Celebrate spring; head to the “Friends” sixth annual Gardening Saturday tradeshow.

By Colleen Zacharias

Bring your plans and ideas for your garden, no matter how big or small, to this year’s Gardening Saturday, March 23 at the Canadian Mennonite University. Gardening Saturday is celebrating its sixth anniversary as Manitoba’s largest gardening tradeshow and symposium. Presented by the Friends of Gardens Manitoba, this one-day event features more than 80 exhibitors, workshops, speaker presentations, demonstrations and a food market.

Show highlights include magnificent floral displays – living walls, containers, imaginative topiaries and more. Workshops and seminars on a wide range of gardening topics will help to prepare you for the gardener’s favourite season which is on its way. Local experts will be ready and waiting for your questions on everything from landscape design to composting, vegetable gardening, preserving and more.

Interested in what’s new for 2013? Be the first to learn about the latest in plants, products and services.

Gardening Saturday welcomes keynote speaker Beckie Fox, editor-in-chief, Garden Making magazine. Learn how to create spectacular containers for your garden, porch or balcony. Special guest Sara Williams, noted Saskatchewan author and horticulturalist, will share tips on low-maintenance gardening.

Relax and enjoy delicious local food in Gardening Saturday’s food market. Fresh apple cider, scones and biscuits from John Boy Farms, anyone? Or try a steaming bowl of cabbage and sausage soup prepared by Soup Bee. Exhibitors will also offer a fabulous assortment of fresh, take-home items.

Doors open at 9 a.m. Be sure to arrive early: volunteers will be handing out tote bags filled with discount coupons to garden centres, sample products, plant catalogues, seed packets, great gardening tips and more to the first 800 attendees. Admission is $6. Parking is free and shuttle van service is available. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free. Wheelchair accessible. For more information and to register online for workshops please visit http://www.gardensmanitoba.com.

Colleen Zacharias is chair of Gardening Saturday, co-chair of the Manitoba Master Gardener Association and The Prairie Garden and a regular garden columnist.

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