The 2016 Home + Garden Show returns to Stampede Grounds Feb. 25 to 28, featuring, among others, 'No Guff Gardener' Donna Balzer. Photo courtesy Marketplace Events.

Thinking outside of the box

Home + Garden Show returns to Stampede grounds Feb. 25-28

Change your world, one cabbage at a time: That’s how Calgary gardening guru Donna Balzer wants to inspire folks at this year’s Calgary Home + Garden Show, which runs Feb. 25 to 28.

“I’ll help people understand why it’s so important for us to take control of our own food,” said Balzer, a CREB®Now regular columnist who will be among dozens of featured presenters at the four-day event, which is expected to attract more than 60,000 visitors this year.

“I want people to realize they can have an impact and help them discover how they can do it.”

What’s more, Balzer said she wants “to get rid of the guff” when it comes to gardening.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” said the author of No Guff Vegetable Gardening, who will be sharing gardening tips n’ tricks during her presentations Friday and Sunday.

Balzer said all gardeners, novice and seasoned alike, will be able to take away something from her presentation, whether that involves the dispelling of long-believed guffs, or learning about new movements in the gardening realm, such as the importance of re-mineralizing the soil.

To that end, Balzer said gardeners should be thinking about re-mineralizing the soil beyond “the big three” of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. In fact, Balzer will unveil her recipe for a complete organic fertilizer at this year’s Calgary Home + Garden Show.

Balzer won’t be the only one discussing gardening at this year’s show. HGTV star Carson Arthur will also be talking about gardening in small, indoor spaces – in particular, how it represents an emerging trend among millennials who are looking for ways to grow edibles, even in the confines of condos and townhomes.

“The baby-boomer generation loved gardening (and) Generation X started phasing it out as a hobby. But now, millennials want to grow vegetables. They want to have heirloom tomatoes,” said Arthur, adding he’s noticing more Canadians, particularly in their 20s and 30s, who are attracted to leading sustainable lifestyles.

With renewed interest in all things “soil,” gardening shows are set for a big return to the small screen after toiling in obscurity in recent years, said Arthur, who is co-host of HGTV’s Critical Listing and star of the new series Home to Win.

In fact, his presentations on Saturday and Sunday at this year’s Calgary Home + Garden Show will explore the “endangered” status of such shows and their impending re-birth, as signalled by what Arthur estimates is more than 10 million gardening-related blogs currently online.

Arthur will also keep his attention at this year’s show to outside the home with a presentation on Saturday titled Top 5 Places to Renovate Outdoors.

“There are great opportunities for renovations outdoors that offer bigger returns than kitchen and bath renos,” he said. “The first impression your home makes can impact home value by eight per cent.”

Other featured presenters at this year’s show will include André Chevigny of HGTV’s Timber Kings; design and lifestyle expert Amanda Forrest, who’ll be talking about incorporating colour into the home; and arborist Michael Alkema, who’ll be offering a presentation on tree care in Calgary.

In addition to a full lineup of speakers, this year’s show will also offer on-site workshops on everything from the art of floral arranging to how to make trendy terrariums and shadowbox planters.

The show floor itself will see some 650 exhibitors, most of them featuring products and services related to landscaping, gardening, home renovation and home exteriors. Food trucks will also be on site for “nutritional re-fueling.”

Assistant show manager Jenn Tait expects this year’s show to attract more than 60,000 visitors. In particular, she points out the popular Ask-an-Expert feature, presented by CREB®Now, where renovators, interior designers and landscapers will be available throughout the four-day event for complimentary consultations with attendees.

Tait said attendees can also walk through a feature home on location for inspiration regarding layout, landscaping and garage design.

The Ultimate Upcycle Challenge also returns to this year’s show. Local personalities will be upcycling second-hand items into planters, which will be up for auction with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity.

The Calgary Home & Garden Show will take place at the BMO Centre and Corral on the Stampede grounds Thursday, Feb. 25 and Friday, Feb 26 from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission is $16 for adults, $13 for seniors and free for children under 12. Attendees booking online will receive $3 off. Seniors day returns Friday, Feb. 26 with $7 admission before 5 p.m.

For a detailed lineup of speakers, exhibitors and general show information, visit www.calgaryhgs.com.

Also, stay connected on Facebook and Pinterest by visiting “Home and Garden Events” and Twitter at @HomeShowsAB.

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