Kitchen Gardening

Gardeners Dig Flower and Garden Shows

The season is almost here – the flower and garden show season, that is.

Flower and garden shows are filled with ideas and inspiration for the upcoming gardening season.
Photo/Illustration: Jodi Torpey

One of the most welcome times of the year for a vegetable gardener is when plants and flowers start blooming indoors. Flower and garden shows offer a respite from the cold and snow with displays of full-size gardens, fragrant flowers and new gardening ideas and products.

Winter is the prime time for flower shows across the country. The Northwest Flower and Garden Show kicks off February 17 in Seattle, followed by shows in Chicago and San Francisco. All of these are enormous events that take months of planning.

There are also many smaller flower and garden shows that are a welcome break from cold temperatures and harsh winds. It’s worth it to find and attend a garden show, no matter its size.

Once you arrive at the show and walk in the door, it takes some planning to make the most of your time there. Here are a few ideas for getting started:

Set a goal for what you want to get out of the show. If you’re planning a specific landscape project, looking for a new way to plant a raised bed vegetable garden or hunting for new organic gardening solutions or gardening tools, make that your show priority.

Study the show program. Look at the floor map and find the locations of the main gardens, restrooms and restaurants and coffee shops. Mark the exhibits you want to see and the seminar schedule so you can plan your route to guide you to the right space at the right time.

Take plenty of pictures. There will be many distractions and it’s easy to forget to capture it all. Once you find what you’re looking for, take pictures from different angles and record any company contact information to refer to later.

Scope out a space to sit and absorb the atmosphere. There’s a lot of walking around (on concrete floors) so it’s easy to get worn down before you’ve seen it all. Take short breaks to enjoy the beauty and breathe in the intoxicating fragrance of fresh flowers. If you pack snacks from home, you’ll be able to eat whenever you get hungry.

Because you’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing be sure to wear comfortable shoes!

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