A lot of thought goes into planning a garden before a single seed gets planted in the ground.

The Spring Fling on Saturday at the Harker Heights’ Activities Center planted many seeds of thought that hopefully will grow in area gardens.

Hosted by the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department, and previously called Seed & Plant Swap, the annual event ​br​ought together gardeners, experts and vendors to give out information, trade seeds and plants, and share green thumb stories.

Dorian Evans activities specialist, wanted to make it was a bigger event this year with eight vendors, ​kids’ activities ​and included short lectures by Bell County Master Gardeners.

“There’s a wealth of information available today for new gardeners and experienced ones with a little something for everyone,” Evans said.

A gardener herself, Evans also oversees the community garden. Recently, two Bee Hotels — small, wooden houses to attract non-threatening Mason bees — went up in the garden since this bee type is an excellent pollinator, she said.

Several free plants almost seemed to sprout from the hands of Amy Strunk, a novice gardener from Copperas Cove. Each year she looks forward to the event where she gets many gardening ideas.​

“I love plants and last year planted some tomatoes in containers and successfully too,” she said.

Guests strolled ​among vendor tables, absorbing each drop of gardening knowledge.

Growing the iris is easier than people think, said Karen Woods, president of the Belton Iris Society, to a visitor.

“I love being here because we get people from all over and especially kids, who get seeds and resources,” Woods said.

Master Gardeners included Glenn Melton, who gave a lecture on composting, followed by Kathy Love talking about controlling fire ants.

“We’re ​always ​ happy to offer our gardening advice,” Love said.

Jenny Hart, of Killeen, looked through packs of seeds before selecting dill, rosemary and Texas wildflowers. It was her first time at the gardening event.

“For someone like me that is just starting, I’ll make use of the seeds,” Hart said.

In one corner, a “plant a bean” display attracted sisters Emily and Elisebeth McBride, who each planted a green bean in a small pot.

“I like that we get to learn how to take care of plants in Texas, and gardening is good hobby for kids” said mom Julie McBride, of Harker Heights.

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