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Gardeners get inspiration at 17th annual Flower & Garden Show

March 12, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com
  • Phyllis and Donn Stoner of Greencastle, Pa., look over an assortment of Asian Bonsai trees during the 17th annual Flower & Garden Show held at Hagerstown Community College.
By Chris Tilley, Staff Photographer

Unable to dig the soggy earth Saturday, thousands in Hagerstown chose instead to cultivate ideas for spring planting.

The HCC Alumni Association opened its 17th annual Flower & Garden Show at 9 a.m. in the Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

"I come here every year for ideas for my garden," said Sarah Ickes of Hagerstown. "Snow, rain, cold or beautiful weather like today, I am here."

Eighty-three vendors offered everything from fresh plants, crafts and honey to art, garden decor, landscaping services, tools and machinery to inspire budding and mature green thumbs.

Chairman John Benchoff said the garden-oriented trade show would likely draw 5,000 people for the weekend.

By 4 p.m. Saturday, about 2,400 people had attended, he said.

The show is a fundraiser for the HCC Alumni Association, which among its functions, provides scholarships to students and supports college projects, Benchoff said.

Most of the funds raised this weekend come from a $4 admission fee, he said, but vendors also pay a fee to display.

"This might not be the biggest of shows, but it is excellent," said Gay Iapalucci, owner of Bedford, Pa.-based Leaf Me Alone.

"I am learning a lot being at this trade show," said Steve Frame, an instructor at Washington County Technical High School. "You can't put a value on getting your name out there at something like this."

Frame worked at a booth selling the plants grown by students in the high school's greenhouse.

All of the money made from selling the plants goes back into the program, he said.

Frame and Iapalucci said they were having great sales Saturday.

New to the show this year, Iapalucci said she and her husband, Elmer Snyder, brought a couple hundred of their handmade, concrete leaves with them.

"I know we've sold more than half," she said.

Spring might still be around the corner but it is always a time of new beginnings, Ickes said.

And coming to the flower show is a reminder to Ickes of one of the greatest beginnings in her life, she said.

Exactly 11 years ago, she came and walked the flower show to pass time while in active labor, she said.

The next day, her son, Judah, was born.

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Since then, she has not missed a flower show, she said.


If you go

What: 17th Annual Flower & Garden Show

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

Where: Hagerstown Community College Athletic, Recreation and Community Center

Info: Admission costs $4 for ages 13 and older. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Proceeds benefit the Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association. 

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