Home Show, Sweet Home Show

Started in 1958 as a little parking-lot tent sale on the University of Denver campus, the Colorado Garden and Home Show has grown to become a massive expo showcasing 650 vendors and home-improvement experts throughout a maze of over 45,000 square feet of live plants and flowers. “It’s a show for homeowners looking to comparison-shop, get ideas for home projects and connect with contractors,” says executive director Jim Frickey, a thirteen-year show veteran. Horticulturists and do-it-yourselfers can wander through fourteen themed gardens at the nine-day expo, browsing the latest in green building technology or attending a free seminar on cake decorating.

Beyond the consumer aspect, the Home and Garden Show also acts as a nonprofit, donating $500,000 last year to agriculturally minded education programs and offering full-ride scholarships to students across Colorado. The show is very much locally focused, making sure that all money from ticket sales stays in the state. Once the event closes, volunteers from area rotary clubs take the thousands of leftover live flowers to more than sixty nursing homes in and around the city.

The Garden and Home Show starts today and continues through February 20 at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and free for children under twelve. For more information, go to www.gardeningcolorado.com or call 303-932-8100.
Saturdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Feb. 14-18, 12-8 p.m. Starts: Feb. 12. Continues through Feb. 20, 2011