The Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners Association will host the 16th annual GardenFest from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Belle Grove Plantation.
“GardenFest is a perfect time to get some great advice on your garden,” said Kristen Laise, executive director of Belle Grove Plantation. “The Master gardeners will have great recommendations and information, and you can get some fabulous deals at their sale. It is a fun day for the entire family.”
The main attraction of GardenFest is the Master Gardeners’ Plant Sale. There will be more than 3,000 plants, including Shenandoah Valley and Virginia native plants, plants for beneficial pollinators, unique trees and shrubs for sale. All money raised from the plant sale will go toward supporting all of the educational programs offered by the master gardeners throughout the year.
There will be garden and plant vendors, including Hill House Farm and Nursery, Seven Bends Nursery, Spring Thyme Nursery, and Poverty Ridge Greenhouse & Farm, and specialty vendors including Birdhouse Engineering, Carolyn G. Findler Art Studio, Claylick Brooms, Living in Abundance, and Olive Oil Soap Company in attendance.
New activities at this year’s festival include a birdhouse decorating contest, with multiple categories, and demonstrations from local law enforcement, including a “bomb explosives search” demo at 10 a.m. and a narcotics “find” demo at 12:30 p.m.
The festival will also feature a garden tool sharpening booth and visitors may visit educational displays by the Beekeepers of the Northern Shenandoah BONS, the Front Royal-Warren County Tree Stewards, the North Mountain Wildlife Rescue, the Valley Wildlife Care Inc. of Virginia, and the Virginia Master Naturalists-Shenandoah Chapter.
There will also be Gartenhaus workshops, where participants can make garden art, starting at 10 a.m. Kids activities will include a petting zoo and face painting.
Tours of the Belle Grove manor house will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be $5 for visitors 12 and older. Master gardeners will also give free guided tours of Belle Grove’s teaching garden located behind the manor house.
Food and beverage vendors will include 0-60 Energy Cafe, C & C Frozen Treats, and Frederick County 4-H Eggs n’ Ears.
Admission and parking for the event are free. Birdhouse decorating contest entrants can present as many finished birdhouses as they’d like. The entry fee for each birdhouse will be $2, due at drop off. To pre-register for the contest, visit bit.ly/birdhouse-contest.
For more information on GardenFest, visit https://bellegrove.org.