February is one of my favorite gardening months. My witchhazels are blooming, which adds interest to the otherwise barren landscape. I’ve started seeds like snapdragons, Helitrope and broccoli in the basement using florescent lights. The month ends on a high note with the Manhattan Area Garden Show.
The 12th annual show is Saturday, Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It continues on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free to Pottorf Hall in CiCo Park. Entrance is on the east side where you may sign up to win a door prize and get a packet of free flower seed. There are 22 booths to look at and talk with participants. A silence auction on gardening items will be open for bidding to benefit the KSU Gardens.
Riley County Extension Master Gardeners will be available to answer gardening questions. Their booth will have information to select the right plant for the right place. This is one component of the Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities Extension programs. A packet of zinnia seed on the recommend “Prairie Star” K-State flower list will be given to visitors to the booth.
Another big part of the show is the free gardening seminars. Many of the topics this year oblige with the theme of right plant, right place. There is a talk on daylilies beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, followed by cactus and succulents. At noon, there will be a talk on berries followed by a talk on trees at 1 p.m. and the right shrubs at 2 p.m. Rita Arnold will present on new perennials at 3 p.m. and new annuals and vegetables at 4 p.m.
Sunday’s seminars begin at 1 p.m. with a discussion on raising bees. Growing tomatoes is at 2 p.m. and summer bulbs is at 3 p.m. A flyer for the show is available on the web at http://www.riley.ksu.edu.
I hope you will be able to attend this year’s show. If you need to ask me a question during the show, I will most likely be found munching on something by the concession stand.