'Tis the season for garden events
A bumper crop of festivals and flower shows crowds the calendar this month.
By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 12, 2003
If you love plants and gardening, chances are there is a garden show or spring festival in your future.
One of the biggest events takes place this weekend, when the University of South Florida Botanical Garden hosts its 14th annual Spring Plant Festival.
More than 70 vendors will sell plants and plant-related items. Look for crotons, African violets, orchids, bromeliads, camellias, tropical fruit and more.
New this year is an Art Tent featuring student art work and botanical illustrations. "There will be a papermaking demonstration at 11 a.m. today, but it's papermaking from plants in the garden," said Kim Hutton, events coordinator for the garden.
Other events include a butterfly garden lecture at 11 a.m. today, a tool sharpening service (a small fee is charged) and a free children's activity area.
Spring Plant Festival: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. today; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $3, under 12 and USF Botanical Garden members free. The Botanical Garden is off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard (southwest corner of USF campus, at Pine and Alumni drives), Tampa.
Here's a way to combine family time with lessons on the environment during the daylong Family EarthFest on April 19.
The event will feature wildlife and nature tours, bird house workshops, a butterfly tent, children's activities, hands-on art activities using recycled materials, caterpillar petting, wildlife shows, music and food.
For the first time, EarthFest activities will be combined with an antique car show at Heritage Village.
"We will have a display of earth-friendly vehicles so people get a first-hand look at things the county is doing," said Vernon Bryant, director of horticulture for the Florida Botanical Garden. There will be examples of earth-friendly vehicles that run on electricity and fuel, some that are low-polluting and others that run on alternative fuels.
Family EarthFest: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 19 at Pinewood Cultural Park, Largo. Admission is free. Event parking is at 119th Street between Ulmerton and Walsingham roads. Free shuttle service provided. Information: (727) 582-2100.
If you want to know how native plants live, the Pinellas chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society's Spring Native Plant Fair is April 19. Plants will be on sale, and seminars will feature topics such as creating a habitat for critters, butterflies in the yard, water quality and conservation tips for the home. Society members will be on hand to answer questions.
Spring Native Plant Fair: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. April 19, Moccasin Lake Nature Park, 2750 Trail Lane, Clearwater. Admission is free. Information: (727) 544-7341.
Making the day count
Some call them Hemerocallis, but to others they are dayliles. Learn more about them at the Bay Area Daylily Society's annual show and plant sale April 26.
The show is accredited by the American Hemerocallis Society will include entries from nationally known hybridizers. It is the first daylily show in the nation each year.
Marie Philippe, vice president of the bay area society, said that local growers and society members will bring flowers to be judged. The judging lasts about an hour, then ribbons and awards are given.
While the flower show is going on, plant lovers and shoppers will be treated to an array of dayliles.
"There will be hundreds of plants to buy and choose from. We're talking pinks, purple, yellow, red, gold," Philippe said. "Dayliles are very easy to care for, and growers will be available to answer questions. Most are in the price range of $4-$50."
Bay Area Daylily Society: Noon-4 p.m. April 26, Florida Botanical Gardens, 12175 125th St. N, Largo. The plant sale will start at 9 a.m. Admission is free. Information: (727) 455-3928 or (813) 831-8294.
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