PORTLAND —  Snow may be on the ground, but spring is soon to be in the air in Portland, as gardeners and experts prepare for the Portland Flower Show, set to open Wednesday, March 5, running to Sunday, March 9, at the Portland Company Complex, 48 Fore St. 

The Portland show is one of the last remaining judged flower shows of its kind in northern New England, according to show organizer Joanna Sprague. 

The flower show, which has run for 15 of the past 17 years at the Portland Company Complex, will open Wednesday, March 5, with the awards ceremony and gala 6-9 p.m. The show will then run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m Thursday, March 6; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday March 9.

“Our exhibit hall will be full with 14 landscapes and our vendor area has over 80 vendors and nonprofits,”  Sprague said. “This winter has been hard on all of us, so a taste of spring in March is a much needed break.”

The 13 exhibitors will interpret the theme “Storybook Gardens” with creative displays of stone, trees, shrubs and flowers that have been forced into bloom months ahead of their normal time. The show will also feature numerous education exhibits and a wide array of national caliber speakers focusing on a range of gardening topics. Two authors and designers, Kerry Ann Mendez & Lee Schneller Sligh, both will lecture and have their books available. Check the website for the lecture schedule for each day.

Advance purchase tickets will be available until March 5,  at the following Portland area businesses: Allen Sterling & Lothrop, O’Donal’s Nurseries and Skillins Greenhouses, Harmon’s & Bartons, Letterpress Books, Minot’s, Moody’s Garden Center, Nonesuch Books & Cards, Rosemont Markets, Sawyer & Co and online www.portlandycompany.com/flower. Advance purchase tickets are $13, $12 for seniors 65 and over. All tickets are $15 at the door, except children under 12 who are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Wednesday evening gala tickets are $30 advance purchase and $40 at the door.

A free shuttle bus will pick up passengers up along Commercial Street, at locations where the Flower Show signs are displayed, and drop attendees off at the show front door.

Other highlights include: The Flower Show Café overlooking Portland Harbor, with food by Amatos, the book store “Letterpress” just outside the lecture hall, the Children’s Discovery Garden managed by a team of gardening experts from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension master gardener’s program.   The Cumberland County Master Gardener’s Association will auction off plants and other items donated from the exhibitors and vendors to benefit its staffing and programs beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday. The master gardeners will also hold a silent auction, which begins at noon Sunday, in the annex building 11 (first on the right when entering the property). For additional information about the auction call 207-780-4205.

 FMI please contact Joanna Sprague 207-774-1067

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