Imagine spring at the Adams Lawn and Garden Show

Display at the Poughkeepsie store. (Photo by Ann Hutton)

If ever a massive display of blooming plants, shrubs, and trees was called for to perk up the winter blahs, now is the time. Wandering an Adams Fairacre Farms greenhouse bursting with color and horticultural artistry is a familiar Hudson Valley tradition for many Hudson Valley gardeners which always comes as a welcome event in late-winter, and particularly so this year after nearly a year living with an isolating pandemic.

Shows in Poughkeepsie and Newburgh have already begun and will run through Sunday, March 7. In Kingston and Wappinger, the shows start on Friday, March 5, and run through Sunday, March 14.

Each of the stores has its own landscape design team create these dazzling displays. Closing down their greenhouses after the holidays, Adams reinvents the space with hardscaping elements of brick and stone pathways, ponds and tinkling waterfalls, and mulched beds filled with perfectly healthy plantings. With an in-house nursery to supply flowering plants to greenhouse and gardening staff at just the right time for the exposition, visitors can wander through a veritable paradise in the lingering darkness of March.

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Visitors can learn about which plants attract bees and butterflies, which ones do well in our region in sunlight or shade, what’s less likely to attract hungry deer, and which ones are native to the northeast—that is, non-invasive and safe to grow around our fields and woods. They can discover what is especially good for that new lonicera or cotoneaster they yearn to purchase, or learn how to treat their hydrangea to produce either pink or blue blossoms, or find out when to put bulb, rhizomes, and other perennials into the ground.

And for avid vegetable and fruit gardeners, a wealth of information on seed-starting, fertilizing, pest control, composting, and harvesting is available at every turn. They can learn the difference between the various layout options: row cropping, intensive wide-band planting, raised beds, vertical planting with shelves, baskets, and trellises, and container planting—what works and how to do it.

Adams started celebrating spring by showcasing plants and flowers over four decades ago. Could anyone have imagined what an inspiring extravaganza it has become? Covering over 6,000 square feet in each store with thousands of beautiful plants, and offering the expertise of dozens of talented personnel, the Lawn and Garden show is a welcome reprieve.

“After such a difficult winter, it’s great to be able to walk through our beautifully designed displays,” says Patrick Adams. “We are so proud of our landscaping department and all the employees that help put this year’s shows together.”

It’s no wonder that Adams Fairacre Farms was ranked #11 on Garden Center Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Independent Garden Centers for 2020.

Due to social distancing restrictions, live talks and demos will not be offered this season. But knowledgeable garden staffers will be on hand to answer questions. And special dedicated DIY areas will offer visitors the opportunity to scan and upload info on certain subjects. In the Poughkeepsie store, look for Tropical Container Gardens by Marnie Reilly and Emma Gosnell and Seed Starting by Randy Padgett, Jesse Eldrich, and Bron Bialy. In Newburgh, visitors can learn about The Victory Garden by Maureen Drury and Edible Landscape Design by Tim Bellamy. In Kingston, learn about Vegetable and Herb Gardening and Miniature “Fairy” Gardening. The Wappinger store will feature Do It Yourself Raised Beds by the Garden Center crew and Planting a Terrarium by Daniel Servedio.

Since each store will be offering something different, a visit to any and all of them might be just what’s needed for newbie and old-hand gardeners alike who can’t wait to get outdoors. Other COVID policy changes to the shows include: daily shopping hours of 7 to 8 a.m. for seniors and high-risk individuals; a one-way meandering route through each show; no food or drink allowed or served at the shows; no plant material used in the shows to be sold during show weekends; and children’s “Animal Finds” and other drawings to be placed in various departments within the stores and not inside the shows.

As always, the event is free and open to all comers during normal business hours, with capacity at any one time being limited to ensure a safe event for everyone. Visit https://adamsfarms.com/ and click on “Stores” for hours, contact information, and addresses.