Celebrate nature in bloom on Amelia Island this weekend outdoors at the Amelia Island Garden Show March 6-7, 2010. Arrive early — show opens at 9 am — and enjoy a fresh-brewed coffee or espresso along with pastries in the park from Fernandina’s Farmers Market, surrounded by flower blossoms and butterflies. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend some time this weekend, and admission is free.
Featuring on-site experts offering advice about “greening your home, yard, and garden,” the outdoor Amelia Island Garden Show (being held in Fernandina Beach’s Central Park) will showcase more than 50 vendors, growers, and nurseries from around Florida. Experts will share their knowledge about flowers, plants, trees, palms, orchids, bonsai, water pond accessories, native plants, butterfly-friendly plants, shrubs, and garden accessories. (See “Expert” educational presentation schedule further below…)
Not to mention the Fernandina Farmers Market food court offering delightful bites and beverages: coffee, espresso, smoothies, gourmet pastries and baked goods, sausage rolls, meat pies, burritos, tacos, tamales, egg rolls, shrimp wraps, pork burgers, BBQ sandwiches, muffaletta sandwiches, vegan wraps and more. Live entertainment will be playing in the food court during the weekend, featuring musicians “Hickory Wind,” Joey & Jeanne, and “Mac & Gang.”
The Amelia Island Garden Show features two special exhibits. Walk through the “Butterfly Encounter” with over 300 free-flying butterflies within a beautifully landscaped plant and flower garden. Visitors can ask questions and learn about attracting butterflies to your landscape. The Butterfly Encounter costs $2 to enter, but kids under 6 years old are free. Also visit “the Raptor Experience” featuring various live Florida native birds — owls, falcons, hawks and kestrels (Raptor is free, hours 11 am to 2 pm both days).
The hard working folks of the Fernandina Farmers Market have organized the first Amelia Island Garden Show. Fernandina Farmers Market won 2nd place in a U.S. farmer’s market competition by Local Harvest (“real food, real farmers, real community.”) in 2009. Called a “green market,” the Fernandina Farmers Market does not include any arts and crafts vendors. Rather, the market’s vendors focus on produce, meats, cheese, honey, plants, and prepared foods.
So, in our busy lives, don’t forget to take some time to “smell the flowers.” Come by Central Park in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island to experience this outdoor event Saturday, March 6, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 7, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Garden Show Prizes — Featuring a “Love Amelia” Basket Raffle
For a buck per ticket, you can enter to win a “Love Amelia Basket” – six baskets will be raffled, and each basket winner will get a $400 value (you don‘t have to be present to win). The lucky prize winners will get an overnight stay on Amelia Island with dinner for two at participating lodging and dining establishments. Special thanks to Amelia Island’s lovely bed and breakfast inns — Amelia Island Williams House, Addison on Amelia Island, Fairbanks House, Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, and Amelia Oceanfront B & B, and also the Amelia Hotel at the Beach and the island’s fine dining restaurants (the Verandah of Amelia Island Plantation, Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro, Beech Street Grill) and eateries/pubs — O’Kane’s Irish Pub, Jack & Diane’s, and Crab Trap.
Also, each “Love Amelia Basket” contains: freshly roasted coffee from Montego Bay Coffee, gourmet tapenade from Olive Affairs, Farm Direct Honey from Josey’s Honey Farm, Specialty Peanut Brittle from Becky’s, Jams from Kountry Janes, Gourmet Dips from Dips2Go, Kettle Korn from Neal’s Kettle Korn, All Natural Spray from Ms. Christine’s, and a Fernandina Farmers Market Tote Bag. So be sure to head to the “Information Gazebo” for further info about raffle prizes and to purchase tickets. (For $5 you get 5 plus a bonus 6th ticket).
It’s worth a visit just to enter the raffle for a chance to win a great prize. Note that purchase of raffle tickets directly supports the Amelia Island Garden Show event.
If you’re a mushroom lover with a sweet tooth like me, after a pastry, you’ll want to make a beeline to “Growing Quality Foods in Florida” talk on Saturday, March 6th (11:30-12:15). During this presentation there will be tips on cultivating shiitake mushrooms (also how to successfully grow apple and peach trees, thorn-less blackberry shrubs, grapes and more.) Shiitake growing plugs plus finished mushroom logs will be available for purchase.
YOUTH VOLUNTEERS WILL HELP CARRY PURCHASES TO CARS
Assistance will be available to help you carry flowers, plants, shrubs and more to your car. Youth group volunteers with garden wagons will offer a “Tote & Carry” service by delivering plants to the pick-up area where they will be loaded into shopper’s vehicles. (“Donations” are encouraged — the kids appreciate tips, since this is a fundraising effort for local youth groups.)
FEATURED GARDEN SHOW PRESENTATIONS AT AMELIA ISLAND GARDEN SHOW
Learn lots about Florida gardening with featured expert presentations and workshops — check out the “Ask the Expert” schedule:
—–Saturday, March 6, 2010 Garden Show Expert Schedule—–
9:30-10:15 am– Steps to an Environmentally Sensible Landscape –James Loper of Reflections of Nature.
11:30-12:15–Growing Quality Foods in Florida –Gary Goeser of Prairie’s Edge Organics & Art Shriver of S.E.M Nursery.
1:30-2:00 pm– Roaming Raptors — See live Florida native birds up close, presented by Avian Reconditioning Center (non-profit) birds of prey rehabilitation and education facility.
2:30-3:15 pm –Grafting Techniques and Hybridization Methods, Matt Martindale of Hibiscusplace.com (Wow! Check out the gorgeous hibiscus photos on this website).
“Stir The Pot” for kids will be available at Neal’s Kettle Korn booth throughout the day. Kids will have a chance to participate in the kettle korn pot in action.
—–Sunday, March 7, 2010, Garden Show Expert Schedule—–
10:30-11:15 –Simple answers for all your Orchid Questions, Fred Keefer of Orchids by Del-Rei.
12:30-1:15 — Container Gardening – Beautiful & Easy, Judy Lambert of Colorfield Farms
2:30-3:15 — Benefits of Honey – Sweet Tips for Honey Use, Amanda of Josey’s Honey Farm. As 5th generation beekeepers with over 35 years of experience and 2,000 hives, Josey’s Farm will talk about the life cycle of the honeybee, showcase the bees at work, and discuss the benefits of honey in sports and exercise programs as well as the healthful benefits in everyday life while tasting local and specialty honeys.
GARDEN SHOW DIRECTIONS, PARKING, LODGING:
Central Park in Fernandina Beach, Atlantic Avenue, Amelia Island, Florida. Parking: If you wish to park across the street from the park, fee is $5.00
Overnight Hotel Lodging:
Mention “GARDGU” for a special Garden Show rate at Amelia Hotel at the Beach, 1997 South Fletcher Ave., Amelia Island, FL 32034. (904) 206-5200. www.ameliahotel.com
DIRECTIONS TO AMELIA ISLAND GARDEN SHOW: From I-95, take Exit 373. Go on A1A and travel 15 miles onto Amelia Island; continue straight down A1A 3 miles (it turn’s into 8th Street) to the traffic light at Centre St./Downtown/Atlantic Ave. Turn right on Atlantic Ave. and go down 2 blocks to 10th St. The Garden Show will be on the right side in Central Park, and a parking lot is on the left.