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Gardening and More: Celebrate spring at Plantasia this weekend

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? — With gardens covering 15,000 square feet, it will feel like spring at Plantasia. The event takes place from Wednesday-Sunday, March 19-23 at the Fairgrounds Event Center and Expo Hall in Hamburg. Photo courtesy of Plantasia.
HAMBURG —Spring comes to The Fairgrounds on March 20. I say that to reassure all you folks who think spring will never get here, this year.

And even if spring hasn’t arrived in your garden, you can enjoy a springlike atmosphere at Plantasia, the garden and landscape show that bills itself as the official sponsor of spring.

The event is being held in the Fairgrounds Event Center and Expo Hall, 5820 South Park Ave., Hamburg.

Plantasia continues 10 a.m. -9 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, March 20-22, and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday, March 23. Tickets on those days are $9 for adults (save $1 with the coupon at, $6 for senior citizens ages 60 and over (no other discounts apply) and free for children 12 and younger.

There will be free education seminars every day. I’ll be giving a talk at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 20 called “45 More Gardening Tips in 45 Minutes.” I’ve found 45 new tips, and I’ll follow the same format I used last year, scrambling to offer one tip per minute. It’s fun just to see whether I can beat the clock!

For the kids, be sure to check out the Aurora Waldorf School Children’s Discovery Garden, with an activity center, play areas and educational events. The Easter Bunny may make a guest appearance, too.

Special events include nightly entertainment, live broadcasts, a balloon artist and more.

Of course, the big draw is seeing the theme gardens and visiting the vendors. The theme gardens are fully landscaped and cover 15,000 square feet with blooming trees, shrubs, flowers, water gardens, patios and more, in a breathtaking spring display. You’re probably itching to buy something for your own garden and the vendors will offer a wide selection of plants, garden equipment, tools and unique ornaments.

You can learn a lot at Plantasia. Here’s the speaker schedule:

Thursday, March 20

11 a.m.: Lawn Care for the Homeowner, Jim Baldwin, Andre & Son Inc.

1 p.m.: Landscape Design with an Oriental Twist, Matt Smith, CNLP, Serene Gardens

2 p.m.: 45 More Gardening Tips in 45 minutes, Connie Oswald Stofko, Publisher of Buffalo Niagara

3 p.m.: Native Plants, Lynn Chimera, Lessons from Nature

3 p.m.: Enjoying the flowers from your garden, Maggie Wittmer, Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses (Small Conference Room)

4 p.m.: Raised Beds & Container Gardening, Joe Manual, Master Gardener

5 p.m.: Your Garden is Waking Up. Are You Ready?, Dan Robillard, McKinley High School Horticulture Department

Friday, March 21

11 a.m.: The Wonderful World of Grass and Lawns, J. Tim Vanini, Ph.D., New Dimensions Turf

Noon: Foraging for Wild Foods & Medicines, Sanford Geffne, director of Earth Educational Services, Inc.

1 p.m.: Pruning, Lynn Chimera, Lessons from Nature

2 p.m.: Using Reclaimed Materials in Hardscape Projects, Scott Smith, Experienced Bricks Inc.

3 p.m.: Gardens of the Garden Walk, Jim Charlier, JCharlier Communication Design

4 p.m.: Party with Flowers, Dorothy Julius, Along Garden’s Path

Saturday, March 22

11 a.m.: Little Hostas, Mike & Kathy Shadrack, horticulture speakers & authors

Noon: Beyond the Burning Bush: Invasive Plants, Regulations & Your Landscape, and Great Alternatives, Sally Cunningham, CNLP, Author, Lockwoods’s Greenhouse

1 p.m.: Things Gardeners Should Know But Don’t, Ken Brown, Field of Dreams

2 p.m.: Green Vertical Living Walls, Kathy O’Donnell, Botanicus Inc.

2 p.m.: Ten Top Flower Picks, Nellie Gardener, horticulturist at Martin House Restoration Corp. (Small Conference Room)

2:30 p.m.: Question and Answer Time with Ken Brown and Sally Cunningham – Common Area (Middle of Event Center Building)

3 p.m.: Fairy Gardens, Dan Meyer, Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses

4 p.m.: Tips for Happy House Plants, Dave Clark, horticulture speaker; instructor at Buffalo Erie County Botanical Gardens

Sunday, March 23

10 a.m.: Fruit Trees and Berries for the Home Gardener, Tom Mitchell, horticulture instructor NCCC; Mitchell Landscaping

11 a.m.: How House Plants Work, Propagation, Dave Clark - Horticulture Speaker; Instructor at Buffalo Erie County Botanical Gardens

Noon: Organic Gardening/Companion Gardening/Beneficial Insects, Sally Cunningham, CNLP, Author; Lockwoods’s Greenhouse

1 p.m.: Native Plants - Ken Parker, CNLP, project manager for Food is Our Medicine

2 p.m.: Apps, Great Gardening Facebook Pages and Web Sites, Carolyn Stanko, CNLP, Horticulture Instructor at Niagara County Community College

2 p.m.: Pruning Trees and Shrubs, Glen Gentzke, Western NY Tree Services Inc. (Small Conference Room)

3 p.m.: Green Vertical Living Walls, Kathy O’Donnell, Botanicus Inc.

If you can’t wait for spring, get a preview at Plantasia.

Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email

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