Note: Advance registration is required for many of the workshops presented by the Fayette County Extension Office. Be sure to visit their website or call to register and for more information on each workshop, including prices.
Sunflowers. April 4. Did you know sunflowers can come in a variety of colors and sizes? Not only are they rewarding to watch grow, they’re also extremely easy to plant. This discussion will cover how to plant and grow sunflowers and educate class members on the variety of types you can grow in your own garden. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Primocane Blackberries. April 13. These new blackberries extend the blackberry season into fall and are super sweet due to their high sugar levels. Participants will receive three Prime Ark Freedom berry plants for their backyards. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Dahlias. April 18. Because dahlias require digging and winter storage, gardeners often stray from planting these beautiful flowering bulbs. By covering the basics on how to grow them, this class will soothe worries about dahlias and will even send participants home with an assortment for their own garden. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Coral Bells. April 20. These pretty plants have become harder to find since the arrival of new heucheras with brilliantly colored leaves. Participants will learn about a variety of heucheras and hybrids but will leave with some of the more traditional plants for their gardens. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Vegetable Gardening for Beginners. April 27 and May 4. This introductory course is ideal for those who are new to vegetable gardening. Discussion will focus on simple approaches to having a garden with warm-season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, and squash. Participants will leave with a vegetable growing guide and a packet of seeds to get started. 6:30 p.m. Beaumont Branch Public Library, 3080 Fieldstone Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Growing Great Tomatoes. May 2. This course will discuss techniques for growing delicious tomatoes while avoiding common mistakes. Discussion will emphasize disease prevention and participants with receive a hybrid tomato as well as an open pollinated heirloom. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Hardy Hibiscus. May 11. These flowers are often referred to as “dinner plate” hibiscus because of their giant flowers. In recent years, breeders have turned their efforts to making better varieties with shorter plants, unique dark foliage and new colors that bloom for longer periods. Everyone will be given an assortment of varieties as bare root divisions. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Hens and Chicks. May 16. These aren’t poultry but rather succulent sempervivums that are incredibly durable. The evergreen rosettes work great in areas with poor, dry soil as well as in succulent planters. Attendees will be provided with an assortment to grow in their gardens. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Elephant Ears. June 8. These impressive tropical giants are incredibly easy to grow. Recent interest in these plants has made unique forms and leaf shapes available, but this class will focus primarily on the upright alocasias. A plant or two will be provided for class members to plant at home. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Perennials for Shade Gardens. June 15. Growing perennials can be a tough feat, but this course will discuss the more reliable types of these plants and give suggestions for dealing with planting in those difficult, shady spots. The class is geared to expand participants’ horizons beyond hosta and ferns, and will send attendees home with some small plants to grow at home. 3 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Vegetable Gardening for Beginners Part II, Maintaining. June 20. Watering, pest/weed management, fertilizing, oh my! This course will help first-time gardeners learn to manage their new plots and everyone will leave with a vegetable growing guide. Pre-registration is required to reserve a seat. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Oyster Mushrooms. June 29. Believe it or not, there are many types of mushrooms that can be grown at home. One of the easiest types to grow are oyster mushrooms. Participants will receive live spawn to take home and begin growing their own cultures, which should begin producing in the fall. 6:30 p.m. Fayette County Extension Service, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. (859) 257-5582. http://fayette.ca.uky.edu/
Shows, Plant Sales & Other Events
42nd Annual Central Kentucky Home and Garden Show. March 31-April 2. Featuring celebrity guests Matt Muenster and Brian Santos, this show boasts state-of-the-art home and garden products at special prices. 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Lexington Center, 430 W. Vine St. ckyhomeshow.com
Athens Schoolhouse Antique Show. April 8-9, May 13-14, June 10-11, July 8-9. This monthly show is home to thousands of square feet of antiques and collectibles from the region’s most prominent dealers. Products range from American and European furniture to vintage handbags and accessories. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Athens Boonesboro School, 6270 Athens Walnut Hill Pike. (859) 259-7309. www.antiqueskentucky.com
Kentucky Christmas Tree Association’s 13th Annual Plant Auction. April 8. Bid and take home Kentucky-grown nursery stock consisting of trees, shrubs and perennials. A portion of the proceeds with be put toward a University of Kentucky Forestry Scholarship. The sale starts at 10 a.m. Fayette County Extension Office, 1140 Harry Sykes Way. kychristmastreefarms.com
John Snell Nature Photography Exhibit: “Delights of Nature.” On display through April 16. This exhibit of works by Lexington-based nature photographer John Snell takes the audience on a journey of beautiful Kentucky scenes. Gallery hours: Mon.-Thurs., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun., 1-5 p.m. Scott County Public Library, 104 Bradford Lane, Georgetown, Kentucky.
