By Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont
Vermont's largest horticultural event, the Vermont Flower Show, has been recognized by the state Chamber of Commerce as one of Vermont's top ten winter events. It is sponsored by the Vermont Association of Professional Horticulturists and will again be held at the Sheraton Conference Center in S. Burlington. Show dates are March 3, 4, and 5.
It attracts upwards of 10,000 people each year. While it may not have the size of the "big city" shows, it has every bit the quality and is much more manageable to attend. You also get that "Vermont" feel and hospitality.
Some of the highlights are educational sessions, exhibitors--both commercial and non-profit, flower designs, activities for children, and, of course, the central display based on a theme. This year's theme is "Celebrating the Green," the beautiful town greens of Vermont and New England. It will feature a "natural" rock ledge with stream and pond, beds of flowers and tulips, woodland, gazebo and green, and the popular garden railways of the Vermont Garden Railway Society.
Of particular interest are the 40 concurrent seminars, offered on the three days. A range of gardening topics will be covered with something for every gardener. There are talks on specific plants like trees, perennials, hardy roses, vines, ornamental grasses, and hardy azaleas, as well as talks on topics of local interest like winter gardening under covers, perennials for all seasons, and growing native wildflowers.
Several talks will focus on landscaping, including hands-on workshops to design overall home landscapes and individual flower gardens, where you actually design with graph paper! Many speakers hail from the University of Vermont and the Vermont horticultural industry. Local garden writers, whose names you'll surely know, also will give talks.
This year one entire track of talks on Friday is devoted to the show's
theme. It will feature speakers from Vermont and Massachusetts, including
many landscape designers. Issues addressed will be urban planning, community
involvement, green spaces in towns and along roads, and urban sprawl. The
chief historical interpreter of the Frederick Law Olmstead
national historic site in Brookline, Mass., will present an overview of this famous landscape architect's legacy for public landscapes.
As with most things in life now, there is a Website where you can keep up with the happenings of this show, view last year's photos (Wizard of Oz theme), and check the actual schedule and times for speakers and descriptions of their talks, long before the printed program appears. Check it out at <http://pss.uvm.edu/vfs/vfs.html>