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Taking Root: Garden and Flower Show Blossoms Into Its Second Year

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Taking Root

Garden and Flower Show blossoms into its second year



MAR 28 2000

The Ann Arbor Spring Garden and Flower Show is blooming into a biennial this year.

It’s the second year for the show, which grew out of a long-running event sponsored by the University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

Matthaei opted to end its sponsorship in favor of seasonal shows out at the gardens themselves. But the popular show was picked up by local businesses, led by the owners of Schmidt’s Antiques.

The planning has been a little less hectic this time around, since everyone had more time to get ready, said Jay Schmidt, one of the event organizers.

“Anytime you do something for the first time, you keep running into things you don’t expect,” he said.

Last year, about 10,000 people came by. Schmidt said organizers would like to expand that number by 50 percent.

This year’s theme is “A Day in a New Century Garden,” with displays showing gardens at three different times of day.

The entry display is “The Enchanted Wood,” designed by R. James Gorenflo, director of land development for Wexford Homes, a local builder.

The setting will be a garden just before dawn, Gorenflo said. He’s using a lot of white and pale colors, such as pink and yellows, to create a luminescent effect, with pathway and accent lighting to guide visitors.

The garden show this year will feature a 10-foot waterfall, along with other water features, said organizer Laura Schmidt.

There will be an emphasis on native plants and on flowers, including a floral competition, said Jay Schmidt. Visitors can vie in daily drawings for a variety of prizes, including a lawn tractor, a pair of urns, a garden gazebo and a teak garden bench.

A series of gardening lectures is planned for every day of the show on subjects such as plants, wildlife and statuary.

Once again, there is an emphasis on children’s activities.

Home Depot is sponsoring workshops for children on Saturday and Sunday from 2 - 3:30 p.m. One project will be building a wooden bird house, the other will be starting seed gardens. Register at the site before the event.

A petting zoo will be set up at the show with a yak, llama and miniature horse on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

In addition, there will be a clown, jugglers and face painting for children at the show.

Two of the display gardens will have children’s themes.

The Fantasy Garden, sponsored by the Junior League of Ann Arbor, will have whimsical flowers, small animals and other creatures. The Secret Garden will be hidden amid the exhibits and displays.

The show will end at 4 p.m. Sunday with the sale of plants from the display gardens.

This year, the event will kick off on Wednesday evening with a benefit hosted by the Junior League of Ann Arbor, a community, non-profit organization of women volunteers. 

The benefit will include a live and silent auction, music and food.

Tickets are $100 for patrons who at 6:30 p.m. for hors d'oeuvres, wine and a garden gift, as well as two complimentary drink tickets for the rest of the program, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Benefit guests arriving at 7:30 p.m. pay $50 and get hors d'oeuvres and a complimentary drink. There also will be a cash bar and a dessert bar.

For more information or tickets to the fund-raiser, call Beth Anderson at (810) 629-7320.

Reporter Marianne Rzepka can be reached at (734) 994-6855.

What: The Ann Arbor Spring Garden and Flower Show

Theme: “A Day in a New Century Garden”

When: Thursday - Saturday from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Where: Washtenaw County Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor Saline Road

Tickets: $10 for adults, $9 seniors, $5 children under 12. Advance tickets for sale at the Home Depot, Pittsfield Township, or at Schmidt’s Antiques, 5138 W. Michigan Ave. Tickets also can be ordered by calling (734) 434-8004.