A Garden Affair. April 28-30. This first-year event focuses on “all things garden,” with vendor kiosks, unique lectures, special events and exhibitors who will offer decorative objects and tools for the garden, as well as a rich variety of plants. The event kicks off Thursday, April 27, with “A Garden Affair Fête,” a preview party featuring botanic-inspired cocktails and appetizers, and continues through the weekend with lectures from Nashville landscape architect Ben Page; scientist, author and arborist Tom Kimmerer; French garden architect Philippe de Boncourt; and others. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Headley-Whitney Museum, 4435 Old Frankfort Pike. (859) 255-6653. www.hwmagarden.com/
Wild Ones Plant Exchange and Fundraiser. May 4. Everything from seeds, perennials, grasses, and sedges to shrubs, trees and vines can be exchanged at this event. The only stipulation is that the plants must be native to the eastern United States, but cultivars of a native plant are also acceptable. Participants are encouraged to bring finger foods, beer or wine if they don’t have any plants to offer. 7 p.m. St. Michael’s Church parking lot, 2025 Bellefonte Drive. lexington.wildones.org/todo
Springtime Native Plant Garden Tour. May 7. The national organization Wild Ones advocates for native plants. “Wild Ones Native Plants Native Landscapes” Lexington Chapter hopes to provide some garden inspiration this spring with the organization’s biennial native plant garden tour. Participants can visit several gardens, public and private, at their leisure throughout Lexington. Features on this year’s tour include spring flowering native plants, shade gardens, a “wabi sabi“ garden and the Michler’s Cafe garden. The tour can start at any of the participating gardens. Tickets with a brochure and map are available at each location. 12-5 p.m. A list of gardens available on the website. lexington.wildones.org
Kitchen Tours of the Bluegrass. May 20-21. The 16th annual Kitchens of the Bluegrass Tour will feature unique designs, appliances, gadgets and creative solutions to help inspire your next kitchen project. Proceeds will benefit the Child Development Center of the Bluegrass. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sun. (859) 266-6537. www.kitchensofthebluegrasstour.com
Bluegrass Iris Society Show. May 13. This year marks 50 years of Bluegrass Iris Society, and in celebration, the organization is hosting a special show. All are welcome and encouraged to bring entries for the show (no later than 10 a.m.); judging will take place from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the show will open to the public at 1 p.m. Judy Nolin, who served as the first vice president of the American Iris Association, will be on hand to speak in conjunction with the American Iris Society’s regional meeting, which also takes place in Lexington May 12-14. Lexington Green Mall, 161 Lexington Green Circle, (859) 396-9691. www.bluegrassiris.org
Bluegrass Fair Flower and Vegetable Show. July 15-16. Coordinated by the Fayette County Extension Office and the Lexington Council Garden Clubs in conjunction with the Bluegrass Lion’s Club Fair, this annual flower and vegetable show provides an opportunity to learn, compete and see what others are growing successfully in this area. Home gardeners are encouraged to enter their favorite flowers, flower designs and vegetables, with entries accepted Saturday, July 15 from 9-11:30 a.m. During that time, master gardeners will be on hand to help with entries, answer gardening questions and show grooming and design tips. For more information, contact at the Fayette County Extension office at 859-257-5582. 3-10 p.m., Masterson Station Park, 3051 Leestown Road.