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Experience blooming gardens in the middle of winter!

Visit the 2019 Colorado Garden and Home Show

By Chris Leinster - February 4, 2019

Colorado is swathed tightly in winter’s icy grip, but spring is rapidly approaching and soon you’ll be planting your vegetable garden and adding new plants to your landscape. It’s time to start planning your new year’s landscape projects, as well as other home maintenance or improvement projects you may be contemplating. The best place to find inspiration, ideas, and even qualified professionals to perform the work is at the 2019 Colorado Garden and Home Show.

The 2019 Colorado Garden and Home Show starts Saturday, February 9th and runs nine days through Sunday, February 17th at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. More than 650 vendors representing landscape design and construction firms and home products and services companies put their talents on display for you to explore. Are you hoping to install solar power? How about a deck or pergola? New roof? Windows and doors? Gutters or leaf guards? Does the house need new paint? A kitchen remodel? Or maybe you’re just looking for some furnishings for the home or patio? It’s all here waiting for you to discover.

The main attraction and the real reason to attend are the magnificent and imaginative feature gardens that greet you immediately upon entry and that you encounter throughout the exhibit hall. Nine landscape companies build spectacular demonstration landscape gardens, complete with live fire features, waterfalls and koi ponds, and believe it or not, thousands of plants bursting with flowers! These companies pull out all the stops to showcase their talent and to demonstrate their creativity.

On a cold winter’s day, stepping through the doors to the exhibit hall is like thrusting open the gates to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory! Inside one discovers a fantasy land of leafy trees and shrubs, carpets of green grass, and of course tens of thousands of flowers in full bloom! The gardens feature everything you can imagine for your yard. Retaining walls, patios, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, decks, pergolas, and ponds are all on display for your consideration. Everything is ensconced among colorful gardens with actual flowering plants- such a welcome surprise amid months of snow and chilly temperatures!

How do they do it? The landscapers get only one week to set up their garden displays. On the Monday before the show, an armada of semi-tractor trailers converges inside the exhibit hall delivering hundreds of tons of landscape materials to the convention floor. A fleet of front-end loaders and fork lifts scurry about unloading retaining wall block, landscape timbers, huge boulders and other decorative rock, and patio stone. Mountains of mulch, soil, and sand are distributed to the gardens. Crews of workers set about stacking exterior walls, laying patios, and erecting structures.

By end of day Tuesday, the bulk of material must be moved into the display area and the main garden features must be completed. Other vendors start moving in Wednesday and accessibility becomes an issue. Many of the more elaborate components can be built off-site and assembled like Legos inside. The berms and raised gardens sit on mounds of light weight mulch which is recycled after the show.

On Thursday and Friday all of the smaller vendors invade the hall and tempers flair as gardeners jostle for access and parking among the melee. Hopefully the displays are mostly built and with God’s grace the ponds aren’t leaking. Once the big hardscape jobs are complete the gardens are ready for planting.

Just like real-world projects the larger trees and shrubs go first, then every nook and cranny is stuffed with colorful blooming flowers. The flowers are mostly bulbs that are forced into bloom inside heated greenhouses over the winter months. They are tricked into “waking up” and revealing their flowers. They’re collected by boy scout troops after the show and delivered to nursing homes and non-profit agencies where they bring a second round of joy to those that admire them. Many can be kept inside and planted outside once the weather warms up.

In addition to the landscapers trying to earn your business, two student gardens showcase the imaginative talent of up and coming future landscape designers. Plant societies and garden clubs hope to earn your attention, and the Colorado State Agricultural Extension service is on hand to answer any diseased or pest related conundrum you may have.

It truly is a site to behold, plus a huge convenience if you’re pursuing any home improvement or landscape projects this year. You can engage several companies to figure out which ones might best respond to your needs, and arrange for home site visits for estimates or design consultations. It may take a week or two to schedule an appointment, then depending on how elaborate a project you have in mind it may be a few more weeks to receive plans or proposals. Figure another week or two to work through revisions and fine tune your plans. If you need to get your HOA involved, it may take up to a month for approval and before you know it we’re into April or May- a prime time to plant. So I would encourage you to take advantage of the Garden Show and to get started setting a budget and planning your projects.

Unfortunately, the Garden Show still isn’t a great place to showcase trees or to find contractors who are willing to deliver and install just a tree or a few trees. The best place to shop for trees is always, and the best company to provide, deliver, and install your trees is Happy Trees! Go ahead and give us a call. We’ll help you figure out the best tree for your needs and you’ll be first in line when the ground thaws in the spring. Thank you for your consideration of Happy Trees and have a great day!