purdue Extension Education Raleigh Parsons – at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville. (Current file photo)

By Sadie Hunter

Each year, Hamilton County Master Gardeners open their doors to teach their trade.

On Aug. 14, the Purdue Extension-run program will begin offering intern training again, giving Hamilton County and other area residents a chance to get the hands-on experience required to become a “master.”

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“The purpose of the Master Gardener Program is to help others grow,” Master Gardener Coordinator Diane Turner said. “The members of the Hamilton County program are a vibrant and active group that annually donate over 10,000 volunteer hours on approved projects throughout the county.”

Master Gardener-maintained gardens and flower beds can be found all around the county, including multiple display beds and gardens at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, Coxhall Gardens in Carmel, Hadley Park in Westfield and Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve in Fishers, among other places.

Training will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday evenings at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville. One Saturday workshop is included.

Participants will be exposed to a wide range of subjects, including understanding soil and basics of plant science, diagnosis of plant problems, using pesticides safely and growing healthy vegetable, flower, landscape and fruit plants.

Materials and expenses for the series of classes are $150 per person, which covers reference notebooks, mailings and name badges, all of which members get to keep for their personal collection.

Ongoing projects for new members will include helping with the annual plant sale, staffing information booths at gardening events, teaching public education classes, speaking to local clubs and organizations and hands-on demonstrations.

The program is celebrating its 32nd year and has more than 300 members. For an application, contact the Purdue Extension Hamilton County office at 317-776-0854. For more visit