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LEWISTON – Tours of local gardens and more than 50 vendors are part of an annual festival that celebrates the green thumb we all wish we had at Lewiston’s GardenFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday on Center Street in the village.

The festival, sponsored by the Lewiston Garden Club, is back for its ninth year.

Both days include demonstrations from master gardeners and floral society representatives, as well as more than 50 vendors selling flowers, plants, garden art and other items to decorate and enjoy your garden space.

Several Lewiston and Youngstown residents will showcase their private gardens as part of the free garden walk. There are approximately eight public and private gardens on the tour, and most are within a short walk or drive from Center Street.

“Whether you are just beginning to garden or have an established green thumb, Lewiston GardenFest offers plenty of how-to information from master gardeners in addition to special finds for everyone from our various venders,” said Barbara Landree, chairwoman of the festival.

“The event continues to grow each and every year, and this year we are excited to introduce new Garden Talk demonstrations for visitors.”

Garden Talks are scheduled on both days. Talks include:

• 11 a.m. Saturday – Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouse, will demonstrate techniques for planting perennials in containers.

• 2 p.m. Saturday – Connie Oswald Stofko, publisher of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com, will present “Get Crafty in Your Garden,” featuring ideas for items you can make for your garden.

• 11 a.m. Sunday – Bob Brachikawski from Opportunities Unlimited will discuss how to use herbs from your garden in your cooking.

• 2 p.m. Sunday – Colleen Gaskill, a state-certified nursery and landscape professional, will discuss how to use tones and colors to complement each other in your garden.

If you are looking for answers to specific gardening questions, representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Hosta and Daylily Society and Iris Society will be available throughout the weekend. Soil sample analysis also will be available.

If you would like to demonstrate your own creativity and green thumb, there will be a Container Garden Contest. Bring your garden in a container or any type of planter, along with a stand for display, to the hospitality booth at Fourth and Center streets by 9 a.m. Saturday.

Those attending the festival will be able to vote on their favorites throughout the weekend, and prizes will be awarded to the top vote-getters.

Lewiston GardenFest is free, and all proceeds benefit the community through scholarships and civic beautification programs.

GardenFest is sponsored by the Town and Village of Lewiston, Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Modern Corp., Walmart and various local businesses.

For more information, visit www.lewistongardenfest.com

email: niagaranews@buffnews.com