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Annual pond show an explosion of color

Visitors check out one pond displays Saturday April 26 2014 13th annual IllianGarden   Pond Expo Lake County Fairgrounds

Visitors check out one of the pond displays Saturday, April 26, 2014, at the 13th annual Illiana Garden & Pond Expo at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point. | Karen Caffarini~for Sun-Times Media

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If you go

The 13th Annual Garden & Pond Expo hosted by the Illiana Garden & Pond Society, continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 889 S. Court St., Crown Point.

Admission is $5.

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Updated: May 28, 2014 6:26AM



CROWN POINT — Steve Kenniger said he starts every day opening the blinds at his Hobart home and looking out at his pond, even during the winter when it’s covered with snow.

On Saturday, he was carrying bags full of plants that will add color and greenery to his peaceful two-tier pond with a waterfall.

Kenniger was one of about 3,000 people expected to visit the 13th Annual Illiana Garden & Pond Expo at the Lake County Fairgrounds during its two-day run, Saturday and Sunday.

“The fish made it through the ice and snow this year, but the plants don’t make it through the winter,” Kenniger said.

The show, hosted by the Illiana Garden & Pond Society, features several completely landscaped ponds and waterfalls, as well as hanging baskets, flowers, herbs, vegetables and flower bulbs, garden art and accessories and landscaping ideas.

“I think everyone’s ready to see gardens and flowers. Everyone’s ready for winter to be over,” said Sara Legler, president of the garden and pond society.

Rich Forster, of Valparaiso, was at the expo Saturday with Karla Eder, of Hammond, getting ideas. He said he has one pond, but is looking to build a second one.

“There are some new ideas this year,” Eder said.

The theme of this year’s expo is “Color Your World,” and many of the 57 vendors at the show played it up with bright orange and yellow hanging baskets of flowers, bright red geraniums, lilac azaleas, deep purple peonies and other flowers for sale or dotting their landscapes. One vendor took the theme to the next step, making fountains that looked like different colored crayons.

Business was good at Unique Bulb’s booth. The Indianapolis-based vendor carried such unique flower bulbs as Voodoo Lillies and Liatris Spicatas, most of which already had growth sprouting.

“We try to carry bulbs other people don’t,” said employee Leslie McGuire.

McGuire said the company goes to a number of shows in different states, but the one in Crown Point is one of her favorites.

“This is the most peaceful, and it’s all about plants,” McGuire said.



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