A display at the 2008 Connecticut Flower and Garden Show. We’re all hunger this time of year for color and fragrance. What better way to satisfy that desire than to go to a flower show? Large, indoor flower shows are an American thing. Across the country, starting in February, horticulturists and garden enthusiasts create indoor garden displays as well as hold seminars, flower competitions, and sell garden products and plants. For me, it’s a sign of spring, even if it’s still cold and snowy outside. These shows are no small undertaking. Thousands of plants, tons of soil and mulch, loads of rocks and wood go into making them. Plants are forced in greenhouses in winter to flower at just the right time. Then, they have to be moved and installed with the other buildings, grass, and stones in a few days’ time. The flower shows are amazing and offer educational ideas as well. Often it’s local nurseries exhibiting at the show so the plant palette is what can be grown in our area. They offer design ideas and tips that might inspire you to try a new plant or construct a new garden. Plus, there are seminars from national and regional experts talking about the latest in gardening. I make the flower and garden show speaking circuit each year talking at various venues from Boston to Seattle. I’ll be here in Hartford this coming weekend speaking at the Connecticut Flower & Garden Show. If you’re around, come see me on Sunday at the show. Hopefully between the garden designs, information, and the smells and sights of spring, you’ll be inspired to grow a better garden this year. Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I’ll be talking about heirloom tomatoes. Until then, I’ll be seeing you in the garden.