Searching out spring: Head to a home and garden show at these 11 locations

Paul Busse, the creator of the most fantastic garden train displays that grace major botanical gardens in the U.S., received a career boost when he made an award-winning display for AmeriFlora, an international garden show. With the temperatures taking a nose dive this week, and the gray of winter lingering, I’m thinking that a trip to a garden show may be a perfect way to pep up. They’re where top landscapers and gardeners strut their stuff.

Spring does begin in March, but at a garden show, it comes sooner than later. Gorgeous flowers and plants arranged in landscapes offer a respite from outdoors. Also, they’re perfect for picking up ideas for creating a sanctuary back home.

Here are eleven different events beginning this coming weekend and through March:

  • Columbus, Ohio. Central Ohio Home & Garden Show: Feb. 28-March 8. With the Oscars still fresh, here’s some movie magic. There are themed gardens inspired by movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark; Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon; Mama Mia, Lord of the Rings, Cast Away, Mary Poppins and more. I’m thinking China, Greece, a tropical island, Egypt, Great Britain and so on.
  • Fort Wayne Home & Garden Show: Feb. 26-March 1. If you have any junk and want to see if it’s an antique worth something, bring it along. A canned good will give you $1 off admission.
  • Philadelphia Flower Show: March 1-8. This year’s show is themed Bella Italia. Italian wine, food, and Italian gardens.
  • San Antonio Home & Garden Show: Has a 15-ton sand scuplture and birds of prey demonstration besides garden details.
  • Buffalo Home & Garden Show: Feb. 28-March 8. Has a staycation element to show you how to create a garden that makes you not mind staying closer to home.
  • Charlotte, N.C. Southern Spring Home & Garden Show: March 4-8. For a touch of Japan, check out the bonsai display and Ikebana flower arrangements.
  • Minneapolis Home & Garden Show: March 4-8. This show includes nine gardens. Get tickets off the Web site and save $3 a piece.
  • The same organization puts on the Home and Garden Shows in these cities in Texas. Dallas Home and Garden Show, March 6-8; Ft. Worth Home Show: March 13-15; Houston Home and Garden Show, March 20-22. Access all through Look for vacation and leisure related displays at the show in Dallas.
  • St. Louis: Builders Home & Garden Show: March 5-8. Like the other shows, this one has a kid’s area to keep children busy. Also has an entertainment stage.