The Cumberland County Master Gardeners Association reminds you that FLAGS Days are right around the corner. Not Flag Day – that’s still June 14. FLAGS – which stands for the Flower, Lawn and Garden Show – will be April 22 and 23.
Shut down by the coronavirus pandemic and its aftereffects the past two years, the CCMGA finally gets the opportunity to host its annual spring event. Longtime event attendees will notice some key changes. Now, recognizing lawns as viable and crucial horticultural features, the CCMGA has adopted a new identity – as well as a new acronym for its show for 2022.
The newly revamped Flower, Lawn and Garden Show will even incorporate a side-by-side lawnmower comparison so lawn enthusiasts can get an up-close look at some of the big, powerful machines offered by local dealers, and compare models and features.
Show chairman Mike Barron said the side-by-side comparison evolved as he brainstormed ideas to focus attention on lawns within the annual spring show.
“I got to thinking, what could we do to promote the ‘lawn’ aspect? The flower and garden features we’re all familiar with – and we’ve been doing that right for years,” Barron said. “But lawns added a whole new untapped facet to the show. And that could bring in a whole new demographic to the show – folks who don’t necessarily want to do flower gardening, but who want their lawns to look nice.”
Further embracing that concept of lawns as integral to the residential landscape, the show’s theme for 2022 is TN Smart Yards.
The TN Smart Yards initiative, undertaken by the University of Tennessee, is designed to help homeowners integrate native plants into their landscapes, make wise use of water and other natural resources, control storm-water runoff and manage yard pests, among other things.
This year’s Flower, Lawn and Garden Show promises solutions to help Tennessee gardeners “measure up” with regard to established TN Smart Yard guidelines. Vendors’ booths will reflect the show’s theme in their displays. And because information and instruction are so much a part of the master gardener program, several CCMGA members have volunteered to offer brief presentations on how they’ve incorporated TN Smart Yard features into their own home landscaping plans.
Demonstrations coordinator Susan Partch said the five- to ten-minute demos will give attendees practical ideas to take away that can make their own yards more environmentally friendly.
“The purpose of the short demos is to show examples of real Smart Yard practices,” Partch said. “We want to give homeowners some simple, workable ways to apply those practices on their own property.”
A perennial favorite aspect of the show is the silent auction, through which attendees can bid on valuable items like gardening baskets, gift items and botanical prints, among others. New this year is the master gardeners’ craft and tag sale booth; featured items offered for sale will include a quilted wall hanging, hot pads, painted clay pots, gardening books and magazines, and many of the ornaments from the CCMGA Christmas trees displayed at the First National Bank of Tennessee’s annual Parade of Trees.
The Flower, Lawn and Garden Show runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23, at the Cumberland County Community Complex, 1398 Livingston Rd., in Crossville. The event goes on rain or shine. Admission is $5.