Spring Affair, the Midwest's largest gardening event, will be Saturday, April 26, at the Lancaster Event Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 500 varieties of plants will be offered at the sale, with educational talks, "talk-abouts" and garden vendors all under the same roof.
The 2014 theme, "Plants are the Bee's Knees," refers to the importance of gardens as far more than just places of beauty, said UNL Extension Horticulture Specialist Kim Todd. "Gardens have always been valued for their beauty and shelter but they're becoming increasingly essential for diversity, pollination, wildlife habitat and other broad environmental issues."
Entomologists from UNL are giving one of the day's talks, "The Buzz on Bees," on the importance of pollinators. Bob Henrickson, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum GreatPlants® coordinator, will talk on "Great Plants for Great Gardens." In the afternoon, NSA Executive Director Jackie Urkoski and Green Infrastructure Coordinator Justin Evertson will talk about "The Difference a Garden Makes."
Throughout Saturday, more informal presentations on trees, shrubs, vines, shade and dry sites will be given around the plant tables.
Plants available at the sale are selected for regional suitability, uniqueness, demand and are provided by Bluebird Nursery Inc., of Clarkson, Neb. Gardeners will find perennials, herbs, native plants, temperennials, vines and a variety of trees and shrubs. For best plant choices, the Spring Affair Preview Party is Friday night, April 26. This is a ticketed event that gives plant lovers an opportunity to mingle, enjoy good food and drink, and purchase plants with a wine glass in one hand and a basket in the other.
Admission to the sale is free. The plant sale; plant talks by noted experts; educational booths; and vendors of garden art, sculptures, furniture and other items are in Pavilion I, on the northeast edge of the Lancaster Event Center. Plenty of parking is available north of the building.
Throughout the day, speakers will wend their way through the plant sale discussing color combinations, plant texture, plants for drought, children's gardens and plants for specific locations and uses. Plant experts will be available to answer questions and guide attendees to their selections.
Spring Affair is sponsored by Nebraska Statewide Arboretum in partnership with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Agronomy & Horticulture, UNL Extension and Extension Master Gardeners. This annual event serves as both an educational tool and a fundraising event for the ongoing growth of the arboretum and the department.
The 2014 Spring Affair Newsletter will be mailed in early April. For more information or to get a copy of the newsletter, call 402-472-2971 or visit springaffair.unl.edu.
More details at: http://go.unl.edu/rivj