The 16th annual Garden & Home Show is going under the big top this year literally. Planners are moving the annual show from Building 21 at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds to the arena.
The move may not seem like a big one, but it's huge to the many exhibitors who will set up shop Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Show Chair Ann Peuser said the arena gives exhibitors room to plan bigger and better displays.
"It's really going to let us do a lot of new things," Peuser said. "With a dirt floor, we can build things that are more elaborate. The individual booths are also going to be bigger, which gives more options to people who come to the show."
Peuser said the move was needed to accommodate a growing show exhibitors are up to 52 from last year's total of 42.
Some of the highlights of this year's show include a mural by crop artist Stan Herd. Playing along with this year's "Under the Big Top" theme, Herd will construct a clown from plants, bark and other living materials.
This year's show also will have a "very formal" water feature, Peuser said.
Like last year's show, the event will be a combination of displays and demonstrations. On Friday, 6News' Cathy Hamilton will share the "Best of Home & Away," a look at highlights from her show.
On Saturday, seminars will be broken down into five categories hardscaping, water, soil mechanics, gardening basics and adoring the outdoors.
Peuser said the idea was to take people through the typical process of landscaping, sodding and gardening.
"This isn't going to be just talking, but actually showing people how to do it," she said. "We're going to take someone from the house to building a retaining wall to sod and seeding to container gardening.
Some of the seminar topics are "Beyond the Railroad Tie: What's New in the Retaining Wall World," "Backyard Water Gardening: Bubblers & Ponds," "So You Wanna Grow Grass ... Here's How" and "Allergy Free Gardening."
And on Sunday, experts will discuss new plants for the yard.
Activities also will include a juried flower show. Entries must be received between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday. For more information about the juried show, call Dottie Daugherty at 841-3855.
Peuser said the show is sure to touch on some of the latest trends in gardening and landscaping.
She said at her store Clinton Parkway and Nursery Store perennials have been some of the best sellers, especially native grasses.
"Garden art all those non-plant things that people buy for their gardens are also big sellers," Peuser said.
Another trend: Smaller shrubs seem to be favored by new homeowners. Peuser attributes the popularity of smaller shrubs to the fact that people are putting bigger houses on small-sized lots.
Another hot item: dual-season plants. Plants like gold flame spirea provide a variety of color in three different seasons. The plants sport vibrant yellow foliage in the spring, pink flowers with greenish-yellow foliage in the summer and an orangish-yellow color in the fall.
"People can really get their money worth with (spirea)," Peuser said. "They get three seasons worth of color in one plant."
Peuser is just one of the many gardening experts who will be at the show to offer free advice.
The Garden & Home Show runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 per person, and children under the age of 12 can attend for free. Each paid admission receives a free pansy plant while supplies last.