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If anyone tells you gardening is dropping in popularity, they are WRONG! Thousands of gardeners of all ages flocked to the Arkansas State Fairgrounds this weekend to buy plants,

get inspired,

buy yard art, ask questions, and learn some new things.

The energy in the coliseum was amazing. Having all the vendors and gardens under one roof turned out to be a stellar idea. I can't tell you how many times I heard from attendees and vendors alike how much they loved having everything in one place. It got a little crowded a few times, but you could always step back and sit in the bleachers and just soak everything in.

People were in a buying mood. Several of the vendors were cleared out of what they brought, even though most restocked daily.

The plant holding area was doing a booming business, and staffed by some outstanding Master Gardener volunteers.

I got to talk gardening for three whole days, and my voice is a bit wobbly now. I had the best time seeing all my old friends

and meeting new ones. Gardeners are just nice people. My family made it by today as well,

and they had to wander along on their own when I'd get waylaid talking to people, but what an energizing three days it has been.

The show is run by volunteers with a volunteer board and they are a hard working bunch of people.

They still had smiles at the end of the day, even though they have walked many miles. The purpose of the show is to promote horticulture to the people of Arkansas and support a growing industry. The proceeds allow us to give college scholarships so another generation of horticulturists can keep things going. Greening of Arkansas grants are also given to communities across the state to help beautify our state.

If you missed it this year, plan better for next year. It is a great way to jump into the gardening season. And to continue the journey, join me next Saturday at River Valley Horticulture at 21701 Lawson Road, for a presentation on new plants. I will repeat the talk at 10 and 1. Call to register.

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