So the 40-year-old Leesburg, Va., resident was pleasantly surprised when someone at an antique shop in Funkstown referred her to the Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association’s Flower & Garden Show on Saturday.
On her way into the show at the college’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center, she was smitten with a hand-painted screen in a weathered window frame.
“I saw somebody walk out with one and I followed them,” she said.
By the time Frye had tracked down the painted screen vendor among the more than 90 vendors there, only three of the treasured items remained. For $30, she bought one decorated with an image of a garden angel, though she didn’t know where she would put it once she got it home.
“I’ll probably move it 20 times before I decide,” Frye said.
Her friend Joy Dotson, 41, of Round Hill, Va., also bought a framed screen to hang over an old jelly cupboard. And the two picked up some slate signs for what they said were “very reasonable prices.”
The abundance of unique items, along with the staples of spring, are what most shoppers said draw them to the show, which is now in its 18th year.
Cindy Dressel, 60, of Keedysville, found decorative plates embellished with gemstones and repurposed as staked garden ornaments.
“I try to look for unique things,” Dressel said. “This is the time of year when I get out and start thinking, getting fresh ideas, being creative. There are always new and interesting vendors here.”
Eric and Bonnie Stouffer, both 52, of Waynesboro, Pa., said they buy miniature daffodils each year at the show. This year, Eric Stouffer switched things up a little, purchasing a 20-year-old bonsai tree.
“I’ve often admired these over the years, so I thought I’d give it a whirl,” he said.
Raquel Castillo, 36, of Martinsburg, W.Va., spoke with representatives from Panhandle Hydroculture about hydroponic indoor gardening. Castillo said she doesn’t own a home, so she needs to do all of her planting and growing inside.
“I grow plants everywhere. In my room, in my bathroom. This would come in really handy when you don’t have much room and you want to grow things,” she said.
Bob and Ann Lochbaum, both 75, of Hagerstown, said they regularly attend the event. Ann Lochbaum toted a 3-foot-tall bunch of pussy willows, which she plans to stand in an umbrella holder inside her front door. She also purchased a miniature birdhouse to decorate potted geraniums on her front porch.
“I love looking at all the pretty things and drooling. The lovely arrangements, the metal frogs, the stepping stones. All the cute things,” she said.
Bob Lochbaum said the event “does a lot for our community and for the school.”
John Benchoff, chairman of the show, said about 2,400 people had visited the show by Saturday afternoon. He anticipated around 5,000 would attend throughout the weekend. Proceeds to benefit college projects were expected to be around $35,000, he said.
If you go ...
What: HCC Alumni Association Flower & Garden Show
When: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Hagerstown Community College’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center
Cost: $4 for adults; free for children younger than 12