Beginning gardeners as well as gardening veterans can head to the Pond Expo in Crown Point for ideas and inspiration, said Kathy Bartley, the expo chair for the Illiana Garden and Pond Society.
“Gardening is making your yard a special room that you can enjoy,” she said. “We try to appeal to a lot of different people and let them know what they can put in their gardens.”
The 12th annual Pond Expo will be held at the fairgrounds on April 27 and 28th in the Industrial Arts building.
“We transform the Industrial Arts building, and have it completely landscaped,” she said. “You walk in and meander through paths, and can stop to see the vendors.”
Last year, more than 2,500 people visited the expo, and the event is expected to attract at least that many this year, she said.
The expo began as a way to inspire members and educate people about how to do pond gardening, Bartley said. It has expanded to include wood carvings, sculptures, and other products that can enhance your garden.
“We have nurseries, groups that sell plants and fish, and all kinds of artwork, ironwork or sculptures for your garden,” she said.
Bartley said the show is unique and inspiring for all who visit.
“We have vendors who can show you how to set up a pond, or who can give you different ideas about what to put into your garden,” she said. “They can show you how to connect your house to the garden through blocks or other ideas.”
There will be about 60 vendors, as well as seminars presented by the Lake County Master Gardeners. The master gardeners will be giving away seed packets to the first 500 attendees each day.
There will also be rescue groups, American Greyhounds and Settlers Pond, who will be promoting their upcoming events and fundraisers.
There also will be a group from North Carolina State University who will be surveying people and providing information about invasive species in the Midwest.
“If you need products, supplies or ideas, we have them,” she said. “It’s one-stop shopping for any kind of gardener.”
Some of the latest trends include pond gardens that don’t involve pooling water, at all.
“There are pondless waterfalls,” she said. “You don’t need a pond with fish, but you can still have the feel and sound of a water garden.”
Bartley said the most important thing is that people achieve a state of calm and tranquility with their garden.
“We want you to have the feel that you’ve got an oasis for your hard,” she said. “It’s an inspirational event. It inspires people to let them know they can do anything they want with their yard.”