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Flower and Garden Show brings a taste of spring

March 18, 2007|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - With snow piled up outside, Tri-State area residents eager for spring visited the 13th annual Flower and Garden Show Saturday at Hagerstown Community College.

Inside the Athletic, Recreation and Community Center, fountains and flower-adorned trellises sprung up, giving visitors a preview of spring, which officially begins Tuesday.

"I've been longing to get out into the garden, I'm looking forward to spring," said Claire Panek of Inwood, W.Va.

Panek had never been to the garden show, and was interested in landscaping ideas this year because she is redesigning her yard, she said.

By 2 p.m., 1,524 people visited the garden show, said John Benchoff, the show's chairman. "It's not nearly as many people as normal," he said.

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Proceeds from the event pay off what the HCC Alumni Association owes after building the HCC Alumni Amphitheater.

Every year, several concerts are held at the amphitheater, Benchoff said.

The annual Red, White and Blue Concert Series features military bands and is free and open to the public at the amphitheater.

Gene and Joyce Perticone, of Greencastle, Pa., traveled to the garden show because they wanted to get out of the house after being snowed in and Gene enjoys gardening.

"He's getting antsy to start his garden," Joyce Perticone said.

Saturday was the couple's first trip to the annual event.

"It does make you want to go out and buy flowers," Joyce Perticone said. On Saturday, she bought artificial flowers for her house and outdoor ornaments for their garden, she said.

Gina Keefer, of Quincy, Pa., attends the garden show every year.

"I usually go to the big shows, and this is one of the best," she said.

Some unusual products were available Saturday.

Smithsburg High School students were hard at work selling worm poop. Terracycle is an organic plant food produced by worms, explained Atlee Baker, 17, a member of the school's Environmental Club. Club members planned to use proceeds from their fundraiser to plant trees on school grounds in April, Baker said. The club may also start a project working with the Maryland Department of Agriculture to plant trees throughout Smithsburg, he said.

Barbara Steele of Alloway Creek Gardens and Herbs Farm in Littlestown, Pa., offered a variety of herbs, including a chocolate peppermint plant that tastes like a peppermint-chocolate candy and is used in desserts, she said.

The garden show usually raises about $40,000 for the alumni association, organizers said.




If you go



What: Flower and Garden Show

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

Where: The Athletic, Recreation and Community Center at Hagerstown Community College.

Admission: $4; free for ages younger than 12.

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