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It's not a garden variety show

March 18, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

If you go

What: Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association Flower and Garden Show

When: Today, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: HCC Athletic, Recreation and Community Center

Cost: $4, children 12 and under admitted free.

Attendees at the Eighth Annual Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association Flower and Garden Show on Saturday praised the show for the variety of items on display and for sale.

Items on sale ranged from bonsai trees to soaps, hot pepper jelly to garden statuaries, a wooden swing set to sculptures and fountains.

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Jim Plummer of Hagerstown said he and his wife, Helen, were impressed the event can be diverse without being crowded.

"It is fabulous. It is the best one they have had yet," said Jean Bibby of Martinsburg, W. Va., who has attended every year. "It has a great variety with lots of flowers, of course.

She particularly enjoyed that the show offered more reasonably priced garden gifts, she said. She bought a ceramic bunny, a birdhouse and a garden bench.

Joyce Longshore of York, Pa., said she timed a visit with June Kennedy of Hagerstown to coincide with the event, which she enjoys because of the selection and the planning that goes into it.

Longshore and Kennedy said they would attend the event again today because they could not see everything in a single day.

About 2,600 people attended the event Saturday, up from 2,400 last year, show employees said. Last year's total attendance was 4,800.

Roger Danner, owner of Danner's Greenhouses Garden Center and Florist of Williamsport, said sales were up this year.

One of the major attractions to his booth was a centerpiece featuring an Easter bunny with flowers shaped like colored eggs, he said.

A combined booth of Maggie's Hang-Ups and Basketful of Gifts was also seeing more traffic and brisk sales, the owners of the Hagerstown stores said.

"We have been busy nonstop," said Peggy Cushwa, owner of Maggie's.

Particularly popular were baskets, garden statuaries, rugs and candles, Cushwa said.

There are seminars and demonstrations at the show throughout the weekend

Saturday afternoon about 75 people gathered to hear Richard Koogle of Lilypons Water Gardens of Buckeystown, Md., talk about the best way to care for a water garden.

The speech was the highlight for Carol Kinsey of Boonsboro and her daughter, Bethany, of Hagerstown. Both have water ponds in their homes and were looking for advice on how to improve on them.

There were also attractions that caught children's eyes, including a display by the Susquehanna Valley Garden Railroad Society with a train riding through tracks in a garden. Children stood with their parents, watching the train go round and round the tracks.

All funds raised by the event are used to finish the HCC Alumni Amphitheater.

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