University of Vermont Extension 
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Winter News Article


By Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont

"A Secret Garden" will be the theme for this year's Vermont Flower Show, to be held once again at the Sheraton Conference Center in S. Burlington and sponsored by the Vermont Association of Professional Horticulturists. The dates are March 2 to 4.

Based on the children's book of the same name, which is written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and illustrated by Vermont's own Tasha Tudor, the show will feature original artwork with a poster designed just for our show by Tudor. Posters (including autographed ones) and other books, art, and products by this famous artist can be purchased at the show.

Admission 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.

Following the themes in the book, you'll enter the lobby of the desolate house on the Yorkshire moors. Going outside the house (into the exhibition hall) you'll walk through the seasons depicted in the book--the flowering heathers of the moors, a wooded grove, more formal beds, spring bulbs, and then the summer garden. You'll walk around the huge walled secret garden featuring one big floral design and be able to peek in through many "peepholes" in the wall, and the gate, but not enter. As you may know from the book, the garden is locked to all but a small girl and her friends.

The Vermont Garden Railway Society will be back, running their large G-scale trains through the moors. 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, including many hands-on activities and storytelling sessions.

The educational program will consist of two concurrent sessions over the three days, for a total of 36 presentations. These will cover many diverse topics from roses (a key part of The Secret Garden), gardens of various countries, and landscaping ideas (including some using specific plants such as bulbs and hardy azaleas) to trends such as water gardens and landscape lighting.

Our special guest speaker this year is Robert Hermann, an international consultant who has brought new perennials to this country from all over the world. Trained in the United States and Europe, where he worked for many years, Hermann most recently has been in charge of trials and horticulture at the famous White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Conn.

He'll showcase garden ideas and trends from Europe that we can use in American gardens, as well as some of the many perennials both old and new in our gardens. He'll also provide a bit of history on how they got here, and the people behind them.

For more information and the full schedule of events, visit the flower show Website at <>. There you'll find photos, even slide shows and video clips, from previous years. Any changes in the printed program also will be posted there just prior to the show.

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.

Or tune into "Across the Fence," the UVM Extension and Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station's daily farm, home, and community show, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, for a preview of the show. The program airs at 12:10 p.m. on WCAX-TV.

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