A Gateway To Spring

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According to Brookhaven National Laboratory, this past January had Long Islanders dealing with the largest snowfall on record for that particular month since 1947, with a total of 24.8 inches. Between all the shoveling and constant grappling with freezing temperatures and endless ice, it’s no surprise that the yearning for spring and warmer weather would be running long and deep for most people. To that end, the upcoming Hicks Nurseries’ Flower & Garden Show that’s set to run from March 6 through 22 does represent a significant cue according to Hicks Nurseries’ marketing and education specialist Karen Musgrave.

According to Brookhaven National Laboratory, this past January had Long Islanders dealing with the largest snowfall on record for that particular month since 1947, with a total of 24.8 inches. Between all the shoveling and constant grappling with freezing temperatures and endless ice, it’s no surprise that the yearning for spring and warmer weather would be running long and deep for most people. To that end, the upcoming Hicks Nurseries’ Flower & Garden Show that’s set to run from March 6 through 22 does represent a significant cue according to Hicks Nurseries’ marketing and education specialist Karen Musgrave.

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This is the 25th anniversary for the Hicks Flower & Garden Show

“[We look at it as being] the official opening of spring on Long Island, and I think for the numbers [of people who attend the] show, it’s a breath of fresh air,” she said.

In the quarter century that it’s been held, the Flower & Garden Show has annually attracted between 50,000 and 75,000 people. Each year, a different theme is chosen. This year it’s “Gardens for All Ages.” Musgrave mused that the popularity may have to do with “…giving people a place to come when it’s still chilly.” With a lengthy slate of seminars and events to choose from, there’s certainly plenty for both passing and professional green thumbs to become engrossed in during the two weeks that this event is being held.

“Gardens of past times may have been a little bit more serious and I think we’re showing a little bit more playfulness this year. I think color is always a trend and we continue to show a lot of [different hues] in our gardens,” she explained. “I also think the low maintenance aspect is a trend that we’re seeing as far as using more succulents, cactus and easy plants that you can just put in the ground and maybe spend a little less time working on. Some of those would actually have to be brought in for the winter, but when you’re creating that summer garden, you can keep it simple by using things that require less energy and water.”

The Flower & Garden Show has annually attracted between 50,000 and 75,000 people.
The Flower & Garden Show has annually attracted between 50,000 and 75,000 people.

Visitors who enter this 10,000-square foot viewing area will stroll through five separate exhibits set up for the show: “The Children’s Dream Garden,” “First Home Garden,” “Garden Simplicity,” “Entertaining Garden” and “Senior Friendly Garden.” Each one is designed with specific characteristics that can be applicable to different age groups, whether it’s the tree house surrounded by a fence that looks like it’s made up of colored pencils in the children’s garden, or the raised gardening exhibit that features windowsill gardening and elevated planting beds for seniors looking for more ease with their gardening needs. It all plays into Hicks Nurseries’ objectives to heed the desires of its customer base, while introducing gardening trends that might be going on across the country and around the world. For Musgrave, those trends represent people looking to get away from their everyday grind and taking some time to exhale.

“We like the idea of making [gardening] a family experience,” Musgrave said. “I think that gives kids an idea that gardening can be fun and you can take some of those elements, even if there’s one little section for a kid, that I think it encourages them to want to garden. Plant Detective in particular, is a very wholesome, fun way to spend an afternoon and that’s after school, Monday through Friday during the show. But in the end, our Annual Flower and Garden Show demonstrates the endless possibilities of what families can create in their own home or garden.”

There are five separate exhibits that visitors to the Flower & Garden Show can stroll through.
There are five separate exhibits that visitors to the Flower & Garden Show can stroll through.

For those looking to get some hands-on experience, Hicks is offering an array of seminars ranging from “The Ancient Art of Bonsai” and “Gardening in Small Spaces” to “Spring Planting Workshop for Beginners” and a “Terrarium & Mini Garden Workshop.” Children’s activities continue to hold a high place throughout these two weeks, whether it’s giving little ones a chance to create a pine cone feeder or play After School Plant Detective, where participants pick up game sheets at the Children’s Planting Station before embarking on a scavenger hunt intended to have them explore the different garden exhibits for unique plants and garden ornaments. Cultivating young minds into becoming green thumbs is an important part of what Hicks wants to achieve with this annual event.

For more information about the Hicks Nurseries’ 25th Annual Flower & Garden Show, please visit www.hicksnurseries.com or call 516-334-0066. For a list of seminars, click here. And for a list of workshops, click here.

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In addition to being editor of Garden City Life and Syosset-Jericho Tribune, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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