Just when we need it most, horticultural societies across the country provide us with a breath of spring in the form of flower and garden shows. Some are large, grand affairs and others are just getting their footing. What they all have in common is an excitement that a new gardening season is about to begin, with new plants to try and wonderful new gadgets to make your gardening chores a pleasure. It’s worth it just to smell the damp soil and marvel at how designers can move and install an entire garden in a day or two.
What to Expect at a Garden Show
Whichever you attend, you can expect:
- Garden landscape displays
- A vendor area with plants, tools and gifts
- Seminars by garden experts
- Floral displays by local pros ad garden clubs
Quick Tips for Fully Enjoying a Garden Show
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a tote bag to carry all those impulse buys.
- Bring a sweater. They usually keep the temperature a little low, to keep the plants and flowers looking their best.
- The best time to take in a show is on a weekday evening. By 4:00 pm most visitors are making their way back home and the crowds are the thinnest.
- Many garden clubs, cooperative extensions and other organizations sponsor day trips to nearby shows, saving you the tiring drive after you've been on your feet all day.
- Don't overlook the seminars and demonstrations. You'll learn a lot and the time spent off your feet will give you a second wind to walk around and learn some more.
Here's a sampling of shows coming up this spring. Drop me a line if I haven't listed your favorite show and enjoy your first whiff of spring.
- Phoenix, AZ
Maricopa County Home & Garden Show- January 11 13, 2013, at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85007
The SW Home and Garden Show, which debuted in 2009, has now merged with the Maricopa County Home & Garden Show. They will once again be showcasing the unique gardening culture of the southwest, where tomatoes ripen in winter and giant saguaro cactus share space with lavender hedges.
Get more insider tips about Arizona's garden shows, where to stay and what else to do in town, as well as photos from last year's show, from our Guide to Phoenix, Judy Hedding. Judy's also promised to post some photos for us, after the show.
- San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Flower and Garden Show- March 20 - 24, 2013 at at the San Mateo Event Center, 2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo
This year's theme is "Gardens Make the World Go Round", with a strong focus on edible gardening, with celebrity chefs and an expanded Garden to Table exhibit. Ornamental gardening will still be represented with internationally themed gardens and a succulent display.
- Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Home & Garden Show - February 9 - 17, 2013 at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, Denver
With 1,400 booths, 50 seminars and over an acre of display gardens, plan to spend some time soaking in all this show has to offer. 100% of every ticket sold is awarded in horticulture grants and scholarships across Colorado.
- Hartford, CT
Connecticut Flower & Garden Show - February 21 - 24, 2013 at the Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Ave.
"Love in Bloom" is the theme for this year's Connecticut Flower & Garden Show. There will be over 300 garden vendors, about 80 hours worth of seminars and 45,000 sq. ft. of displays to remind you that spring is just around the corner.
- Orlando, FL
Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival - March 6 - May 19, 2013, Epcot Center, Orlando
All the Disney attractions are known for never having a flower out of place, so you can just imagine what it's like when they decide to put on a show. The spring show is presented by HGTV. Expect lots of color and over the top fantasy with Disney character topiaries. About's Guide to Florida shares some photos from a previous show.
More Show Listings...