ST. JOHN | Despite the wintry conditions outside, spring and summer ruled inside Alsip Home & Nursery on Sunday as visitors took in brilliantly colored blossoms and bubbling fountains at the 2013 Flower & Garden Show.
Sponsored by The Times Media Co., the event over the weekend gave visitors and vendors a chance to plan for the coming months of warmer weather.
Steven Buikema, of Schererville, showed his daughters around the show. Brooke, 5, and Taylor, 3, decided a miniature orange tree would be a perfect addition to their home, while 12-year-old Peyton looked forward to taking the goldfish she won home.
“We came looking for house plants because we don’t have any,” Steven Buikema said. “Plants help with the air in the home. We’re also looking at hummingbird feeders. It would be nice for the girls to watch the birds.”
A variety of vendors also were on hand to inform potential customers about their products.
More families are extending their living spaces outdoors, and Vega’s Landscaping Inc., of Valparaiso, can provide surfaces such as pavers, walls and outdoor kitchens, said Adalberto Ochoa, a company foreman.
“We do fire pits and outdoor kitchens that have an oven. You can cook a pizza or bake bread,” Ochoa said. “You can gather on your patio with family and toast marshmallows in the fire pit.”
Outdoor lighting adds beauty, safety and security to a home, said Darrin Selking, president and lighting designer at Landscape Illumination, of Valparaiso.
“We deal exclusively with LED lighting. It’s really energy efficient and maintenance free,” Selking said. “LED lighting has been around since the 1970s, but in the last seven to 10 years, it’s come into the home.”
For those who were looking for lawn and garden solutions, Philip Schaafsma Sr. offered Organic Alpha Thrive, a product that adds mycorrhizal fungi to the soil. The fungi attach themselves to the roots of plants, increasing the root mass promoting the absorption of more water and nutrients.
“You put this down in addition to fertilizer,” he said.