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Crowd digs flower and garden show at HCC

March 19, 2006|By CANDICE BOSELY

A digital thermometer at the entrance to Hagerstown Community College indicated late Saturday morning that the outside temperature was 10 degrees above freezing.

It would be disingenuous to suggest visitors to the 12th annual Flower & Garden Show forgot winter still has its grasp on the region, but it was easy to envision spring's impending arrival after stepping inside the college's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

Live and dried flowers were everywhere, as well as garden products and displays. Green was even more prevalent than at a St. Patrick's Day bash.

More than 80 exhibitors have booths set up at the event, which continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Some of the most vibrant and brilliant flowers were of the two-dimensional variety and framed under glass at a booth set up by Garringer Images.

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Colleen Garringer said she and her husband, Ted Garringer, who shoots most of the photographs, purposely brought with them images of flowers and Washington County.

"So many people have lived here all their lives and they don't take the time to stop and see how beautiful Washington County is," Colleen Garringer said, pointing out images of Hagerstown City Park in spring, as well as photographs of downtown architecture.

The couple lives in Hagerstown.

Elsewhere, an eclectic and colorful mix of furniture, bird feeders, birdhouses and other items were on display in artist Fritzie Seidler's booth.

Seidler, of Takoma Park, Md., uses recycled materials to craft her one-of-a-kind items. In many she incorporates objects she has found.

"My granddaughter will say, walk with your eyes up," Seidler said. "If I see a rusty washer on the street I'm going to pick it up," she said, referring to the washers used with bolts.

"More than anything I love to see what I can make out of something someone got rid of," she said.

Jodi Spickler, a feng shui consultant who owns Hagerstown-based Feng Shui Serenity, was talking to people about how to extend the principles of feng shui to their gardens.

She will present a seminar about the topic today at 12:30 p.m.

Mostly Spickler arranges homes and businesses using feng shui principles, but said the same ideas can be applied to gardens.

"You try to arrange it so it's like your own personal paradise," she said. "They want a balance of colors, textures and shapes."

Billed as "One of the Tri-State Area's Premier Events!" in a pamphlet handed out at the door, the show certainly seemed to attract a number of people.

The parking lot was nearly full and the community center was filled with people.

Karen McKendrick, of Waynesboro, Pa., said she and her daughter came to the show for "the flowers. Lots of beautiful flowers."

She was holding a box of small potted plants and a hanging plant-filled basket.

Quickly admitting she does not have a green thumb, Susanne Hamilton said she came to the show hoping that might change.

"(I'm) hoping there's a section for the beginners," she joked. "I have a cottage I want to develop and that's why I'm here, to see if I can get some guidance."

After garnering little success in Washington D.C., she said she's hoping to use the expertise of local business owners as she works on the West Virginia cottage.

Along with the feng shui discussion, other seminars today are: "Flowering plants, soil and ceramics" at 10:30 a.m.; "Using gifts of the garden for your health and well-being" at 11:30 a.m.; "The benefit of bees" at 1:30 p.m.; "Gifts from the garden" at 2:30 p.m.; and "IPM (Integrated Pest Management) in the garden - A gift for the environment" at 3:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the show benefit Hagerstown Community College's amphitheater.

if you go ...



WHAT: Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association Flower & Garden Show

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today

WHERE: Athletic, Recreation and Community Center (ARCC), Hagerstown Community College, 11400 Robinwood Drive, east of Hagerstown

COST: $4; children 11 and under get in free

MORE: For more information, go to www.hcc.cc.md.us/news/garden/index.php

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