It’s that time of year. Home and garden shows are popping up all over. You lucky ducks that live in the warmer climates have probably been going to them since mid-January, but those of us in the north have just passed our final frost date.
Home and garden shows are not just for gardeners. I went to many shows when my green thumb was still black. Not only can you get some great ideas on how to landscape, they offer ideas for in the home as well. I use to allow myself to get one houseplant each year. If it survived until the show the following year, I’d get another. I have maybe a dozen houseplants now. Not exactly thriving, but surviving.
Home and garden shows are also a great place to get “other stuff” including yard art and garden decor, tools and supplies, gardening accessories (like my super cute new shoes) and mostly free samples. I love free samples. I met these great guys named “The Poo Guys” who hooked me up with a few samples of manure tea. This tea touts poo from your average farm creature to the more exotic moose and elk.
Here are some tips to assure success at your next Home & Garden Show:
Bring a list of things you’d like to get, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it.
I planned on getting the last produce items for my garden, but no one was selling seeds, bulbs or crowns. Instead, I ended up getting some ornamental flowers for my containers. And the shoes… don’t forget the shoes.
Don’t forget the sunblock.
Even if it looks like a dreary day, the sun may pop out and you’ll be stuck looking like a lobster. Ask me how I know…
You’ll want a wagon.
Many vendors at smaller shows will hold your plants while you continue to wander around. Larger shows don’t always offer this service. Either way, eventually you will have to get your goods back to the car. You don’t want to be juggling six tomato plants, a goose lawn ornament with holiday accessories, and a 50′ hose all the way to your vehicle.
There is a lot of walking at these shows and if you’re like me, you’ll do several laps looking for that vendor that had the really cute frog pot hanger.
I hate paying more when I could have gotten it for less. Many times I have bought something in the first row of vendors only to realize that I could have gotten it for less three rows down. The only exception to this rule would be if they have very few of something you wanted. If you have your heart set on getting a lavender colored snapdragon and they only have four, buy it now!
The “fair style” food isn’t bad. Where else could you get fried mac ‘n cheese? But it’s the vendor booths that have the goodies. I am almost ashamed to admit how much I ate, but here goes: Every jam, jelly and preserve sample they offered, dips galore, homemade chocolates and fudge, as well as a cupcake I brought home that was the size of a softball. Being the sweetheart that I am, I brought home dessert plate sized cookies for the kiddos.
I did avoid the Bavarian Chocolate Haus that was offering eclairs the size of my forearm. I figured no good could come to hips with an eclair that size.
If you get plants, be sure to water heavily when you get them home.
Many of these vendors are set up right in the open sun and they don’t get to water as much as the plants require. The plants are going to want a good drink when you get them home.
Do you have any tips for success at the home and garden show? I’d love to hear them!