For 50 years, area residents have been able to see and hear about the latest in gardens and outdoor living at an annual show.
Organizers say this year’s Outdoor Living and Landscape Show – taking place next weekend at Century II – will cover even more ground.
The Outdoor Living and Landscape Show is the sixth edition of the show that took over for the Wichita Garden Show that had run for 44 years. It is expanding into Century II’s Convention Hall this year, said show producer Brad Horning of Entercom Communications. That will add about 40,000 square feet to the 100,000-square-foot Expo Hall the show usually takes place in.
Along with the added space comes more ways to entertain and educate show-goers. Organizers have even taken into consideration that the show comes at the same time as Missouri Valley Conference basketball tournament play. There will be a TV lounge for Wichita State fans to catch any weekend Shocker games and shoot hoops for prizes.
A popular backyard makeover giveaway, valued at $8,500, will again be offered, Horning said.
Here’s a look at the some of the show’s new features.
▪ Grilling stage demonstrations. “We’re going to show people how to do a complete dinner on the grill in 15 minutes,” said Don Cary, owner of All Things BBQ. The store’s chef, Tom Jackson, and staff will demonstrate making a grilled flank steak, as well as cauliflower rice. Cauliflower has become a popular, healthy substitute for traditional rice and pasta side dishes. The demonstrations are set for 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. daily.
▪ A live beehive. Koelzer Bee Farm in Corning will display a live beehive under glass. Backyard beekeeping has become a popular hobby following reports about bee deaths and their effect on agriculture. Besides producing honey, bees pollinate vegetables, crops, fruit and nut trees and more. A seminar on backyard pollinators also will be offered.
▪ A tiny house. Slim House RV in Hutchinson is bringing a two-story tiny home, another popular trend.
▪ A children’s garden. Kids can get their faces painted and make paper butterflies with staff from Love Character, a paper and party supply story. Downloadable coloring pages can also be found on the show’s website.
▪ A pop-up pet adoption site. Find the perfect pet to enjoy the outdoors with you. Adoptable pets will be available from the Wichita Animal Action League and All Paws Pet Center.
▪ Lawn mower test drives. Vendor Cub Cadet will have a test drive area at the show.
Vendors and exhibitors will include several area landscaping and design companies, garden centers and nurseries, who will showcase ways to use plants and color in areas as small as a deck and as large as a spacious backyard – and how to incorporate water features. Expect to find new plants, as well.
Vendors who offer other outdoor products, like fencing, siding and windows, also can be found at the show, Horning said.
The show is a great way to get pointers and advice, plus purchase plants and products, said Horning and vendors.
“It’s a good time to pin us down in one place to ask questions,” said Nathan Polson, garden designer for Hong’s Landscape.
The first 300 people through the door each day will receive a free “dream journal” to jot down notes and inspiration, Horning said.
Outdoor Living and Landscape Show
When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. March 4, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 5
Where: Century II Expo Hall and Convention Center, 225 W. Douglas
Tickets: $10, $8 seniors (60 and older), $5 ages 5-12, free for ages 4 and under; wichitatix.com, 316-219-4849, at the door. Free parking at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 300 S. Sycamore, with free shuttle service to Century II. A coupon for $1 off an adult admission can be found on the show’s website.
1 p.m. – new plants and succulents
2 p.m. – ornamental grasses
3 p.m. – state of trees in Wichita
4 p.m. – treating oaks with iron chlorosis
5 p.m. – trees and shrubs
6 p.m. – backyard pollinators
10 a.m. – landscaping 101
11 a.m. – aquatic plants for ponds
Noon – small trees, big impact
1 p.m. – ways you may be sabotaging containers
2 p.m. – new perennials and shrubs for 2017
3 p.m. – annuals and herbs for 2017
4 p.m. – backyard pollinators
5 p.m. – horticulture seminar
Noon – benefits of a healthy lawn
1 p.m. – herb gardening
2 p.m. – growing roses
3 p.m. – container gardening 101