Show branching out
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent January 24, 2013 1:34PM
Visitors look over seed packets during the 10th annual gardening show at the Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso, Ind., on Jan. 19, 2013. The event is sponsored by the Porter Coundy Master Gardners. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
AT A GLANCE
For more information about the Porter County Master Gardeners Association, call 465-3555, or visit www.pcgarden.info.
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:24AM
Kathi Yeagley of Lowell stopped by the 10th annual gardening show, sponsored by the Porter County Master Gardeners Association, and was pleasantly surprised by what she found.
Yeagley recently took a Master Gardener class in Lake County, and that’s where she heard about the show Saturday at the Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso.
“It’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be,” she said, standing in line at the seed-and-bulb exchange, where she had trouble making a decision. “I have to decide. I only have five tickets; I’ll have to buy more.”
Yeagley said she thought the gardening show was only a seed-and-bulb exchange, not building after building of vendors, plus seminars and demonstrations. The show did start in 2004 as a seed-and-bulb exchange and has grown — no pun intended — from there over the years, organizers said.
This year’s show included more than 120 vendors, offering everything from delicate orchids to used garden equipment, and organizers expected more than 2,000 people from throughout the area to attend.
Julie Terrill brought along her great-niece, Makadelin Swain, 4. Both are from Hobart. They took a look at the Miller Coops display of coops and a large, white chicken.
Terrill said Makadelin wants to help her garden and was excited to come to the show.
“I live right off Lake George, and I got a lot of plants last year and I don’t know how to take care of them,” Terrill said.
The show also impressed vendors, including Liz Haynes of Elkhart, whose booth, Oma’s Sewing Basket, featured aprons, purses and other wares made from recycled denim and overalls. Haynes had a booth at the show for the first time. She said it was “very nice,” and she liked the variety of items offered. Her goods also fit in with the gardening theme.
“I recycle, and I try to use every inch of old overalls,” Haynes said, adding a friend who makes rugs uses whatever she can’t use.