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Check out spring gardening shows

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Jessica says: It’s been a ridiculously frosty winter here in Pennsylvania – we’ve had single digit temperatures for more days than I care to count. At this rate, it will be May before I can get back into my garden. Like many gardeners, I’ve discovered that one of the best ways to whittle away the winter blues is to head to your local home and garden show. Here in Pittsburgh, our annual Home Show is held at the nation’s only Gold Level LEED-Certified convention center. I’m looking forward to spending some time checking out the latest in garden gear and plants. I’ll also have the opportunity to cross the state for a visit to the Philadelphia Flower Show in a few weeks. This world-class event showcases some of the most creative and visually stunning displays in the gardening world. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to speak there on Sunday, March 9th at 11:00am. Don’t worry – I plan to take plenty of pictures!

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A pic from the Philadelphia Flower Show by Jessica Walliser

Amy says: I’m itching for a taste of spring, and I know just where I can find it – local garden shows. One of my favorites is the Macy’s Flower Show downtown Minneapolis. The theme this year is The Secret Garden, how fun does that sound? The show runs March 23 – April 6 and it’s free (my favorite word!). They always put on a spectacular display of flowers, and it smells great too. Macy’s is hosting a Cherry Blossom Show this year as well, which runs March 30 – April 13. That’s sure to smell like spring. I also can’t wait to spend the day checking out amazing landscaping ideas presented by local companies at the Home and Garden Show. This year it’s Feb. 26 – Mar. 2 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. I always leave that show with lots of ideas.

Niki says: Like most gardeners, by the time February rolls around, I am super amped for spring. There is so much potential for the upcoming season and I start to run away with my slightly ambitious planning – garden expansion! Seed starting! New edibles! Deer-free harvests! For me, one of the best places to find inspiration and discover the new trends and products is at garden shows like Canada Blooms. I recently headed to Seattle for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, which will be followed by Canada Blooms in Toronto in mid-March. While at each event, I offer several seminars and book signings, but I also spend time connecting with gardeners as well as garden writers and professionals to find out what they’re excited about for 2104. Plus, most shows offer some sort of a marketplace where there is a tempting selection of garden merchandise, seeds and more! I wonder if I should bring an extra suitcase – just in case!!

Tara and Niki with fellow garden writer Liz Primeau at Canada Blooms 2013

Tara and Niki with fellow garden writer Liz Primeau at Canada Blooms 2013

Tara says: After this crazy winter we’ve had here in Southern Ontario, spring can’t come soon enough. One thing that makes these last few weeks bearable is heading to local spring gardening shows. Big or small, these events are a great way to find inspiration, buy plants and seeds, and connect with other gardeners. On a freezing day in early February, my husband and I headed to Niagara Seedy Saturday in St. Catharines, where we grabbed a bunch of seeds and sat in on a composting seminar. This past weekend, we went to the Toronto Botanical Garden’s annual “Get The Jump on Spring” event where we learned about beekeeping and bought some farmer’s market goodies to bring home. The next big show I’ll be heading to is Canada Blooms. I’ve volunteered to help build one of the feature gardens, so I’m excited to see how things go together behind the scenes. Check your local papers to see what’s going on in your area. Even if it’s a small local garden talk, it can really help you figure out elements of your own garden and inspire you to try something new!

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