Garden Photo of the Day

Master Gardeners Put on a Fair Display

Education and beautiful plantings for a county fair

Jackie Stasevich sent in these photos of a great project by her local group of Master Gardeners:

The Kalamazoo County Youth Fair in Michigan just wrapped up, and our local Master Gardeners created some great gardens to beautify the grounds and educate the public. Our Master Gardener group is wonderful and very talented.

When at a county fair, why not use a tractor tire as a cool container? The combination of white petunias (Petunia × hybrida, annual) and a dark-leaved, yellow-flowered dahlia (possibly Dahlia ‘Mystic Illusion’, Zones 7–10 or as an annual) works beautifully.


Another thoroughly appropriate design for a county fair.


Since this was a county youth fair, a lot of the plantings were designed to appeal to younger visitors. This creative planter made from flower pots certainly qualifies, though I’m very much an adult and I kind of want one, too!


Plants with animal names, like this zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’, Zones 5–9) also appeal to kids.


Butterflies coming for the nectar on the flowers of this butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii, Zones 5–9 ) are a way to catch the attention of visitors to the garden and start a discussion about gardening for pollinators.


Concrete and hardscaping can be a tough location for a garden bed, as it will get very hot, and often all the hardscaping will send excessive amounts of water into the bed whenever it rains. This big stand of cannas (Canna hybrid, Zones 8–10 or as an annual) is the perfect choice, as they will love the heat and are perfectly happy to grow with wet feet. The brilliant red flowers are also bright enough that everyone will notice and enjoy them, even when hurrying through a crowded county fair.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/28/2018

    Kudos to you and your Master gardener group, Jackie, for putting together such fun flower and plant displays. I love that they stayed with an animal related theme and came up with such great ways to tie everything together. I'm sure lots of smiles of delight were the result of everyone's hard work.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/28/2018

    I too love the animal theme.

  3. wittyone 08/28/2018

    How clever. Love that little donkey. It was such a good idea to have all those plants labeled. Plants that to a master gardener are immediately identifiable to a new gardener may very well be a mystery. If they see something that they really like and want to get some they really need a name to go by.

  4. ancientgardener 08/28/2018

    Cute ideas. Love that donkey!

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