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Gardening & More: Plantasia will feature an extensive lineup of education seminars

SPRING FORWARD — With gardens covering 15,000 square feet, it will finally feel like spring, at Plantasia. The event will take place from Wednesday – Sunday, March 19 – 23, at The Fairgrounds Event Center and Expo Hall in Hamburg. Photo used courtesy of Plantasia.
HAMBURG — Even if spring has not appeared in your garden by March 20, you can enjoy a spring-like atmosphere at Plantasia, the garden and landscape show that bills itself as the “official sponsor of spring.”

The event will be held in The Fairgrounds Event Center and Expo Hall, located at 5820 S. Park Ave. in Hamburg.

Plantasia will kick off with a preview night from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. on March 19. Get a first look at the theme gardens and vendors and sample foods from local restaurants and bakeries. Tickets include admission and samplings; a cash bar will be available.

Plantasia will continue from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, March 20 – 22, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 23. Tickets on those days are $9 for adults (save $1 with the coupon at, $6 for senior citizens ages 60 and older and free for children 12 and younger.

Free education seminars will be held daily. I will speak at 2 p.m. on March 20, during the “45 More Gardening Tips in 45 Minutes” feature. I have found 45 new tips, and I will follow the same format I used last year, scrambling to offer one tip per minute.

Have kids check out the Aurora Waldorf School Children’s Discovery Garden, which will feature an activity center, play areas and educational events. Special events include nightly entertainment, live broadcasts, a balloon artist and more.

The big draw is seeing the theme gardens and visiting the vendors. The theme gardens are fully landscaped and cover 15,000 square feet with blooming trees, shrubs, flowers, water gardens, patios and more, in a breathtaking spring display.

You are probably itching to buy something for your own garden, and the vendors will offer a wide selection of plants, garden equipment, tools and ornaments.

Below is the speaker schedule:

Thursday, March 20

– 11 a.m.: “Lawn Care for the Homeowner” by Jim Baldwin of Andre & Son Inc.

– 1 p.m.: “Landscape Design with an Oriental Twist” by Matt Smith of CNLP, Serene Gardens.

– 2 p.m.: “45 More Gardening Tips in 45 minutes” by Connie Oswald Stofko, publisher of

– 3 p.m.: “Native Plants” by Lynn Chimera of Lessons from Nature.

– 3 p.m.: “Enjoying the flowers from your garden” by Maggie Wittmer of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses (small conference room).

– 4 p.m.: “Raised Beds & Container Gardening” by Master Gardener Joe Manual.

– 5 p.m.: “Your Garden is Waking Up. Are You Ready?” by Dan Robillard of the McKinley High School Horticulture Department.

Friday, March 21

– 11 a.m.: “The Wonderful World of Grass and Lawns” by J. Tim Vanini, Ph.D. of New Dimensions Turf.

– Noon: “Foraging for Wild Foods & Medicines” by Sanford Geffne, director of Earth Educational Services Inc.

– 1 p.m.: “Pruning” by Lynn Chimera of Lessons from Nature.

– 2 p.m.: “Using Reclaimed Materials in Hardscape Projects” by Scott Smith of Experienced Bricks Inc.

– 3 p.m.: “Gardens of the Garden Walk” by Jim Charlier of JCharlier Communication Design.

– 4 p.m.: ”Party with Flowers” by Dorothy Julius of Along Garden’s Path.

Saturday, March 22

– 11 a.m.: “Little Hostas” by Mike and Kathy Shadrack, horticulture speakers and authors.

– Noon: “Beyond the Burning Bush: Invasive Plants, Regulations & Your Landscape, and Great Alternatives” by Sally Cunningham, CNLP and author of Lockwoods Greenhouse.

– 1 p.m.: “Things Gardeners Should Know, But Don’t” by Ken Brown of Field of Dreams.

– 2 p.m.: “Green Vertical Living Walls” by Kathy O’Donnell of Botanicus Inc.

– 2 p.m.: “Ten Top Flower Picks” by Nellie Gardener, horticulturist at Martin House Restoration Corp. (small conference room).

– 2:30 p.m.: “Question and Answer Time with Ken Brown and Sally Cunningham” in the common area (middle of event center building).

– 3 p.m.: “Fairy Gardens” by Dan Meyer of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses.

– 4 p.m.: “Tips for Happy House Plants” by Dave Clark, horticulture speaker and instructor at the Buffalo Erie County Botanical Gardens.

Sunday, March 23

– 10 a.m.: “Fruit Trees and Berries for the Home Gardener” by Tom Mitchell of Mitchell Landscaping, horticulture instructor at Niagara County Community College.

– 11 a.m.: “How House Plants Work, Propagation” by Dave Clark, horticulture speaker and instructor at the Buffalo Erie County Botanical Gardens.

– Noon: “Organic Gardening/Companion Gardening/Beneficial Insects” by Cunningham.

– 1 p.m.: “Native Plants” by Ken Parker, CNLP and project manager for Food is Our Medicine.

– 2 p.m.: “Apps, Great Gardening Facebook Pages and Web Sites” by Carolyn Stanko CNLP, horticulture instructor at Niagara County Community College.

– 2 p.m.: “Pruning Trees and Shrubs” by Glen Gentzke, Western NY Tree Services Inc. (small conference room).

– 3 p.m.: “Green Vertical Living Walls” by Kathy O’Donnell of Botanicus Inc.

Connie Oswald Stofko is the publisher of, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email

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