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Plantasia at The Fairgrounds brings an early spring to Hamburg

HAMBURG — The flowers will be blooming, the smell of the dark, musky earth will surface and the warmth of a simulated spring will be abundant at this year’s Plantasia garden and landscape show, the “official sponsor of spring.”

Winter frost and icy layers may still be coating Western New York, but as the clocks have sprung forward for an extra hour of sunlight, it is nearly time to call the landscaper or dust off those gardening gloves.

Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association – now known as Plant Western New York – will kick off the event on the spring solstice, and will run from Thursday – Sunday, March 20 – 23 at The Fairgrounds Event Center, located at 5600 McKinley Parkway in Hamburg. Now in its 14th year, Plantasia will sport the theme “Party in the Garden.”

“Basically, it’s the feel that you’re out in your yard, having a party,” said Plantasia Chairman Chris Zeisz. He began working in a greenhouse when he was 7 years old, and has now been employed in landscaping for 35 years. Zeisz is the owner and landscape contractor for Snyder Ridge Landscaping and is also the owner of American Beauties Florist, both based out of Buffalo.

He was a part of the small group that developed Plantasia, kicking it off with the first production in 2001. Initially held at an event center in Clarence, the show has been housed at The Fairgrounds for nine years.

Zeisz, a member of Plant WNY, explained that the purpose of the event is to continue the education within the industry, to help donate to organizations and establishments such as the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens or the Buffalo Zoo, and to raise money for community projects such as planting trees in the local area or providing scholarships for youths who are interested in horticulture.

“It has grown quite a bit in terms of the number of vendors and quality of landscape displays,” Zeisz said.

As of this year, Plantasia will feature approximately 185 vendors and 16 landscaping displays. The “Children’s Discovery Garden,” presented by the Aurora Waldorf School, has expanded. A clown and an Easter bunny will also be available, for children’s entertainment.

For adult attendees, this event is held for those intrigued about landscaping to “come and see what we do,” according to Zeisz.

Educational seminars about landscaping, gardening and nursery-related topics will take place. Certified professionals will be present to hire, and information will be available for people who choose to take a “do-it-yourself” approach.

Educational seminars will range from how to take care of lawns to the right place to sow a plant. A schedule of these events and a list of topics may be found on Page 24 and on the event’s website.

“There’s a lot involved [in landscaping],” Zeisz said. “Sometimes, people will buy things because they like them, and then [those things] die. They get discouraged about things because of that.” He added that Plantasia and the services available will help educate green thumb folks and give direction for better luck and long-term success.

Plantasia will be held from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Thursday – Saturday, March 20 – 23, and from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 23. There is an admission charge; children 12 years old and younger may attend for free.

For more information and a discount coupon for the event, visit www.PlantasiaNY.com or call The Fairgrounds at 649-3900.
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