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Flower & Garden Show cure for cabin fever

March 14, 2009|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

HAGERSTOWN -- It was an enthusiastic adieu to winter.

By early Saturday afternoon, more than 2,200 people already had crowded the Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association's 15th annual Flower & Garden Show, browsing information booths and buying up seedlings for spring planting.

Lisa Stewart, coordinator of alumni relations and annual giving, said people look forward to the event each year as a sure sign of spring.

"The Flower and Garden Show hits a chord with people," Stewart said. "People start getting the smell of spring in the air and they are excited to come out to get ideas and pick up tools and seeds and mulch. They start thinking about, 'How do I want my yard to look this spring?'"

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Stewart said the alumni association sold out of vendor space in the Athletic, Recreation and Community Center, with 93 exhibitors peddling wares from locally grown flowers and vegetables to rain barrels and outdoor spas. Seminar presenters and demonstrators spoke to intent groups of 60 or more people on topics such as backyard vineyards and salad box building.

Beth Bryant of Waynesboro, Pa., said she never had been to the show before. Her friend, Nancy Carson of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., goes every year and invited Bryant along.

"I like to go just to get out in the spring. I had cabin fever and I'm ready to be out," said Carson, who picked up some corkscrew willow and moisture beads for plants.

Bryant bought jewelry, honey and some raw goat milk cheese from Caprikorn Farms in Gapland.

"There is a lot of variety here," she said. "And I'm happy to support local people."

Mark Teunis, 47, of Hagerstown, said he attends the show each year "to see what's new." This year, he picked up a bonsai tree and planned to order mulch.

Nathan Schultheiss, 29, and Gina Schultheiss, 27, of Hagerstown, checked out rain barrels from the Scott Key Center in Frederick, Md. The couple said they would like to collect rain to water their many flowers.

"(A rain barrel) would be nice to have so you wouldn't have a high water bill," Nathan Schultheiss said. "You use a lot of water for a garden."

Gina Schultheiss said they were excited to see rain barrels at the show, as they have not been able to find them at most stores.

"It was good to find a place where we could look at them in person," she said.

Gwen Grimm, 47, of Hagerstown, went to the show with her parents, Lee and Lorene Gillespie, also of Hagerstown. Lee and Lorene spoke at length with a mason about the possibility of adding a patio to their home.

John Benchoff, co-chairman of the show, said he expected about 5,000 people to attend this weekend's show.

"Today is the perfect day. It's nice enough that people would come out for the show, but they might not work outside," he said. "I'm hoping (today) is the same kind of day."

Stewart said she expected the event to raise about $40,000, which would be used to benefit college projects.

If you go



What: Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association's 15th annual Flower and Garden Show

When: Today, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center

Cost: $4; free for ages 11 and younger

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