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Get a taste of spring at Ohio garden shows

Register • Feb 3, 2014 at 9:15 AM

For most gardeners this is the time of year when cabin fever is at its worst. There is little to be done in the yard. Planting is not an option. Weeding is impossible. And looking out the window watching the grass grow is nothing more than a joke.

The weather though, should not be a deterrent to at least planning for the new season. It’s not too early to start thinking about changes in landscape design. Visualizing additions to existing flower beds or constructing new ones is just the beginning of the planning process. Building water features like a waterfall, fountains and ponds into a landscape design, creating walkways, adding a deck or adding onto an existing deck or sprucing up a patio are all possibilities. Experimenting with different types of annuals and perennials to enhance flower beds or even looking into the possibility of adding additional shrubs and trees to the landscape are added pluses for planning.

One of the major issues is how to get started and where to find the necessary information for any type of transformation. On-line research, catalogues and booking open doors to new ideas. Another avenue for research is attending one of numerous home and flower shows. Most shows contract with landscape designers to create gardens within the building and with suppliers to display everything from mulches to plant material to landscape building materials. Many also offer classes on a variety of gardening topics to help ease into the learning and planning process.

In Ohio the show season kicks off with The Great Big Home and Garden Show. It is open from Feb. 8 -16 and, as always will be in the Cleveland IX Center. Ahmed Hassan, a celebrity landscaper and TV host of DIY Network’s Yard Crashers, and Joel Karsten, who offers a unique perspective on straw bale gardening for the vegetable garden are both scheduled to make guest appearances at the show. Pettiti Garden Centers will be offering seminars daily and there are 68 garden, landscape and outdoors exhibitors will be in attendance.

Throughout the state, in cities large and small home and garden shows are standard issue. The larger metropolitan areas of Columbus, Toledo, Cincinnati and Dayton host major events that offer a variety of exhibitors, garden displays and seminars. The number of exhibitors is greater in the larger city shows than those in smaller communities. The show season runs from February through April.

Visiting these shows is a great way to get new ideas for the 2014 season, to learn new garden techniques, to learn new uses for old materials and to see what new products will be on the market this year. It is a way to get out of the house, take a one day or even an overnight road trip. It is easy to locate the shows and the shows’ dates online — just pick a show destination, plug it into the search engine.

For those less adventurous, the annual Great Lakes Home and Flower Show at Kalahari Resort is scheduled for March 14, 15 and 16 this year.

For gardening or Master Gardener information, check us out at erie.osu.edu or call 419-627-7631.

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