Friday, January 27, 2017

2017 Garden Show

Finding spring at garden shows 

This time of year when we're in the deep freeze, we need to smell some flowers - and garden shows soon to open statewide can bring the scent of nectar to our nostrils. The 2017 garden show season officially launches with the opening of the Colorado Garden & Home Show at Colorado Convention Center February 4.

If you're suffering from Seasonal Color Deficit Disorder, then the sight of flowers in bloom might help you survive 'til petunia-planting time. These shows also allow us to preview new trends we might want to bring home to our landscapes, patios and gardens. Here are 4 tips to help you get the most from your trips to local garden shows.

Avoid the overwhelm

Walking through the door to see hundreds of exhibitors feels overwhelming--especially if your time is limited. Do your homework online ahead of time based on what you really want to see. The list of exhibitors by category and show floor plan can help you map out your route so you have a plan when you enter.

Know your needs

Are you attending with a mission in mind? If you are on a hunt to see new trends in outdoor lighting or fire pits, designate those booths as your top priority. Make these exhibits your first stops because you may end up in lines waiting to speak with someone.

While you're queued up, let their display speak to you. Do they show credentials such as "certified," list industry affiliations or other third-party endorsements? If their booth conveys a sense of quality, hold your place - but if not, move on to your next stop.

Evaluate the experts

Pay attention to clues that indicate the person with whom you are speaking is the expert he/she claims to be. Do they answer your question with another one to find out more about your needs? Real experts often do that because they know a good answer may depend on several factors. Pat answers can be shallow and not very helpful. If they say, "I don't know," that may be a sign of integrity more than stupidity.

Write down the advice you receive from different exhibitors. At the end of the day, it's likely you won't remember who said what. When you take a few notes, you will be able to compare and contrast all the advice later and that will help you decide which companies you want to contact again.

Enjoy the gardens
Before you leave, make sure you've taken plenty of time to stroll by the gardens and smell the roses. Enjoy your first drink of spring!