CO-Horts Blog

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Behind the Scenes at the 2018 CO Garden & Home Show

Posted by: Deryn Davidson, Boulder County Extension

Every year the Colorado Garden Foundation hosts the Colorado Garden & Home Show in Denver. From the website:

"Discover the Rocky Mountain region’s oldest, largest and most prestigious garden and home show – a nine-day spectacular event at the Colorado Convention Center– where you can find inspiration from the latest ideas and trends in landscaping, gardening and home improvement. Enjoy the multitude of fragrances as you stroll through more than an acre of professionally landscaped gardens – 11 in all.  Talk to representatives from more than 650 companies from 25 states and Canada. Visit with the region’s gardening gurus and home improvement experts about the best ways to move your home and garden projects forward." 

An acre of landscaped gardens inside the Convention Center?!? The effort that goes into creating all of those gardens is huge and this year I got to be a part of it. CSU Extension has an educational display every year, and every year a different area county takes over the responsibility. This year it was Boulder County's turn. Planning began in July and after monthly meetings and lots of brainstorming our crew came up with, what we believe is, a fun and educational display all about "Wise Water Harvesting". 

The focus of the display is on both active (rain barrels) and passive (landscaping techniques) rainwater harvesting. We created a miniature home landscape complete with a little house, veggie garden, rain garden and dry-creek bed (swale). The process of completing these indoor landscapes takes place over the course of three intense days. Upon arrival there were 5 large "garden beds" constructed of  concrete blocks that were filled with mulch. Aaaaah, the blank slate to make our vision a reality! 

We had a crew of CO Master Gardeners and a spousal volunteer who started unloading the materials and supplies. Once the plants arrived those were unloaded and staged awaiting their final placement. We all got to work sculpting the mulch, building the house, constructing the set, installing the fence, planting the plants and placing the signs. We were in our own world while the rest of the humongous exhibit hall was busy with other vendors doing the same thing: creating their worlds and getting ready to share their products and vision with the public. 

In addition to the miniature landscape there is a bed with a full size rain garden, and another with a mock-up wall with full size rain barrel. The final two beds include one with info on Plant Talk and the other full of Plant Select plants. 

Plant Select Display
Rain Garden

House Mock-Up

What a fun break from the norm and a good excuse to get dirty in the middle of winter. We all got a little bit of a gardening fix while it was snowing outside!! It was a real treat to see our vision become a reality and hopefully the many, many members of the public who go to the CO Garden & Home Show will leave with new ideas and inspiration for incorporating rainwater harvesting into their own landscape. 

These photos just don't do it justice so go checkout our display and all of the many, many others in person if you can! The show runs through March 4th. For hours and more info on attending the show go to: 

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