Green Diversions from a White Landscape

February 27, 2010

I’m usually excited to see the local garden shows roll into town and thrilled when I can finally rip February’s page off of the calendar, but this year just isn’t the same and I really can’t explain it.

Maybe it’s the blanket of snow that feels like it has covered the ground all winter. Or the constant threat of additional snow that the weatherman has left hanging over our heads. And it doesn’t help that our temperatures have stubbornly refused to rise much above freezing.

All Bets are Off for an Early Spring

Snow-Covered-GardenThen there are all of the Farmer’s Almanac devotees who keep insisting that forty more inches of snow are a sure thing to strike precisely on March 7th in this area! I’m not buying that one, but then again I wouldn’t place any wagers against it either, especially after my sorry prediction last month that the worst of winter was already behind us.

I’m sure it will sink in any day now that spring really is just around the corner, and maybe the weather will finally offer some evidence to confirm that. In the meantime here’s a list of the local garden shows and expos to help convince us that we really should be starting seeds indoors now, in spite of what’s going on outdoors.

Pennsylvania Garden Expo

Back after a year off, the Pennsylvania Garden Expo takes place in Harrisburg at the Farm Show Complex and will run from February 26 through February 28. Seminars include sessions on; “Container Vegetables: You can grow fantastic vegetables in pots,” “Home Greenhouses and Cold Frames: build one and grow more,” and “Dynamic Bonsai Design.”

Roger Swain, one of my favorite garden speakers will be on hand to present three separate lectures; “If You Can Eat It, Grow It,” “Planting Villages: How Gardens Make Good Neighbors,” and “Perennially Yours; what to plant, where to plant it and how to care for it and you.”

Mid-Atlantic Garden Show

Landscape-DesignThe Mid-Atlantic Garden Show will be held in York, PA and runs from March 4th through the 7th on the York Fairgrounds. P. Allen Smith will be the keynote speaker and he’ll be joined by a line up of regional experts conducting a variety of garden related workshops and seminars.

There will also be plenty of green vendors offering a range of flower, garden, and outdoor living accessories. The landscape display gardens will take your mind off of winter and make it difficult to believe that you are actually indoors as you gather ideas to use in your own backyard.

Philadelphia Flower Show

Without a doubt the largest gardening show in the region is the Philadelphia Flower Show, which takes place from February 28th through March 7th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

A sample of the lectures and demonstrations ti be offered include:
•    Flower Power: Flower Arranging for Wellness
•    Pots are Hot: Growing Vegetables in Containers
•    The Future of Plant Collecting
•    Starting the Herb Garden Naturally
•    Healing through Horticulture, the Value of Horticulture as Therapy
•    Flower Design Techniques on a Dime

Maryland Home and Garden Show

Garden-MarketA little further south is the Maryland Home & Garden Show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium that will be held on March 6th – 7th and also from the 12th – 14th. The show includes landscape gardens, home improvement exhibits, and a plant and craft marketplace.

Seminars will cover topics such as; Growing herbs and vegetables in containers, Beekeeping for beginners, Bonsai from your backyard, Terrariums and dish gardens, and Growing vegetables in an urban setting. The “Mole Hunter” will also be on hand to show you how to triumph over those destructive underground pests.

If you are outside of the Central Pennsylvania region, don’t let that stop you from finding similar green events right in your own neighborhood. It may not feel like it but just a little bit longer and we’ll be able to exchange those snow shovels for garden spades!

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  • Oh a garden Expo. That would be fun. I’m going to find out if we have one here any time soon.

  • Funny, we have had a low snow winter in Ottawa this year so I am extra excited for the Great Melt which should be finished by the end of March or so.

  • Kenny Point

    I won’t even ask what your idea of a low snow winter is, but I’m also looking forward to a thaw, melt, and greening up around here and hopefully it will happen real soon!

  • That was a great idea … taking pictures at the home and garden show. We visited ours a few weekends ago, and really enjoyed it. Gathered lots of brochures that normally we wouldn’t have needed except that we just this past Thursday closed on our dream house with 2 acres!! So exciting. Finally can get started on our homestead … if Winter ever lets up! Thanks. Vikki at

  • Kenny Point

    Hey Vikki, congrats on the new home with the acreage and best wishes on the homestead front!

  • Here in the UK has been much the same. Right from the middle of December up until the end of snow we had snow in our garden. Yes its fair to say we live in the North East of the UK which should be used to this kind of winter but I have so missed the site of green and when the snow finally thawed in Late February, and even though the rain was horrific, I still had a sit in the garden for five minutes and enjoyed the smell of grass. Its funny how we miss the smallest of things.

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