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Day Trip: Emphasizing garden, home trends at event

Home & Garden Showcase runs for 2 days

MACHESNEY PARK – The annual Home & Garden Showcase is in its 11th year with a variety of free training and much to look at this weekend.

To step into spring and summer, the showcase features more than 100 businesses with products and services that focus in both outside and inside. Visitors will be able to find out about ponds and waterfalls, landscaping, decks, garden gadgets, and remodeling ideas.

Those with some money in their pockets should set some aside to spend at the live plant sale, which is billed as being at "low show prices." There is a wide variety to choose from numbering in the 100s.

On Saturday and Sunday, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. Showgoers can bring in plants for the Master Gardeners to view and answer questions about.

The true gem of the showcase is the clinic. Throughout both days, visitors will be able to pick up helpful hints on an assortment of topics.

Saturday's schedule is: 10:30 a.m. "Water Gardens For Everyone," by Natural Water Gardens of Freeport; 11:30 a.m. "Gardening in a Container," by Master Gardener Mary Thiesing; 12:30 p.m. "Healthy Gardening and Body Mechanics," by Master Gardener Connie Austin; 1:30 p.m. "Gardening With Ornamental Grasses," by Master Gardener Michelle Cox; 2:30 p.m. "Sustainable Landscape Techniques," by Tyler Smith of Tyler's Landscaping in Rockford; and 3:45 p.m. "Preparing Your Lawn for Spring," by Andrea Rundblade of Crimson Valley Landscaping in Rockford.

Offered on Sunday are: 10:30 a.m. "Water Gardens For Everyone;" 11:30 a.m. "Gardening to Attract Birds and Butterflies," by Thiesing; 12:30 p.m. "How to Build a Bird Feeder," by Master Gardener Dave Waller; 1:15 p.m. "Introduction to Miniature Gardening," by Cox; 2:15 p.m. "Tips to Maintain Container Gardens," by Master Gardener Cristie Telfair; and 3 p.m. "Sustainable Landscape Techniques."

Whether the showgoers live in homes with yards or apartments, they will discover plenty of suggestions for something different or ways to tackle persistent problems.

If you go

What: Home & Garden Showcase

Where: Forest Hills Lodge, state Route 173 and Forest Hills Road, Machesney Park (next to Rockford Speedway)

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 5 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 6

Cost: Free, both admission and parking

Information: Go to or call 815-871-7469

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