April 14, 2018 5:47 pm

Annual Peterborough Garden Show boasts the best of spring as winter lingers

There was a drop in attendance numbers Saturday at the annual Peterborough Garden Show.

CHEX TV/Peterborough

Despite a heavy blast of winter weather, the Peterborough Garden Show was all things spring Saturday afternoon.

Running throughout the weekend, the event usually draws big crowds, with buses bringing plant lovers to the city from across the GTA and as far away from Kingston.

But this year, Mother Nature didn’t want to cooperate. Some of those buses were cancelled, Pat de Villiers said, leading to a drop in numbers.

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“It’s not our normal crowds. Normally you can’t even move in here,” she said. “But we do have a lot of people here, and they’re still coming in.”

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Some vendors were able to see the sunshine through the spring storm.

Hazel Cook, who co-runs Blossom Hill Nursery, said the event is more about planning a garden than shopping for one. She said Saturday’s storm did have its benefits.

“There’s less crowds,” she acknowledged, “but that means that if people can come there’s more opportunity to speak to the vendors and see things in a more relaxed atmosphere.”

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The wallop of winter weather was yet another reminder that spring has been slow to come to the Kawarthas.

“Normally our gardens are cleaned up before the garden show,” said Dawn Golloher, who runs Gardens Plus. “And we haven’t been able to do anything in the gardens as far as clean up.”

“We’re not digging out of our stock beds yet, because we’re still mucky. And frozen.”

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Like Cook, Golloher was optimistic. She pointed out that the cold, icy conditions outside were no match for the growth and greenery showcased inside the Evinrude Centre Saturday afternoon.

“It feels like spring in here, and I think even though the weather has been not nice, people are still flocking here because we need this,” she said. “We need the flowers. We need the foliage.”

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Other vendors took the storm in stride. Joseph Azzarello co-owns ClearWater Creations, which creates ponds and water fixtures for home gardens.

He said the company doesn’t usually begin planning anything until later in the month anyway, given the unpredictable nature of springtime weather.

“Last year we had tons of rain, and it kept people out of their backyards, so we’re really hoping for a nice, warm summer this year,” he said. “And it’s going to get people outside, and thinking about their backyards, and how they can freshen up their landscaping.”



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