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Show puts spring in their step

Flowers galore and more bring out crowd

Flowers galore and more bring out crowd

March 17, 2003|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

At the rain barrel lecture, the crowd swelled. Forty or so seats filled early; stragglers stood.

They came to Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center on Saturday for the Ninth Annual Flower & Garden Show for the flowers, plants and accessories.

Along the way, many took in other bits and pieces.

At 11:30 a.m., Frederick County, Md., Master Gardener Bonnie Duggan talked about rainwater and how to conserve it.

It's easy to use any large receptacle, such as a garbage can, to collect runoff water. But the can may burst or wildlife might fall in and drown, she said.

Duggan displayed an ideal barrel of thick dark plastic; a cover with five small holes; and a screen that fits inside.

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Other speakers throughout the day discussed tree maintenance, bluebird boxes and edible flowers.

Like hundreds of other browsers eager to put the snow season behind them, Pat Tedrick of Hagerstown was focused on plants.

She was looking for hollyhock. At mid-day, she hadn't found any, but she had only scanned half of the booths.

Asked what brought her to the show, Tedrick said, "Just a love of gardens and plants and God's green earth."

Tedrick's friend, Trudi Clukey of Hagerstown, stopped to buy a geranium at the Mountainside Gardens of Boonsboro booth.

"I'm just enjoying all the colors," she said.

Richard and Amanda Slaubaugh of Hagerstown bought a Crimson Pixie variety of lily.

They were hunting for stakes and annuals for their flower bed.

"Our perennials - tulips, hyacinths, crocuses - are coming up," Richard Slaubaugh said.

Mary Stagner, who owns Greensburg Farm in Hagerstown, said her best sellers were trail mix from one table and pansies, which can be planted now, from another.

Other vendors were selling everything from tractors and sheds to grasses and herbs. People craving the sound of peepers could buy a tape of frog noises for $6.

Ken Colson of Dillsburg, Pa., helped his wife, Gerry, sell a product called Hydro Magic Crystals.

The crystals are nitrogen-based co-polymers that replace soil and hold 400 to 500 times their weight in water, like expanding sponges, he said.

They are guaranteed for five years. A woman in Timonium, Md., said her crystals have worked for 18 years, Ken Colson said.

The show continues today.

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