IF YOU ARE looking for me this weekend, I’ll be in New York’s Capital District. Why? Because there are two fascinating horticultural events there. One deals with my favorite houseplant; the other is a flower and garden festival. Trust me, these events are not to be missed:
The Capital District African Violet Show, Veronica Driscoll Center for Nursing, 2113 Western Avenue, Guilderland, NY (518) 423-1431. (Click for directions.) Here you will find lots of exotic eye-candy: miniature, semi-miniature, standard and trailing Saintpaulias, all of them grown to perfection for a judged show. Offered for sale will be leaves of plants, which you can easily propagate. Also offered will be special in-bloom plants from the famed Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses. If you only know African violets from the pitiful offerings of the local supermarket, get ready for a real treat. The show is open to the public Saturday, March 27 1-5pm and Sunday, March 28 11am-4pm. Admission $3.00. You can take 50 cents off the admission price if you bring a can of dog or cat food with you. This will be donated to the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society. (Yes, the Capital District African Violet Society not only loves plants, but animals too.)
Capital District Flower & Garden Show, Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenberg Avenue (Rt. 4), Troy, NY. I love this show for its inspirational garden and landscape designs (some featuring fish-filled ponds), and its stunning cut-flower exhibits. You can attend lectures, peruse exhibits, and even get your soil tested (for a tiny donation) by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. And, if you visit the show on Sunday, you can buy (as I have in the past) good-sized, in-bloom lilacs, rhododendrons and other shrubs from exhibiting landscapers who have no desire to keep these display plants once the show is over. Admission is $10. The show is open Friday, March 26 10am-8pm; Saturday, March 27 10am-7pm and Sunday, March 28 10am-5pm.
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