Fall Plant Festival Oct. 9-10

Festival to feature 60 vendors, workshops, "fern alley," and children's activities.

TAMPA, FL (Oct. 4, 2010) -The University of South Florida Botanical Gardens will celebrate its 20th annual Fall Plant Festival on Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Oct.10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission for the event and botanical gardens is $5 for the general public. USF Botanical Garden members and children under 12 are admitted free.

More than 60 vendors will be selling and displaying plants and plant-related items. Vendors include local plant clubs and societies, as well as commercial growers. Plant clubs and societies will be selling and offering information about: crotons, African violets, orchids, bromeliads, begonias, cactus and succulents, bamboo, bougainvillea, native plants, palms and cycads, camellias, and more.

A workshop and demonstration on worm castings will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. “This is the practice of using worms to decompose plant and kitchen scraps,” said Laurie Walker, gardens director. “The result is a compost and the liquid portion is called black gold. It is the best in sustainable gardening.” Containers and instructions will be available.

The worm castings workshop will be followed by a workshop on carnivorous plants at noon.

In addition, Garden Fern Curator Cliff Brown will host “Fern Alley” in the plant shop. The shop will be filled with tropical, but hardy ferns, and Brown will be available to answer questions.

The festival also will feature a scarecrow display throughout the gardens and a free children's activity area. Parking is free.

For more information call (813) 910-3274 or www.cas.usf.edu/garden.