Garden and flower show an annual spring fling

Tovah Martin enjoys the way spring unfolds – slow and nice.

“It drops much more so than any other period, I believe,” Martin stated. “You can kind of practice plugging in your own senses. It starts with only a little sheen of green on the trees and you just notice it slightly unfolding.”

Martin will chat about trees, greens and one of her favorite seasons this weekend, in the 31st yearly Capital District Garden & Flower Show. The backyard party at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy begins Friday and runs through Sunday.

Gardening author Martin, whose newest book “The Garden in Every Season and Sense” will hit bookstores this April, will speak in two conventions on Sunday. The very first, “Boot Camp for Your Senses,” will take place; the next, “Gardening When the World Depends on Us,” will be held at 2 p.m.

The weekend will comprise full-scale backyard displays, floral competitions, a marketplace and tastings from New York State wineries.

“The foundation of the series is always the same,” said show secretary Pennie Gonzalez. “We have a good deal of new displays. There are displays which are on the top this season.”

This weekends sights and sounds will include:

* Vibrant arrays of fragrant flowers.

* Trickling water out of waterfalls and ponds.

* Plants, bulbs, flowers and seeds offered for sale.

* Soil testing by Cornell Cooperative Extension (minimum contribution $1).

* A garden cafe featuring soups, salads, sandwiches and coffee.

* Lectures, workshops and live blossom and cooking demonstrations.

Lectures will include coping with landscaping builders, urban wildlife control, herbal tea out of garden crops, the art and science of plants, problems with trees and shrubs and designing a garden that is glorious. A complete list is available in the garden show website,

Martin believes spring is a year for the senses.

“Your nose comes into play all the tarts of spring,” she said, describing that the very first flowers and fragrances of the year. “As for the sounds, you will find the birds we attract with our gardens.”

Gardening – and the planet – will be another subject for discussion.

“As gardeners, we can change the world,” Martin stated, through a telephone interview from her Connecticut home. “We can do a lot to assist the planet by developing flowers.”

That’s because people are not.

“Your backyard can grow to be a cafeteria for butterflies, such as pollinators of all sorts,” Martin stated. “You don’t need a great deal of property and every single person can perform it.”

During the “world” lecture, Martin may also talk about clover. If people have the low-growing plants in their lawns, she stated, they should not try to remove them. Clover can be an advantage.

“It keeps all kinds of creatures active,” Martin stated. “I use it to maintain bunnies from my backyard. They go to my yard and keep away from my backyard.”

Martin is constantly hoping to interest and start people into the gardening life. Straightforward flowers like marigolds and geraniums will provide color all summer. Plus it’s easy to begin.

“You can buy plants, you can buy seeds,” Martin stated. “All it requires is opening your eyes then you’re converted.”

While portions of the Northeast obtained snow this past week, Martin is through with all winter. She will not allow winter back into her life, even though cold temperatures show up at Hudson Valley Community College this weekend.

“I really don’t care what is happening outside,” Martin stated. “We’re likely to perform spring. We are going to start spring experiencing. It is likely to be just like clapping for Tinker Bell.”

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin in 518-395-3124 or in

The 31st Annual Capital District Garden & Flower Show

WHEN: Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 pm Saturday, 9 a.m. – 7 pm Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

WHERE: Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy

HOW MUCH: General admission, progress, $12. Tickets on website $14. Two-day pass, $20; three-day pass $30. Partial proceeds from each ticket sold will benefit Wildwood Programs.