Planting marigolds at a previous Lander Garden Expo.

By Marit Gookin, Staff Writer

Spring is here and so is the annual Lander Garden Expo, once again held at the Lander Valley High School. The Garden Expo, which is put on by the Popo Agie Conservation District and the University of Wyoming extension office, is always a draw for the community.

“The whole thing was born to be a service, especially to our more urban folks with small acreage,” said Diana Olson of the Popo Agie Conservation District. The event provides lots of opportunities for people to purchase things they’ll need for their gardens and outdoor adventures this summer, but also gives people a chance to learn about these topics as well.

This year’s event, sponsored by a variety of businesses and organizations such as Sprout’s Greenhouse, Sweetwater Garden, NAPA Auto Parts and the LOR Foundation, will feature a variety of vendors and educational workshops so attendees can shop and learn. Olson noted this year’s workshops will include among its array of topics one workshop about spring runoff, presented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and one by John Mionczynski about edible foraging. 

There are also workshops and activities specifically for kids, which have traditionally included a flower-planting activity. Seed bombs are also always popular with kids.

The Garden Expo will have options to purchase food as well as live plants and other exciting spring items, both inside the building and out. Workshops are often held inside; outdoors, the Garden Expo will once again have a petting zoo with a llama, donkeys, and sheep, as well as Justus Jacob’s horse-drawn wagon for folks to catch a ride in. 

“Some people just spend the whole day there,” observed Olson. “There’s lots to see and do.”

The Popo Agie Conservation District said that it is “anticipating a large crowd at this year’s Garden Expo. If coming out of this harsh winter isn’t enough to get you excited to get into your garden, or start that backyard project, or plan an outdoor adventure, we are thrilled to share that some of the vendors that have been missing over the ‘Covid years’ are returning. Additionally, we have several new, first-time vendors showcasing local products and services … There is something for everyone.”

The Garden Expo will open its doors at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 22. Olson recommends entering the venue “as if you were going to a football game,” to be sure not to miss all of the exciting outdoor vendors and activities.