By Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont
"The Splendor of Oz" will be the theme for this year's Vermont Flower Show, to be held once again at the Sheraton Conference Center in S. Burlington. The dates are March 5-7. Based on the film "The Wizard of Oz," which is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity, you'll be able to follow a yellow brick road of daffodils through a number of different garden scenes in the central display area on the ground floor of the Sheraton.
Starting in the black and white Kansas scene, as in the original movie, you'll enter into the realm of color, passing under a rainbow of flowers to enter Munchkin Land. The Vermont Garden Railway Society will be there, operating G scale trains as in past years. You'll then continue on through the cornfield, orchard, woodland, and field of poppies to reach the floriferous and unique Land of Oz.
The show also will feature several vendors selling plants, books, and other garden-related items. Non-profit organizations, such as the University of Vermont Extension Master Gardeners, will be on hand to help answer your landscape and gardening questions. The professional florists' competition will include entries that may serve as a source of inspiration for your own flower arranging efforts. Children's activities will be offered throughout the show, featuring many hands-on activities and storytelling sessions.
The educational program will consist of two concurrent sessions over the three days, for a total of 40 presentations. These will cover many diverse topics from the basics of starting seeds, photographing flowers, and landscaping with specific plants such as summer bulbs and hardy azaleas, to the more esoteric winter gardening and gardening with tropical plants outdoors!
Our special guest speaker this year is Jennifer Brennan from Chicago's premier garden center, Chalet Gardens. Jennifer is also the ABC-TV garden correspondent for Chicago, and previously was in charge of more than 200 volunteers who answered questions for the public at the Chicago Botanic Garden. One of Jennifer's topics will be "Success with Roses in the North."
Admission for all these presentations, children's activities, exhibits, and more is $8 per day, $12 per weekend for adults. Seniors pay $6 per day, $10 for the whole weekend. Children under 5 are free. Admission is $2 for ages 5 to 14.
For more information and the full schedule of events, visit the flower show web site at http://pss.uvm.edu/vfs/vfs.html. Or tune into "Across the Fence," the UVM Extension and Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station's daily farm and home show, on March 2. The program airs at 12:10 p.m. on WCAX-TV.
In addition, program inserts and ads will appear in many local newspapers in northern Vermont closer to the date. Additional information is available by calling 802-865-5979.
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