SWLA Garden Conference and Expo returns for 23rd year

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 9:59 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Southwest Louisiana Garden Conference and Expo at the Burton Complex is celebrating gardening with its 23rd annual conference, show and plant extravaganza.

The event features area, regional and interstate exhibitors along with vendors and master gardeners, and even a plant clinic.

“Wwe provide knowledge on all the vegetables in our stand while the other vendors do the same thing with their products,” said Master Gardener Mark Derese. “Everything related to the garden is here at the garden fest.”

“We bring anything from fruit-producing plants to ornamentals, bedding, seasonal, perennials, annuals, you name it, trees, shrubs,” said Tori Hebert of Good Earth Landscaping & Garden Shoppe.

Eventgoers could bring in sick plants to ask for tips and advice.

“People come in with questions about their garden or ornamental plants, and we do our best to explain what it is that’s the issue or, the majority of it is why is this plant dying,” said Kyndal Comeaux, 4H Agricultural and Natural Resource Agent. “And it’s probably because of that freeze we had about two weeks ago.”

Sporadic weather definitely plays a part in keeping plants alive and well.

“The freeze coupled with the wind damage produces a lot of injuries to the plants that maybe don’t show themselves for a few weeks just because plants are kind of resilient like that, but the frost and the wind damage does take its toll on a lot of things,” said Comeaux.

Some attendees learned how to protect their gardens and searched for some very specific ingredients.

“We wanted some information on growing cucumbers getting garden better controlling pests and maybe finding some pepper plants,” said Joey Pousson. “I grow peppers and make hot sauce, so I was looking for some exotic peppers, Trinidad scorpions, Carolina reapers, ghost peppers, chocolate habaneros.”

There were also educational seminars on how to protect plants from pests.

“The moth lays eggs inside of the stem of the squash, and so you have to do surgery to remove the moth because if the larva grows, it will cut off the water supply to the squash and then. it will kill your plant,” said Lynn Pousson.

The expo attracts over 3,000 garden lovers each year. It will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.