While winter may not be the best season to work outside in your garden, it is the perfect time to explore new ideas for spring. The first quarter of the new year is one of the busiest throughout the country for garden and flower symposiums and expos. There’s plenty to see and do at these events whether you’re an experienced gardener, or just getting started: learn about new and different plants, how to make ponds and water features even more beautiful, ideas for creating unusual container combinations, or how to use stone in the garden to make a bench.

Stone outdoor seating area
Bench idea for using stone from the Connecticut Flower & garden Show.
Lorraine Ballato

Plan a Trip

Depending on where you live, check out one of the events listed below!

February 7-11, 2018 | Seattle, WA | Northwest Flower & Garden Festival

March 3-11, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA | Philadelphia Flower Show

March 10, 2018 | Leesburg, VA |Loudoun County Master Gardeners Annual Symposium

March 14-18, 2018 | Chicago, IL | Chicago Flower & Garden Show

March 22-25, 2018 | Augusta, ME |Maine Flower Show

Not finding anything in your area on our list? Check with your local Cooperative Extension noted on the by state listing here from our friends at Farmer’s Almanac. They are sure to have events noted in your area.

Inspiration Everywhere

Outdoor seating under pergols
Peaceful patio seating under a shaded pergola.

The highlight of most garden and flower shows are the fully landscaped demonstration gardens. The impressive displays make it easy to imagine the full potential of your own yard and are a refreshing break from the winter weather outside. These gardens display include outdoor dining ideas, landscaping with water and provide information on how to deal with difficult terrain. The designers of the display gardens love to talk with attendees on how to incorporate their ideas into your unique situation.

Outdoor dining area
Display of an easy-to-create outdoor dining area from a recent Connecticut Flower & Garden Show.
Lorraine Ballato

Explore the marketplaces, where you'll find numerous vendors selling and displaying all manner of horticultural items in exhibitor booths with a variety of choices from arbors to violets and everything in between.

Attend a seminar about a new or interesting topic. Almost all symposiums and expos offer an array of superb speakers who enlighten you and open your mind to new horticultural ideas from topics that range from “Arthritis in the Garden” to “Gardening for Your Pets” to “Insects in the Garden”.

No matter your skill level, these outings are a gardener's treat. They can even be turned into an overnight "short break" for a not-too-close destination. Once you start attending these events, you’ll likely look forward to them each year for the inspiration and camaraderie they offer.