nature lovers wanted

TAVARES — Lake County, as its name implies, is well known for its natural beauty, from the abundant number of lakes it contains to the nature trails in areas like Lake Louisa State Park.

Not surprisingly, Lake County is very popular with nature lovers as well.

County leaders are counting on those nature lovers to help them attract nature-themed vendors for Lake County’s 8th Annual Landscape & Garden Fair, a free botanical-themed festival that will be held in April.

In the meantime, the county is now accepting applications from nature-oriented vendors, with an application deadline of March 1.


What Kind Of Nature-Themed Vendors Should Apply?


The annual Landscape & Garden Fair attracts thousands of guests, who attend to hear expert speakers discuss a wide variety of topics. That includes:

* Flowering annuals and perennials;

* Unusual vegetables;

* Butterflies and more.

The events at this family-friendly weekend will include the Children’s Passport, which offers stops at multiple gardens; the Maze Scavenger Hunt; and a special butterfly release.

To reserve space at the fair, the county needs to receive rental fees no later than Friday, March 1. Available space ranges in price from $75–$150, depending on size. The price is $25 for non-profit agencies.

Participants can reserve a space by registering online at Lake Gardening Programs. Vendors can also make a check payable to “University of Florida” and either hand deliver or mail it to:

UF/IFAS Extension
Lake County Attn: Juwanda Rowell
Landscape & Garden Fair
1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares, FL 32778

The county is seeking participants who specialize in a variety of fields, including:

* Landscaping

* Gardening

* Irrigation

* Horticulture

* Fertilizer

* and other nature-related subjects.


What Is the Landscape & Garden Fair?


The 8th annual Landscape & Garden Fair is a botanical-themed two-day event held on Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14 at the Lake County Extension Center’s Discovery Gardens, located at 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares.

The event is sponsored by Lake County, The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension in Lake County and the Lake County Master Gardeners.

What to expect? This festival is an opportunity to browse and purchase goods from vendors selling landscaping materials, ornamental plants, orchids, fruit trees and more.

Discovery Gardens rests on more than four acres of land behind the Lake County Extension Center. It’s a popular site, featuring 24 themed gardens, among them several lush courtyards and five specially designed children’s gardens.

For more information about the 8th Annual Landscape & Garden Fair, call 352-343-4101 Ext. 2 or visit the Lake County Government Extension Office.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Of Cats And Wolves.” Contact him at

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