We geeks often think first of Maker Faires or pop culture conventions as fun for our families. But thinking outside the box can offer some fascinating experiences.
Like the 34th Annual Connecticut Flower and Garden Show.
One of my daughters has been interested in gardening from a young age but, somehow, going to a flower and garden show never registered on my radar. That’s about to be remedied next weekend as I plan to take both my twins to the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show, which is taking place in the same conference center that also hosts our favorite geek event, Connecticon.
What’s of interest to them?
- Eighteen gardens that fill over an acre, all created by professional landscape designers and nonprofit organizations, and include naturalistic, low maintenance, native, and organic gardens.
- Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s 2015 Advanced Standard Flower Show: more than 12,000-square feet of design and horticulture competition and more than 250 judged entries, all with a “Ports of Call” theme.
- Seed planting for children.
- Over 80 hours of seminars. Of course, the twins won’t sit for all the seminars but my daughter already picked out one she’d like to attend: Peter Picone ~ Saturday 11 AM: A lifetime Connecticut native has been working as a wildlife biologist for over 25 years and will share his insights on creating seasonal habitats for songbirds using native plants. Have you ever wondered where the Northern Cardinal or the Downy Woodpecker rests at night? What does the American Goldfinch really eat in the wild: Does it only eat thistle from a feeder? What do songbirds like the Scarlet Tanager or Wood Thrush feed on in the fall when the frost hits and there are no more insects to eat? What variety of foods does the Wild Turkey feed on in your neighborhood? Is the Wild Turkey dependent on food from your feeder? In the dead of the winter, what do our resident songbirds feed on? What plants provide winter food sources at a time of food scarcity? What kinds of trees do Mourning Doves select for nesting in early spring? When you choose a plant for your property are you considering its “ecological function” and how it enhances wildlife habitat?
And that’s not even mentioning over 300 exhibitor booths filled with displays, activities, artisans, and handcrafted gifts, and aisles of fresh flowers, plants, garden ornaments, herbs, bulbs, seeds, fertilizers, soils, gardening books, patio furniture, ornaments, and lawn equipment for purchase.
I could bring a 1/2 cup of soil to the University of Connecticut booth for free soil testing but considering all my soil is hidden under three feet of snow at the moment, I’ll have to forgo that.
Is there a similar show in your area, especially one that might bring a little summer if you’re being as hard hit by winter as we are in the Northeast? Check out the National Garden Clubs website to find a local garden club in your area.