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Blooms Are Booming at Winter Shows

It's the off season for gardeners but don't pine away all winter waiting to hit the local nursery at the first thaw. Want to shake the winter blahs right now? The hot trends for spring are being previewed now in garden magazines and at major flower shows throughout the U.S., as reported in Garden Design Magazine.

Big, bold and beautiful are the continuing themes from last year, when daring dahlias shouted their colors and castor beans and sweet potato vines flaunted bizarre foliage. There should be more bulb varieties to choose from this year. Many nurseries are intensifying propagation and experimentation, specializing in various species. For example, 15 Florida growers deal in nothing but caladiums. You can stick bulbs in the ground and leave them there in warmer zones, or north of zone 7 cultivate them as annuals.

Begonias are high-performing annuals both in tuberous and Rex forms, with enough flamboyance to spice up the perennial parade. Daylilies include the new "unusual forms" with sinuous petal shapes unlike any others.

Get your flower fix at your local garden show:

    Philadelphia Flower Show, March 7-14 (215)988-8800

    Northwest Flower & Garden Show, Seattle, Washington, Feb 17-21 (206-789-5333)

    Southeastern Flower Show, Atlanta, Georgia, Feb 17-21 (404)888- 5638

    San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, March 18-21 (800)829-9751

    Gramercy Garden Antiques Show, New York City, Feb 26-28 (212)343- 3626

    Cincinnati Home & Garden Show, Feb 27-Mar 7 (513)281-0022

    Tropical Garden & Flower Show, Palm Beach, FL, Feb 19-21 (561)655-5522

    Wichita Lawn, Flower & Garden Show, Mar 4-7 (316)721-8740

    Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville, Feb 11-14 (615)352-1282