Following the rash of warm weather this weekend (after a particularly lengthy cold snap), the timing seems right — or, perhaps, ripe — for the annual Harvey County Home and Garden Show, which will be held March 16 and 17 at the National Guard Armory (400 Grandview, Newton).

Typically, the show is held in March to avoid extreme weather, according to Harvey County Extension Agent Scott Eckert — so that patrons can take full advantage of all that is offered through the event, organized by the local Kansas State Research and Extension office.

Activities held in conjunction with the garden show include a farmer's market, plant supplies sale, garden seminars, a host of home and garden exhibitors, door prize giveaways, a kid's activity (creating flower pots) and more.

Seminars offered at this year's garden show will go over a number of topics (i.e. unusual fruits, growing specialty cut flowers, physical health through gardening, etc.), but there is also an overarching theme — with a number of presenters speaking on how individuals can creatively use containers to maximize gardening potential with minimal space.

"(It's) just to show people the possibilities of what you can grow in containers and small spaces for people who are in assisted living and apartments," Eckert said. "You don't have to not garden if you live in an apartment or live in an area that's just small. The point of this is to be creative in your gardening while using containers for various types of plants and grow those in the space that you have."

Eckert has done similar presentations in the community and is hopeful the seminars at the garden show will continue to prove helpful for those who attend.

Helping spread information to attendees is a focal point of the garden show, as well as a key to the extensions office's mission, but the activities offered at little to no cost have also proven to be a big draw amongst locals. Admission is $1 or free for children 12 and under, while the kid's activity (new this year) will be completely free to attendees.

"We're not trying to break anybody's wallet. We're just trying to get people some knowledge on gardening and landscaping," Eckert said. "Maybe they're interested in buying plants. There certainly will be plants there to buy."

Over the years, Eckert said he has heard a lot of gratitude for offering such an event that can be an entry point into gardening for almost anyone — whether children have a budding interest or more advanced gardeners are looking to buy seeds, tools, etc. from any one of the numerous vendors who will be at the show.

Not only is the garden show educational for those who attend, but Eckert said it also helps local businesses build relationships within the community. Going into the weekend, he is hoping there will be something of benefit to all who come out to the garden show.

"I think people have a lot of things to see and hopefully we have good weather for a garden show," Eckert said.

The garden show will be going on from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 16 and noon to 5 p.m. March 17, with the free kid's activity to be held from 2 to 4 p.m. each day. For more information on the show, visit or call 316-284-6930.