Green thumbs mean many things, including the fact that someone is an avid gardener, semisuccessful finger painter, or actually just a gecko in need of a lift to the next truck stop. Add some color to your opposable digits with today's Groupon: for $8, you get two tickets to the Dayton Home & Garden Show, held March 23–25 at the Dayton Convention Center (a $16 value). Tickets grant general admission access for one day, though same-day re-entry is allowed. Children 12 and younger receive free admission.
In its 16th year, the Dayton Home & Garden Show packs its three-day schedule with more than 250 exhibitors eager to curate horticultural displays and engage guests with instructional demonstrations. Guests amble through the brick walkways and past gentle waterfalls, taking cues from five professionally landscaped gardens or casting their votes in tabletop competitions between ten professional floral designers vying for the expo's top prize. The Garden Academy hosts 60 one-hour seminars covering topics ranging from tactics for combatting invasive insects to lessons on soil composition. Kids learn which repellants keep beanstalks giant-free during children's sessions, while area chefs dole out free samples as they fry and flambé for all to see on a new cooking stage. The green fest also boasts a bevy of sales on flowers and arrangements, and can help visitors connect with experienced landscaping professionals or finally track down the pine trees that left them at the altar.
Dayton Home & Garden Show
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.