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Flower show was fresh change from winter

Ok I’ve had enough winter especially the past few months of bone chilling temperatures, frequent snows and way too much ice.

It was time to escape but my schedule would not allow me to venture too far. But I was determined to bring a little spring time into my life by combining multiple tasks into a long weekend getaway.

The scheduling gods were perfectly aligned as I could attend two continuing education professional seminars along with the Columbus based Central Ohio Home and Garden Show.

I could knock out a Certified Cruise Counselor seminar on Thursday evening, take in the home and garden show on Friday then participate in a football coaching clinic that evening. It was perfect timing as long as the weather and road conditions held and hold they did.

This was my first visit to the Central Ohio Home & Garden Show and was looking forward to attending I headed towards the main entrance and was immediately awed by a burst of springtime color!

There were 15 magnificent, full-sized living landscaped show gardens waiting to be explored. A wide range of associated suppliers and vendors were on hand so I’m off to a very good start!

The Celeste Center was the focal point of the show. In addition to housing the gardens there was a presentation stage and miscellaneous vendors scattered around the perimeter of the gardens.

But the major draws were still the gardens. You could tell that many hours of labor, plenty of dollars and tons of creativity was invested in these displays.

One of my favorites was Riepenhoff’s Garden’s tribute to Claude Monet’s floral landscape masterpieces.

Strolling through their garden I felt as if I was transported to back to France and Monet’s Giverny Garden. Here I could visualize the inspiration he acquired from viewing the garden’s splashes of blues and greens.

Bridges surrounded by floating water lilies, rhododendrons, greens, fencing and various plant materials painted a masterpiece of texture and color and mimicked Monet’s famed brushstroke painting style.

The fans choice was Cedarbrook Gardens “The Art of Bees Making Blooms”. I was treated to a rainbow of surprises as I entered the garden through a giant bee hive.

The entry way paid tribute to the bees’ artful work in landscape progeny and their recurring role as an art element throughout the ages. Bee-inspired details and artistic displays were interwoven through this cheerful garden.

The show also was a one-stop resource center for guests planning a home improvement or remodeling project.

Members of NARI (the National Association of The Remodeling Industry) were on hand to help homeowners find a qualified and professional partner to execute their remodeling dreams.

Whether it’s updating a kitchen, transforming a bathroom or adding a new room, the remodeling contractors, distributors, wholesalers, utilities and lending institutions were well represented at the event.

There were also a variety of timely and informative discussions and”how to” workshops offered throughout the shows run.

Another interesting show feature was a design showcase that featured “the inside” of home decorating ideas. Daily lectures and demonstrations were presented on a broad range of topics and decorating ideas. After all, the beauty and function of a home’s interior is as important as its exterior curb appeal.

The Central Ohio Home and Garden Show truly encompassed a collection of multiple design styles, tastes and trends to provide guests with a diverse canvas of interior and exterior decorating ideas- all under one-roof.

It was well worth my visit and it made it to my must return list. The dates for next year’s show are Feb. 26 through March 6, 2011. So mark your calendar!

The show was conducted in the Ohio Exposition Center located on the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

But it was strange to see the midway area of the fairgrounds empty without the rides and concession stands.

Daily admission was $10 but today was AAA day so the primary AAA card holder received a complimentary entrance ticket and additional guests paid a reduced fee. Parking was plentiful, cost $5 and it was a short walk over to the exhibit halls.

Getting back to more local gardening news the Ironton in Bloom gang is back at it. They’ are starting to select the plant materials that will soon appear in town.

In a few weeks there will be planters and hanging baskets that will brighten up our downtown and business areas.

I’ve heard many people comment on how nice this effort makes the city look and ask you to help support these efforts.

Fundraising efforts are under way and any donations would be appreciated. Mail these to Ironton in Bloom, PO 4559, Ironton OH 45638. Don’t have the cash then you can always pitch in and donate your time.

If volunteering interests you all you need to do is contact Carol Allen at 740-532-4495 or irontoninbloom@zoominternet.net. She’ll cheerfully put your to work.

Don’t have anything planned for this afternoon Sunday March 14? Why not head over to Huntington’s Big Sandy Arena for the last day of the WSAZ Home and Garden Show. Tickets are $5 and it is open noon until 5 p.m. It is on my agenda maybe I’ll see you over the river.