2011 Rhode Island Spring Flower & Garden Show

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I’ve only been to a few flower shows over the years, but I have to say that this show offered a satisfying balance of exhibits and events. The theme of the show was “Gardening with Heart” and was presented in partnership with the American Heart Association. Each garden was designed to invoke the memory of a romantic movie, song, or novel. The landscaped garden exhibits showed great creativity ranging from a “farm” complete with rabbits, goats, and chickens (not sure of the romantic link here) to an Alice in Wonderland fantasy display. The plants at all the exhibits were so perfect they almost didn’t look real. But after this long winter it’s refreshing to see flowering plants again.

I went on the first day of the show, Thursday, February 24th, and attended two demonstrations.  The first was given by a mother and daughter – Doreen and Shelley Pezza – from the Pezza Farm.








They were quite comical together and offered useful advice for putting together container plantings. They stressed using good soil. I’ve found this to be so true. Container plants grow much better in a light, fluffy soil that contains perlite, vermiculite, and sphagnum peat moss, and gets regular feedings of fertilizer. One nifty tip they offered to prevent soil from escaping from the hole at the bottom of a pot is to cover the hole with a coffee filter. (Website: http://www.PezzaFarm.com)

Henry Homeyer was the speaker for the other demonstration I attended. Henry is an author of several gardening books and writes a weekly gardening column that appears in many newspapers in the Northeast. He offered a very entertaining and informative hour on growing and storing vegetables. He likes to freeze vegetables for the winter as well as use a dehydrator for foods such as tomatoes and apples. If you have an extra refrigerator, he says that is really the best way to store root vegetables, such as carrots and rutabagas. Like me, Henry loves rutabagas – an often overlooked vegetable that is sweeter and heartier tasting than turnips. He also encourages people to grow kale which is not only one of the most nutritious green vegetables, but will often grow into the winter and can be harvested throughout a season. (Website: http://www.gardening-guy.com)

I thoroughly enjoyed this show. The Rhode Island Convention Center is a modern, nicely laid out facility with comfortable seating areas as well as small cafes.

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