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Healthy Food, Healthy Lives, Healthy Community

roses with Cooperative Extension Logo

What if I told you there was money buried in the soil of your backyard or garden pots, would you be interested?! By planting a small garden you can save money and have access to fresh, healthy food.

Gardening is a great way to stimulate your mind and stay physically healthy. With spring officially here, there’s no better time than to plant the seeds for good habits, fresh food, and community interaction. If you can dig what we are putting down, then the Extension Master GardenerSM Volunteers would like to invite you to some free, upcoming events covering container gardening, the secret life of trees, and composting in your backyard. Check out the details below:

Spring Fling Plant Sale

The Extension Master GardenerSM Volunteers of Buncombe County in partnership with the Asheville Blue Ridge Rose Society will host the Spring Fling Plant Sale on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The sale will be held in the parking lot of the American Red Cross, 100 Edgewood Road, off of Merrimon Avenue in Asheville. The sale will be held rain or shine.

The Asheville Blue Ridge Rose Society will sell many varieties of roses, including own-root, fragrant, miniature, and old garden roses. Expert rosarians will be on hand to help you choose the perfect rose and to give practical advice on growing and caring for roses.

Extension Master GardenerSM volunteers will offer a huge selection of plants for any garden spot. Choose among perennials for sun or shade, groundcovers, native plants, and plants that attract pollinators. Our volunteers will help you select the right plant for the right place and answer your gardening questions. There will also be a nice selection of garden accessories.

For more information visit, call the Garden Helpline at 828-255-5522.

Mark this event on your calendar as this is a big plant sale you don't want to miss!


Saturday Seminar presents: Container Gardening: Right Plant, Right Place, Right Container

  • Saturday, May 19, 2018, 10 a.m. to noon at NC Cooperative Extension, Buncombe County Center, 49 Mt. Carmel Road, Asheville

Presenters: Kay Green, Amy Shumate, and Nancy Wilson, Extension Master GardenerSM Volunteers

What do you do when you love gardening but only have a small space to work with? Do you yearn for a homegrown tomato that tastes fresh from the vine? Do you want to cook with fresh herbs but the grocery store packages are too much and too costly for your favorite recipe? Do you want fresh flowers on your dining table but not the typical store selections?

Container gardening may be the answer for you! Yes, you can successfully grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers in containers.  We take the mystery out of container gardening and will send you home with new information and a great handout.

Registration is necessary. Please register by calling (828) 255-5522.

Gardening in the Mountains presents: The Secret Life of Trees

  • Thursday, May 17, 2018, 10 a.m. to noon at NC Cooperative Extension, Buncombe County Center, 49 Mount Carmel Road, Asheville

Presenter: Steve Pettis, Henderson County Commercial and Consumer Horticulture Agent, NC State Cooperative Extension

Do you wonder about all the trees that surround you in Western North Carolina? What kinds of trees grow here? What factors affect their growth? What role do they play in our environment? Why do trees die in urban landscapes?

Speaker Steve Pettis has spent his life studying plants and gardening. As a child, he gardened with his grandmother, dividing daylilies, irises, and daffodils. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in ornamental horticulture and a Master’s Degree in plant protection and pest management at the University of Georgia, where he studied with highly esteemed horticulturists Allan Armitage and Michael Dirr. Steve’s career includes managing a tree farm and nursery, managing a research greenhouse, and working as a consulting arborist.

Grow your knowledge and appreciation of our beautiful WNC trees. Hear Steve discuss why trees are so important to us and why they should be protected.

The talk is free, but registration is required by calling 828-255-5522.

Backyard composting demo

Saturday, May 12, and Saturday, May 26, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Jesse Israel & Sons Garden Center, WNC Farmers Market, 570 Brevard Road, Asheville.

Buncombe County Master GardenerSM volunteers maintain a compost demonstration garden to teach visitors composting techniques, provide printed material, and answer questions. Several compost systems are displayed including a worm composting bin. Master Gardeners educate the public as to good gardening practices using research-based information provided by the North Carolina State University Extension Service.

Find out more about the Master Gardener Volunteers here and stay up to date on Cooperative Extension Events here.

Questions about Gardening?

Extension Master GardenerSM Volunteers of Buncombe County are ready to answer your gardening questions. The Garden Helpline is open now open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., during the gardening season—March through September. Our Master Gardener volunteers are available for phone calls, walk-ins, and emails.

Call (828) 255-5522 or visit the Extension office at the location shown below. If you bring a plant sample to the office, please be sure it is large enough for plant identification. You can also email your questions and plant photos to

Each year, Extension Master Gardener volunteers answer hundreds of gardening questions. From October-February when the Helpline is not open, your questions will be answered by Alison Arnold, Extension Agent, Consumer Horticulture. The Extension office and our Helpline are closed on N.C. state holidays.

Garden Helpline


10 a.m.-2 p.m.

(828) 255-5522

NC Cooperative Extension

Buncombe County Center

49 Mount Carmel Road

Asheville, NC 28806

Going on now through September - Got a gardening question? We’ve got answers! Visit Our Extension Master GardenerSM Info Table.

Locate the Extension Master GardenerSM Info Table at tailgate markets and garden events in Buncombe County where you’ll find Master Gardener volunteers ready to help.

Ask questions, get advice, and explore trends and best ideas in gardening. Bring samples of plants and insects for identification and problem diagnosis. You can also learn about upcoming Master Gardener programs and pick up soil test kits.

The Extension Master GardenerSM Info Table is open on the first and third Saturdays of every month at the Asheville City Market on N. Market St. from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

About the Master Gardeners

The Buncombe County Master Gardeners are community volunteers who support and engage in projects and activities that will enhance the quality of life for Buncombe County residents. Members in the Master Gardeners programs are citizens of the local community who not only take an active interest in their own lawns, trees and gardens, but also strive to promote sound horticultural practices in the community. Members receive invaluable training and continuing opportunities for education, then share their horticultural expertise through a wide variety of projects benefiting Buncombe County residents and organizations.

The Extension Master Gardener program allows the local Extension to extend education to an ever increasing gardening audience. It also provide a highly visible way to meet the public demand for information and to develop a strong support group.