The 26th Annual Home & Garden Show took place as scheduled Saturday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. In spite of inclement weather and hazardous driving conditions, vendors filled the arena with booths representing area businesses and organizations to meet a plethora of needs for home and garden enthusiasts.
The theme was Hearty, Healthy Gardening.
“Across the nation, people have just become more health-conscious,” said local Master Gardener Ruby Poteet. “They are realizing how important it is to eat better.”
Poteet said people should realize they can grow things right in their back yard or on their carport to make eating healthy easier.
“I think every home in America should have a garden,” she said.
One of several how-to sessions scheduled throughout the day focused on healthy diabetic cooking. Other sessions provided other practical information relating to the home. Attendees learned to make and use a rain barrel and how to make a terrarium. They also were given tips on home safety.
Chris Olsen, a Little Rock landscape artist and morning keynote speaker, stirred things up during his presentation.
“I want to show people how to make things fun, alive and funky,” Olsen said. “Because it’s all about changing things up.”
Olsen said landscape and design should reflect individuality. He encouraged experienced gardeners to move away from things that are traditional, and learn to personalize their designs by using unexpected items and steering away from the matching set look. He encouraged novice gardeners to keep trying.
“People don’t always have a passion for it right away, but once you get into it you start to enjoy it,” Olsen said.
Olsen said some trends in landscaping are changing.
“Color is always in, but this year expect to see more earth tones,” he said. “For example, instead of deep orange, you’ll see burnt orange.”
Bob Byers from Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs was the keynote speaker for the afternoon.
The Pine Bluff Quilt Guild displayed their ornately crafted quilts and made a special presentation to charter members Reba Inzer, Mildred Morgan, Mary Hood Morris, Johnnie Norton, Arleen Parsley, Jean Poye and Joyce Walker.
As winner of the quilt guild drawing, Edward “Bugs” Andrews took home one of the treasures that, according to quilter Imogene Perrine, are too precious to sell.
“It would be like selling one of your children,” she said.
The award for the Art in the Garden contest went to Isiah Reagans and Lakeeya Hopkins. Best booth design went to The Red Barn.
Poteet said she wished the weather had been better and more people had been able to attend, but she considered the day successful.
“We had excellent speakers, and as many booths as last year,” she said. “Everyone had fun.”
Pat Reese, who attends the event every year, said the event was worth her slippery drive in.
“I loved it and I learned a lot,” she said.
The Home & Garden Show is sponsored by the Jefferson County Master Gardeners, Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Clean and Beautiful Commission and the Jefferson County Extension Service.