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VOL. 37 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 22, 2013

Lawn & Garden Show gets French accent

By Harriet Wallace

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The 24th annual Nashville Lawn and Garden Show will blend French history, gardens and architecture along with its many floral and landscaping exhibits, displays and galleries, bringing an international flavor to the annual Middle Tennessee event.

A crowd of 18,000 horticultural connoisseurs is expected for Feb. 28-March 3 event, at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, according to Randall Lantz, one of the organizers.

This year’s theme, Jardins du Soleil, French for Gardens of the Sun will feature a lecture series by Frederic Nancel, the operations and events director of the Chateau de Chantilly near Paris. Nancel will discuss the makeup and upkeep of one of the world’s most famous historic gardens and how the modern gardener may learn from the past.

“The 2013 Nashville Lawn and Garden show will be unlike any show we’ve done before,’’ Lantz says. “While we continue to honor the Southern gardener, we hope this show will bring a little bit of international flare to the show’s designs. Gardens like those found in England and France are world-renowned, and we look forward to giving many of those designs some Southern exposure.

“It’s about making gardening interesting and having fun with it. We look for new trends and we wanted to branch out and feature international gardens.’’

Along with Nancel’s lectures, Troy Marden of Nashville’s Garden Design & Consulting will speak on, “Les Beaux Jardins,’’ Inspiration from the World’s Most Beautiful Gardens, and Martha Stamps, well-known Nashville caterer, will discuss, “Life in the Garden: Contentment in the World Outside.’’

New Tennessee gardeners

Twenty floral gardens from Tennessee will be showcased. Those gardens will join the rest of the massive exhibits that will take over close to one acre of space at the fairgrounds.

“It’s good entertainment. When you come in, you walk in the door and it’s warm and full of blooming things and green stuff. It’s just magical. That’s the biggest thing. People want to know about gardening, the environmental things, but most importantly, I think they want to lift their spirits after a cold winter,” Lantz says.

Another blooming trend in the world of gardening will debut at the show this year with instruction on incorporating fruit and nut trees into home landscaping.

Lantz says the lawn and garden crowd waned for a few years as the generations turned over. Now there is resurgence, he says, in those under age 50 that are more interested in vegetable gardens instead of the traditional flower gardens.

“We noticed this new wave about seven years ago,” Lantz says. “Now the younger generation is interested in outdoor cooking, food gardens, etc. We’re even seeing kids get into gardening.”

In addition to the exhibits, there will be 150 vendors.

Despite the name being the Lawn & Garden show, there is more to do than just walk through the floral exhibits.

After 5 p.m., the lights will be dimmed and the exhibits take on a new life. The calm, sophisticated and exciting setting will make for a great friend outing or a date night, Lantz says of his favorite time of the show.

A wine tasting will also be offered on Friday and Saturday night. The entire show will be offered indoors.

Parking at the fairgrounds is $5. Tickets/information: nashvillelawnandgardenShow.com.