Garden and flower show an annual spring fling

'It's going to be like clapping for Tinker Bell'
A garden design at last year's event at HVCC.
A garden design at last year's event at HVCC.

Tovah Martin loves the way spring unfolds – nice and slow.

“It layers much more so than any other season, I think,” Martin said. “You can really kind of practice plugging in your senses. It starts with just a little sheen of green on the trees and you just notice it slightly unfolding.”

Martin will talk about greens, trees and one of her favorite seasons this weekend, at the 31st annual Capital District Garden & Flower Show. The garden party at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy begins Friday and runs through Sunday.

Gardening author Martin, whose latest book “The Garden in Every Sense and Season” will hit bookstores this April, will speak at two seminars on Sunday. The first, “Boot Camp for Your Senses,” will take place at noon; the second, “Gardening As If the World Depends on Us,” will be held at 2 p.m.

The weekend will feature full-scale garden exhibits, floral competitions, a marketplace and tastings from New York State wineries.

“The foundation of the show is always the same,” said show organizer Pennie Gonzalez. “We have a lot of new exhibits. There are displays that are over the top this year.”

This weekends sights and sounds will include:

* Colorful arrays of fragrant flowers.

* Trickling water from waterfalls and ponds.

* Plants, bulbs, flowers and seeds available for sale.

* Soil testing by Cornell Cooperative Extension (minimum donation $1).

* A garden cafe featuring soups, salads, sandwiches and coffee.

* Lectures, workshops and live cooking and flower demonstrations.

Lectures will include dealing with landscaping contractors, urban wildlife management, herbal tea from garden plants, the art and science of saving seeds, problems with trees and shrubs and designing a glorious garden. A complete list is available at the garden show web site,

Martin believes spring is a season for the senses.

“Your nose comes into play with the tarts of spring,” she said, describing the first flowers and fragrances of the season. “As for the sounds, there are the birds we attract with our gardens.”

Gardening – and the world – will be another subject for discussion.

“As gardeners, we can really change the world,” Martin said, during a telephone interview from her Connecticut home. “We can do so much to help the world by growing flowers.”

That’s because people are not the only ones who appreciate flowers.

“Your garden can become a cafeteria for butterflies, for pollinators of all sorts,” Martin said. “You don’t need a whole lot of land and every single individual can do it.”

During the “world” lecture, Martin will also talk about clover. If people have the low-growing plants in their lawns, she said, they should not try to eliminate them. Clover can be an asset.

“It keeps all kinds of critters busy,” Martin said. “I use it to keep bunnies out of my garden. They go to my lawn and stay away from my garden.”

Martin is always trying to interest and initiate people into the gardening lifestyle. Simple flowers like marigolds and geraniums will provide color all summer. And it’s easy to get started.

“You can buy plants, you can buy seeds,” Martin said. “All it takes is opening your eyes and then you’re converted.”

While parts of the Northeast received snow this week, Martin is through with winter. She will not let winter back into her life, even if chilly temperatures show up at Hudson Valley Community College this weekend.

“I don’t care what’s going on outside,” Martin said. “We are going to do spring. We’re going to start experiencing spring. It’s going to be like clapping for Tinker Bell.”

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]

The 31st Annual Capital District Garden & Flower Show

WHEN: Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

WHERE: Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy

HOW MUCH: General admission, advance, $12. Tickets on site $14. Two-day pass, $20; three-day pass $30. Partial proceeds from each ticket sold will benefit Wildwood Programs.


Categories: Life and Arts

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