Ramp up for spring with HCC's annual flower and garden show

March 15, 2007|by JULIE E. GREENE

Tri-State-area residents ready to move on from remodeling the home to reshaping their lawn and garden will find several helpful seminars at this weekend's Flower & Garden Show.

Among them is a seminar concerning providing habitat for wildlife, mostly birds, butterflies, fish and frogs.

For the golf enthusiast, there will be a model of a putting green that can be installed in the yard for fun and practice.

Both are part of the 13th annual Flower & Garden Show at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center east of Hagerstown. The show is sponsored by HCC Alumni Association to benefit the HCC Alumni Amphitheater.

Last year the show attracted nearly 6,000 visits, not counting children who got in free, said Lisa Stewart, alumni coordinator

The vendor space is full with about 90 vendors, several with large displays, Stewart said.

New vendors include Warner's Curb Appeal and Lovell's Nursery of the Hagerstown area, Family Tree Re-wholesale Nursery of Garis Shop Road, and Celestial Gardens Inc., a Brandywine, Md., business that sells bonsai trees and unique plants.


The HCC Garden Club will be recruiting members to help beautify the campus' gardens, Stewart said. There will be a homemade quilt raffle, a raffle to win 40 hours of lawn work from the show's committee and a restaurant raffle in which a name will be drawn each night in May to win a gift certificate to a Tri-State-area restaurant. Each raffle benefits the amphitheater, and the restaurant raffle also will raise money for the alumni association's scholarship fund for children of HCC graduates.

The show will have food vendors and gardening activities for children.

Twelve seminars and demonstrations are scheduled for the weekend, including one on habitat landscaping on Sunday afternoon by Franklin County, Pa., master gardener Linda Secrist.

While most gardeners prefer deer stay away from their garden, especially their vegetable garden, Secrist will provide some tips on how to attract desirable wildlife.

Different butterfly species prefer different plants on which they lay their eggs and provide food for the larval stage, Secrist said. Monarch butterflies prefer plants in the milkweed family, whereas swallowtail butterflies like dill, parsley and carrots.

Black-eyed Susans, sunflowers and cone flowers will attract birds, such as purple or gold finches, that eat seeds, Secrist said. Another way to attract these birds is to let ornamental grasses go to seed.

Secrist recommends ornamental crabapples or raspberry plants to attract orioles and robins, which eat worms and fruit. Hang baskets of fuchsia or bee balm to attract hummingbirds because they sip nectar from tubular flowers.

Installing a pond or water feature allows gardeners to bring in fish and tadpoles. If there are frogs that live nearby, they will find your water feature on their own, she said.

Annette Ipsan, University of Maryland Cooperative Extension educator for horticulture in Washington County, will give a seminar Saturday afternoon about xeriscaping. Xeriscaping, or gardening with less water, has become more popular nationally as more of the country experiences long dry spells, Ipsan said.

For people who take their golf seriously or for families looking to add some fun to their landscape, Austin Gisriel will give a seminar about installing a golf green in your yard.

Gisriel, who used to teach English at North Hagerstown and Smithsburg high schools, started a landscaping business in 2000. Last year he received training from ProGreen on how to install the turf and now his business, Castles in the Air Custom Gardens in Williamsport, is selling golf green installations.

The cost depends on the landscaping work required, the type of turf and decorative features, Gisriel said. A basic golf green installation would cost about $10 per square foot. Putting and chipping greens are available.

Gisriel will have a putting green for visitors to try during his 10:30 a.m. demonstration on Saturday. Visitors can bring their own putter or use one of Gisriel's.

If you go ...

WHAT: Flower & Garden Show, sponsored by Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association to benefit the HCC Alumni Amphitheater. This year's theme focuses on flowers and veggies and gifts.

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 17, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 18

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

COST: $4; free for children 11 and younger.

MORE: For more information, go to or call 301-790-2800, ext. 346.

Seminar and demonstration schedule

Saturday, March 17

9:30 a.m. - "Seasonal Topics in Tree and Shrub Care" by Dan Yates, Bartlett Tree Experts

10:30 a.m. - "Installing a Back Yard Golf Green" by Austin Gisriel, Castles in the Air Custom Gardens

11:30 a.m. - "Container Gardening for Everyone" by Elsie Rodriguez, Lovell's Nursery

12:30 p.m. - "Gardening with Native Plants in the New National Garden" by Christine Flanagan, U.S. Botanic Garden

1:30 p.m. - "Xeriscaping: Water-wise Gardening" by Annette Ipsan, University of Maryland Cooperative Extension educator for horticulture in Washington County

2:30 p.m. - "Arranging Fresh Flowers" by Troy Gifft, T.G. Designs

3:30 p.m. - "Sharpening Your Garden Tools" by Tom Law, retired carpenter

Sunday, March 18

11:30 a.m. - "The Lemon Herbs" by Madeline Wajda, Willow Pond Farm

12:30 p.m. - "Habitat Landscaping" by Linda Secrist, Franklin County, Pa., master gardener

1:30 p.m. - "Preserving the Gifts of the Garden" by Lynn Little, University of Maryland Cooperative Extension educator for family and consumer science in Washington County

2:30 p.m. - "How to Design Your Landscape" by Laurie Waltz, Ott's Horticulture Center

3:30 p.m. - "Floral Class Under Glass" by Denny Warrenfeltz, Roostervane Gardens

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