Every year Arkansas has it’s Flower and Garden Show in Little Rock as do most other major and a lot of minor cities across the country. Fort Smith will have one coming up in March. We don’t attend these shows because they are targeting consumers instead of industry customers. I have often wondered if we should go to these shows if for no other reason than to support them and to promote the plant business in general.
Since we are not there, here are some updates from Janet Carson who is there and setting up the Extension Service booths.
FEBRUARY 22, 2012
Today was the set up day for the Arkansas Flower & Garden Show for the garden areas. Since Extension has a large space with gardens, we started today. We had two raised bed kits–one I got at Sam’s and one that we ordered for quite a price for our youth gardens. I really liked the value and ease of the Sam’s garden. We had it together in less than 5 minutes and it is made of recycled wood and was only $49. We have set up two raised bed vegetable gardens planted with vegetables, herbs and strawberries. Chris came and got all the backdrops in and it looks quite nice. Tomorrow we will add the rest of our exhibit, including a backyard chicken coop and rain barrel. We unloaded 12 cartons of frozen edamame, 70 pounds of chicken and 231 pounds of tortillas. We will have food demonstrations Friday – Sunday.
The rest of the gardens were busy constructing elaborate displays. Loads of rock, brick and wood were coming in all day. A much anticipated night garden looks pretty amazing. In addition to trucks and hardscapes, there were loads of plants coming in–everything from small perennials and vegetables to huge trees and shrubs. It is going to be another great show. Tomorrow will be bedlam with the addition of 100 garden booths, the flower show and florists setting up. Amazingly, it will all come together by Friday morning. The huge space will be a gardeners wonderland. We open at 10 on Friday.
FEBRUARY 23, 2012
Today was a busy day at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. This was day two of set up for the 2012 Arkansas Flower and Garden Show and it went like clockwork. We got the extension booth set up and it looks great. The gardens started set up yesterday and this morning multiple booths started coming in, followed by the single booths. It really went smoothly, with loads of MG volunteers helping to unload and set up booths. As I was out and about buying plants and arranging for booth items, I was on Kavanaugh in the Heights and saw a garden as I was driving by. I circled around and it was a fabulous urban garden by Little Rock Urban Farming. I have not heard of this, and it is a wonderful garden with row covers to protect from cold–of course, not needed today as it was 81 degrees! They had some of the best looking spinach I have seen, along with loads of lettuce, Swiss chard, carrots and more cool season things. I don’t know who maintains this, nor who reaps the benefits, but will try to find out.
Make sure you have time to come to the Statehouse Convention Center this weekend. The gardens are really well done, along with so many diverse vendors. I got a sneak preview of the night garden and it is really cool. I have already been shopping and bought this fabulous metal gardener with flowers. We have added Myrtle Gardener to our booth and she is borrowing a MG nametag. There are such great plants to choose from, along with so many different garden needs. It is a good thing I can spread out my purchases over three (now four) days! Hope to see you this weekend.