Jessica Damiano is a master gardener and journalist with more than 20 years experience in radio, television, print
With this winter's big chill and relentless snowfall, I think I speak for us all when I say we are in dire need of some spring. And I can't think of a better escape -- other than fleeing to the tropics -- than hitting up a garden show. Fortunately, we've got a perfect pair opening next weekend right here on Long Island.
Dees' is for displays
The Dees' Nursery and Florist's 5th annual Flower and Garden Show kicks off Saturday with plenty of warmth for gardeners' struggling winter souls. There will be colorful themed displays, including a seaside landscape, vegetable patch, waterfall garden and a space sponsored by HGTV that will showcase the television network's brand of flowers. Free educational seminars will cover topics such as lawns, container gardening, seaside landscaping, pond maintenance and floral arranging. An herb cooking class is on the roster, too, as well as free planting events for children. The show runs March 8-16 and is open daily from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (closing at 6 p.m. on Sundays). The Dees' Nursery and Florist is at 69 Atlantic Ave., Oceanside. Call 516-678-3535 or visit deesnursery.com for more information.
Hicks' features wide variety
Head north, and Hicks Nurseries' Flower & Garden Show will be basking visitors in its own taste of spring. This year's theme is "Garden for Life," with plants and ideas inspired by "health and wellness through the joy of gardening." Visitors will glean inspiration from indoor display gardens such as the "Relaxation Garden," rife with palm trees and water features; the "Easy Garden," which focuses on planting the right plant in the right place for best results; the "Earth Friendly Garden," which features clever recycling ideas; and the "Learning Garden," which includes an interactive schoolhouse geared toward children and families.
The 16-day exhibition, set to start Friday, is longer than the 10-day shows previously held at Hicks, so the nursery will be changing its displays during the show's run to encourage repeat visits. In addition, a schedule of 35 educational seminars will include topics such as grape growing on Long Island, natural lawn care and bees. Children's activities also are planned.
Hicks Nurseries is at 100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury, and the 24th annual show, which runs through March 23, will be open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. For more details and a schedule of events, call 516-334-0066 or visit hicksnurseries.com.
When attending these and other indoor garden exhibits, be sure to bring a camera and take notes; you'll want to remember the names of all the plants you loved and jot down plant combinations you'd like to re-create at home.
Be warned, however: Tulips will never bloom alongside dahlias in your own garden. That's just part of the fantasy.