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Vermont Garden Journal: It's Time For The Vermont Flower Show

Indoor flower shows continue to be popular in America ever since the first one was held in Philadelphia in 1829. Vermont's annual flower show will take place at The Champlain Valley Expo March 1 through 3.

It's become a biennial tradition in Vermont. In March, just when the cold, snow, ice and cloudy weather seems to never end, the Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association puts on the Vermont Flower Show. What a relief!

The 10,000-square-foot display features bulbs, flowers, trees and shrubs all forced into bloom by local nurseries. Rock walls, waterfalls, fountains, lights and buildings all add to the wonder, making this truly a garden for all ages.

Flower shows are a unique American experience. The first indoor flower show was held in Philadelphia in 1829 and the poinsettia was the new featured flower. The Philadelphia Flower Show continues to this day and remains the largest in the country. What originally started as a flower competition the public could view, has turned into a multi-media experience for many shows.

As the popularity of gardening has increased so have the size of some shows. Vermont's show used to be held in the Sheraton Hotel, but now requires the roomier Champlain Valley Expo grounds in Essex Junction. While the smell, and sight of flowers and mulch is a sight for sore eyes, there are also seminars, activities for kids and flower competitions.

The Vermont Flower Show runs Friday, March 1st through Sunday, March 3rd. I'll be speaking on Friday, so stop by to learn something about container gardening and enjoy the beauty of a Vermont winter indoors.

Now for this week's tip: If your amaryllis has finished flowering don't just toss it in the compost. Cut back the flower stalks to the bulb, but leave the leaves. Place the pot in a sunny, warm window, continue watering and fertilizing as you would houseplants. In summer, place it outdoors in a partly sunny location and keep it watered and fed. Come September, stop watering, cut all the leaves back and place the potted bulb in a cool, dark basement for eight-to-12 weeks. Pull it out of storage in November and hopefully you'll have more flowers for the holidays.

Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.
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