Stone pathways meander among bubbling fountains and glowing reflecting pools. Soil beds teem with gold, violet, and red perennials. Professional designers cobble together sculptures from flowers, glass, fabric, and light. This veritable bouquet of domestic inspiration takes place during the three-day Dayton Home & Garden Show. Each year, the exposition's gardeners and floral designers craft a range of displays based on a chosen theme. Many of the sample gardens incorporate this theme with a focus on whimsical water features, fire pits and paved patios, or modern conservation methods, such as using cupid statues to make birds fall in love.
Beyond the botanical spectacle, more than 250 local and national exhibitors answer questions and proffer goods related to home improvement: siding, windows, cookware, candles, garden ornaments, and bath products. While the professionally landscaped gardens create a simulated outdoor world, area interior designers use color, furnishings, and lights to transform eight small, vacant spaces into living rooms convincing enough to attract and profoundly bewilder Santa Claus. At the Garden Academy stage, professional gardeners lead more than 60 educational seminars and demonstrations on such topics as invasive insects, patio construction, and water gardens. At the cooking stage, area chefs demonstrate kitchen basics and culinary techniques while distributing free samples to the audience.