Sea of green: Flourishing Gardenfest attracts 20,000

The Garden Club of Indian River County, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, transformed Riverside Park into a veritable Garden of Eden last weekend for its 17th annual Gardenfest, a two-day horticulture extravaganza that drew an estimated 20,000 gardeners to the park.

Vendors plying their wares again numbered at 85, offering every conceivable gardening accessory imaginable.

In addition to all-things-green, bee boxes, birdhouses, planters, pottery, furniture, fire pits, lighting and statuary were there for the taking. And Ask an Expert workshops attracted audiences of novices and master gardeners alike to hear respected professionals impart their green-thumbed expertise.

Wagonload after wagonload of fruit trees, flowering plants, palm trees, ferns, succulents, bromeliads, Florida natives, herbs, orchids, bamboo, roses, African violets and garden accessories left the park powered under the steam of Boys and Girls Club volunteers.

The Garden Club partnered with other green-minded nonprofits, and representatives of the Environmental Learning Center, Shining Light Garden Foundation and the Vero Beach Orchid Society shared their missions to educate and beautify the community through gardening, floral arrangement, horticulture and landscape design.

Proceeds from the event support the protection and conservation of native plants and natural resources, provides scholarships and enables club members to continue their civic beautification projects.

Next up, the Bougainvillea Circle will host its 20th Annual Antique and Vintage Show and Sale Feb. 10-11 at the Garden Club. For information, visit gardenclubofirc.org.

Photos by: Gordon Radford and Stephanie LaBaff
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