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Savannah Garden & Antiques Expo's in full bloom
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There’s a new addition -- or is it an old addition? -- to the Savannah Garden Exposition. It’s now the Savannah Garden & Antiques Exposition. Savannah’s secret gardens, lush parks and squares intrigue visitors and residents alike with their ever-changing colors and scents. Now, you can learn the secrets of the city’s master gardeners. The addition of antiques isn’t the only change you’ll see. The event has been expanded from two to three full days, and a jazz brunch has been added. Funds raised by the exposition benefit the Isaiah Davenport House Museum and the Historic Savannah Foundation. “It is this area’s premier gardening event,” says Jamie Credle, director of the Isaiah Davenport House Museum, and the expo’s volunteer coordinator. Several demonstrations will be offered, including How to Build a Window Box, with Christine Pullen, co-host of Bushwhacked on Turner South. There will be competitions, including the Floral Competition and the Window Box Competition. In the Exhibition Garden Competition, gardeners will interpret a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson -- “Earth laughs in flowers,” “from Hamatreya. One of the most popular attractions is the Open Air Marketplace, where vendors sell items as diverse as rare and collectible plants, garden ornaments, birdhouses and garden furniture. There will be children’s activities, including horticultural-themed crafts and projects they can take home. “We have world-class speakers,” Credle says. Up first is P. Allen Smith, who will speak Friday at 11 a.m. in the Roundhouse Railroad Museum’s Blacksmith Shop. A professional garden designer and Certified Fellow of the Royal Horticulture Society, he has built a television, publishing and Internet franchise. The host of P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home on PBS and also has a nationally syndicated TV series, P. Allen Smith’s Gardens, Smith frequently can be seen on the CBS Early Show, NBC’s Today Show and CNN’s Open House. He will present 5 Things You Should Know About Color for the Garden, based on his fourth gardening book. On Saturday, Mary Kay Andrews, author of Little Bitty Lies, Hissy Fit, Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze, will present Adventures in Antiquing about her passion for “junk.” Listeners will be ready to round up their own “junk posse” to hit the estate sale and flea market circuit. After a question-and-answer session, Andrews will sign copies of her books. The Jazz Brunch will be held Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. Dine from a Southern-style brunch buffet while listening to jazz musicians from the Savannah Music Festival. The expo is one of three fundraisers that benefit the Historic Savannah Foundation. “We have two more events that raise money for us,” says Mark McDonald, executive director of the Historic Savannah Foundation. “We have the Tour of Homes and Gardens that we share with the Christ Episcopal Church the third weekend in March,” he says. “The other is the Historic Savannah Gala in October. “The foundation has been around since 1955,” McDonald says. “We operate a revolving fund to save endangered historic buildings. The proceeds go to that.” “The money allows us to do something special we couldn’t normally do within the course of the year,” Credle says. “We will earmark it for some wonderful project.” Want to serve as a volunteer? Credle is searching for a variety of volunteers, including parking assistant, concession stand worker, greeter and more. Call Credle at 236-8097 or send e-mail to “It takes about 200 volunteers to do this,” she says. “The event is held rain or shine,” Credle says. “We keep our fingers crossed. One year, we had some wind, but no rain. We have a covered area so all shopping can go on.” The Savannah Garden & Antiques Exposition will be held March 31 through April 2 at the Roundhouse Railroad Museum. General admission is $10 per day. Children under 12 accompanied by a paying adult will be admitted free. Tickets for the preview party are $125 for the general public and $100 for HSF/DH members. Tickets for the Jazz Brunch are $45, which includes general admission for Sunday. The cost of the lectures is $25 per lecture, which includes general admission for the day. The walking tours are $20 each. The Friday and Saturday self-guided tours and the Sunday guided tour of Forsyth Park, led by the Savannah Tree Foundation, are $20 each. The Sunday tour of the Armstrong Atlantic Arboretum is $15. Walking tour tickets do NOT include general admission. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, call 236-4795, or purchase tickets online by visiting