Masters give novices a taste of gardening

Extension group sponsors planting activity at youth expo

Seven-year-old Ryan English (left) and 7-year-old Joseph Graham — both of Auxvasse — put the finishing touches on their fairy gardens at the Callaway Youth Expo Friday afternoon. The activity was sponsored by the Callaway County Master Gardeners.

Seven-year-old Ryan English (left) and 7-year-old Joseph Graham — both of Auxvasse — put the finishing touches on their fairy gardens at the Callaway Youth Expo Friday afternoon. The activity was sponsored by the Callaway County Master Gardeners. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

The Callaway County Master Gardeners had a prime opportunity to capture the interest of a new generation of horticulturists Friday afternoon.

The group’s fairy garden activity at the Callaway Youth Expo attracted 50 children ages 5-10 (and some a little older) who wanted to take home their own little pail of green space.

“We thought it would be a great way to help support the youth in their first annual youth expo, and we thought the fairy gardens would be fun and easy to do,” said event coordinator Heather Vodnansky, a master gardener and member of the Callaway Extension Council. “They’re all house plants that are easy to take care of, and if they don’t survive the kids will always have the pail to play with.”

Children eagerly streamed through the line to fill a sand bucket with potting soil, plant cuttings, decorative rocks and other embellishments.

Teagan Engle, 8, of New Bloomfield said she was at the youth expo Friday to show a calf, but was attracted to the Master Gardeners’ activity because she already is planning ahead for 2014.

“Next year I’m doing gardening, so I’m learning a little bit,” Engle said. “I just really like flowers and I enjoyed putting everything in and picking out the bucket.”

Courtney Kemp, 9, of Auxvasse said she came out for the fairy garden project because she already enjoys planting with her mother and her grandfather.

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