Saturday garden fest invites locals for tour of nature

Bees, trees, flowers and gardens will take center stage Saturday at the annual Garden Fest, an informative fair organized by the Master Gardeners of Lycoming County.

“The Garden Fest is always a great time to enjoy the gardens and listen to some great educational programs on diverse gardening topics,” Master Gardener Carol Loveland said.

One of the new features in the garden this year is an obstacle play structure for youth of all abilities, constructed by Hughesville Venture Scout Ren Hester, Loveland said.

Eagle Scout Colton Ulmer is building a teepee as his project, which should be ready for the Garden Fest crowds to enjoy.

Sue J. Morris, owner of Sue’s Salves, is slated to talk about “Herbal Teas: Supporting Your Immune and Respiratory Systems with Medicinal Herbs,” at the festival.

She will share her knowledge of medical herbalism and natural healing and how to strengthen the immune and respiratory systems with medicinal teas. The talk is designed to provide guidance to choosing the right herbs for improving your health and wellness.

“I will be talking about herbal medicines and specific herbs that help with the immune and digestive systems,” she said. “How to make medicinal teas and how to grown herbs, and dry them and prepare them for teas.”

Morris, a featured speaker at festivals and garden clubs, offers herbal retreats at her home where she grows an extensive medicinal garden.

Carl Bower, a horticulture educator at Pennsylvania College of Technology, will explain how to design a garden for fun, form and function. He will also give tips for understanding the long-term use of an area in order to create an attractive and functional garden space.

Another scheduled speaker, Sarah Wurzbacher, a forestry educator with the Penn State Extension educator, will discuss the spotted lanternfly, which is emerging as a non-native pest in the state. She will discuss identification and behavior of the insect, the plants it damages and options for dealing with the threat.

Teacher Regan Bitler, a gourd artist from Hanover, will conduct a workshop on turning gourds into works of art. She will share tips and tricks for successfully growing “hard-shelled” gourds and demonstrate the various tools for cleaning and preparing gourds for the use in artwork as well as art and crafting techniques.

Vendors selling items for the garden, plus educational displays, refreshments, children’s activities, door prizes and a plant and garden treasure sale will be part of Garden Fest, which will be held rain or shine. Experts will be on hand to answer gardening questions, and guests may tour the gardens.

Garden Fest will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Lysock View Complex, 542 County Farm Road, in Loyalsock Township. Admission is free.

The following people will present programs:

• Carl Bower, 9 a.m.

• Sue J. Morris, 10 a.m.

• Sarah Wurzbacher, 11 a.m.

• Regan Bitler, noon

In addition:

• Reg Laughner, of Ironwood Acres & Victory Garden Products, will explain how to use organic methods to improve.

• Gary Metzger, of the Lycoming Audubon Society, will discuss birding.

• Extension staff will offer professional examinations of pressure canners.