A taste of spring

Flower & Garden Show this weekend

Flower & Garden Show this weekend

March 16, 2006|by KRISTIN WILSON

The key to developing a dream garden is planning.

Gardeners, homeowners and anyone with an aspiring green thumb can find plenty of help this weekend planning for spring and summer lawn and garden projects at the 12th annual Hagerstown Community College Flower & Garden Show.

More than 80 vendors, flower, lawn and garden specialists will be on hand to help people get lawns, gardens and flower beds looking their best.

"Most of the vendors are from the local area," explains Lisa Stewart, alumni coordinator at HCC. "They are familiar with the soil types in this area, they know what does well and what doesn't do well here. You get a good perspective by coming to the show, plus there is an expert in every booth."


The Flower & Garden Show, organized by the HCC Alumni Association, regularly draws 5,000 to 6,000 people during two days of exhibits and demonstrations, Stewart says.

The show was started as a way to help pay for the $1.3 million Alumni Amphitheater. The amphitheater is a venue for community concerts and programs throughout the summer months, Stewart says.

This year's Flower & Garden Show, with the theme "The Gift of the Garden," includes floral and garden exhibitors, gardening seminars and demonstrations, displays of show gardens and a children's gardening activity center.

From sheds, statuaries, herb gardens and fish ponds to ironwork and outdoor ovens, "you can get just about anything you want for your yard or patio," Stewart says.

Vendors and services

Here's a look at some of the vendors who will showcase their products and services this weekend at the Flower & Garden show:

Smithsburg High School's Environmental Club

Members of Smithsburg High School's Environmental Club have a product for gardeners: worm poop fertilizer.

The club is setting up shop at this weekend's Flower & Garden show to sell TerraCycle, an all-organic fertilizer derived from worm excrement and sold by TerraCycle Inc.

To produce TerraCycle Plant Food, organic waste (food products such as banana peels, egg shells and coffee grounds) is fed to millions of red worms. Soil is then filtered to extract worm excrement.

"TerraCycle, being eco-friendly and organic and derived from organic waste, (is) a natural, powerful plant food," says David Kurz, president of the Environmental Club. "Basically Miracle-Gro has dominated the fertilizer market. TerraCycle represents an alternative that is eco-friendly."

The organic fertilizer is bottled in used soda bottles. The Environmental Club also will collect 20-ounce soda bottles at the Flower & Garden show. Those bottles will be sent to TerraCycle to bottle more fertilizer.

Kurz and Environmental Club adviser Alicia Robertson say they are hoping to spread the word to gardening enthusiasts about all-natural fertilizers and pest controls.

"There's all kinds of all-natural stuff that you can do," Robertson says. "You just have to find it."

Home Place Gift and Gardens

For Alice and Jim Leonard, the Flower & Garden Show is a way to introduce themselves as the new owners of Home Place Gift and Gardens in Beaver Creek.

"At the garden show, we'll be advertising for landscaping, giftware, plus the garden center items," Alice Leonard says. "My goal is to do display gardens for people - idea gardens, different theme areas. Unique plantings that you can't find anywhere else."

The Leonards took over the Beaver Creek business, formerly known as Home Place Everlasting, last spring and are excited to showcase the changes they've made. Their business specializes in herbs and silk flower arrangements, and it carries home accessories and a line of English patio stone. Alice Leonard, a master gardener, sees herself as an educator to customers looking to enhance or create garden spaces.

"My goal is to incorporate teaching along with planting," she says.

Ott's Horticulture Center

For Dick and Joyce Ott, owners of Ott's Horticulture Center in Chewsville, the Flower & Garden Show represents an annual challenge: how to outdo themselves year after year.

The Otts have been part of the Flower & Garden Show since its inception. They see their participation as a way to give back to the community by supporting the community college.

But the show has also become a way to showcase new product lines, new flowers and plants, Dick Ott says. Many exhibitors like the Otts create elaborate displays to help spark ideas for spectators.

"It's been very rewarding for us," he says. "We get a lot of good leads. People are interested maybe just in a particular plant or a small little garden. We're able to share our ideas with them."

Michelangelo Masonry by David

Dave Geller is helping homeowners rediscover the summer kitchen.

At the Flower & Garden Show, the brick and stone mason will display an example of a wood-burning brick oven that can be constructed outside.

"Outdoor living spaces are becoming quite popular," Geller says. "For the same reason you would have a barbecue, you could have a wood-fired oven."

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