A Garden Party

March 7, 2007

The theme of this year’s 5th Annual PA Garden Expo is “A Garden Party” and the festivities begin today March 8 and run through Sunday March 11, 2007.

Considering the recent snowfall covering the ground, the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center sounds like the only place local gardeners will be able to do any celebrating this weekend.

Gardening Expo Events

Landscape GardenSpecial events at this year’s show include two celebrity flower arranging contests, one featuring female celebrities and the other featuring male contestants. There will be a couple of “Ask the Garden Expert” panel discussions where you can pose your gardening questions and concerns to a group of horticulture professionals.

Saturday evening is “Family Fun Night at the Expo” with a host of pleasurable nature and gardening activities for children on tap, including:

  • Wood-Carving demonstrations
  • Bluebird box construction
  • Bonsai planting
  • Informational butterfly programs
  • Fairy dust potpourri
  • Pine cone bird feeder workshop
  • Pressed flower bookmarks
  • Free garden seeds, and much more.

Landscaped Garden Displays

It’s always amazing to tour the landscaped gardens that are set up for these garden shows. The displays are complete with live plants, green lawns, blooming flowers, and even trees, all growing within the steel and concrete confines of the Expo Center.

Garden Stream DisplayIt’s not difficult to imagine that spring has arrived and that you’re actually in the middle of an attractive garden rather than inside of a building. Did I mention the streams, water features, and ponds stocked with fish and even ducks that complete the scenery?

I knew that professional landscape contractors, garden designers, and nurseries sponsored and were responsible for constructing the amazing displays, but I was surprised to discover that they aren’t the only ones at work behind the scenes.

Students from area high schools and vocational technical schools also lend a hand and work in concert with the gardening professionals to create their own attractive garden displays. So don’t forget to bring your camera as there will be plenty of sights to enjoy and photograph while you tour the Expo Center gardens.

Educational Gardening Seminars and Lectures

Bonsai DemonstrationWhen you’re tired of walking and ready to rest your legs just stroll on over to one of the lecture areas and sit down to listen to some of the excellent speakers. With all of the great gardening tips and ideas floating around I hope you brought along your notebook in addition to that camera.

Some of the lectures being presented at this year’s garden expo will cover:

  • Edible Herbal Bonsai
  • Controlling Yard Invading Critters
  • Flowers in the Home Landscape
  • Heirloom Gardening
  • Home/Backyard Greenhouses
  • Water Gardening
  • Garden Design Tips
  • How to Mix and Match Plants
  • Dwarf Conifers: Miniature Landscapes
  • Fun Vegetables to Grow
  • Table Grapes for Backyard Gardeners

On hand again this year will be Roger Swain, editor of Horticulture Magazine, co-host of the People, Places, & Plants HGTV program, and former host of the Victory Garden show on PBS.

Roger is one of my favorite gardening personalities and will present three seminars this year: V for Vegetable – From Garden to Table, What about Weeds, and Small Fruits, Big Flavors. If you’ve never heard Roger speak or would like to meet him in person this is an ideal opportunity.

The Show Isn’t Over Yet

Okay, it’s been a long day, but before you leave be sure to check out the exhibitors and booths that are set up and offering all types of gardening-related products, information, and services.

You’ll find bonsai plants, landscape contractors, educational materials, organic fertilizers, gardening clubs, herb seedlings, garden tools, crafts, and friendly fellow gardeners that share your interest and passion for nurturing plants.

These garden shows and expos are perfect for rousing the gardener out of the winter doldrums and to stir a little excitement over the upcoming spring growing season. The Philadelphia Flower Show is also in progress through the weekend or if you live outside of the region check around for similar events that may be planned right in your own hometown.

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