This weekend, the Industrial Arts Building at the Lake County Fairgrounds will be transformed into a lush garden landscape, with dozens of vendors offering products, advice and inspiration to gardeners from around the area.
About 3,000 people are expected to attend the 13th Annual Waterscape Weekend Garden Pond Expo, sponsored by the Illiana Garden Pond Society.
The event is designed to help gardeners take their landscaping and backyards to the next level, said Kathy Bartley, the Expo chair.
“Every part of the building will be landscaped,” she said. “You will feel like you are walking through a park. Some of the designs you will see are phenomenal.”
There will be vendors selling everything from fish to equipment for water gardeners, as well as plants, gourd and glass yard decorations, lighting options and irrigation options.
There also will be local not-for-profit organizations who will be exhibiting information on their upcoming garden walks as well as Lake County Master Gardeners offering helpful tips and answering questions. There also will be educational seminars and workshops.
“This year, we have 58 vendors. We have our usual ones coming back, as well as eight new ones,” she said. “They are offering everything from koi fish for your garden’s pond to ironwork that is beautiful.”
Recent trends include container gardening and vertical gardening, and there will be lots of supplies available to support gardeners who are interested in these trends. The trend focuses on gardening in a smaller scale, with vertical gardening focusing on growing plants at different elevations, as in up the side of a wall.
“We can show them what kinds of products to look for, either on a smaller scale or a larger scale,” she said. “It’s a really unique, self-contained, self-watering kind of garden.”
Master gardeners will also be available to answer questions, she said.
“The purpose of our organization, the Illiana Garden Pond Society, is about educating the public on gardening and incorporating water into their gardens,” she said. “The money we generate from this event goes back into the community, either through community beautification projects or through scholarships.”
For experienced gardeners, the event is a chance to get specialized products, or products that are new to the market, or to get inspiration for your own garden at home.
“We really do have everything, so many beautiful options,” she said. “There is definitely something for everyone here.”