Local companies blossom at Maryland Home and Garden show

A pair of local companies has their landscape work featured at the Maryland Home and Garden Show, which begins Saturday, March 3, and continues through this and the following weekend at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

The featured garden at the show was created by the Lutherville-based European Landscapes, and in keeping with the show's theme of "books in bloom," the company created a Tuscan garden straight out of "Under the Tuscan Sun."

Glen Gutierrez, a West Towson resident who started the company nearly 20 years ago, said the design took around three months and was very much in line with what the company prides itself on.

"We don't hold back," he said. "We want to push limits and present the best that we can do. This is a big ticket item, but this is what you can get right here in Towson."

Gutierrez' garden, which is located just inside of the main entrance of the Cow Palace where the show is being held, is centered around a 14-foot long sandstone table with matching benches that is situated beneath an arbor made of salvaged lumber.

At the rear of the garden, which is surrounded by tall evergreens, a stucco fireplace sits sentry in front of a sitting area. And in a touch of simple creativity, walls made of firewood stacks flank the sitting area

On Thursday, as Gutierrez and his crew were putting the finishing touches on the project — he said he expected an all-nighter Thursday, and had been there until the early morning the past few days — vibrant purple flowers sat outside the garden area, waiting to be planted.

Gutierrez said it was his company's third time as the featured garden at the show. The first came in 1993 and the more recent in 2009. In those cases, European Landscapes' designation to be featured came after winning Best in Show the previous year.

Last year's winner, however, deferred the honor of creating the featured garden this year, and as runner-up last year, Gutierrez stepped in.

Meanwhile, also at the show, Brian Lewis of Perry Hall, who runs the Hunt Valley-based Outdoor Advantage company, was finishing work on his garden, based on Roald Dahl's "James and the Giant Peach."

The garden, which featured plantings in peach baskets, contrasted the rural and urban settings that the story takes James through, with a city-style patio beside a small pond.

"We didn't take it as literal, which is good," Lewis said. "This is more realistic to people."

Visions of home and garden

The Maryland Home and Garden Show will run this weekend, Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Sunday, March 4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at the fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium. Second weekend hours are March 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; March 10, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; and March 11, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The show features the custom gardens, as well as hundreds of exhibitors and displays related to home and gardening. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors; $3 for ages 6 to 12; free for those younger than 6. Also free for active military, police and fire employees with ID. Admission to the craft show only is $6.

For more details, go to http://www.mdhomeandgarden.com.

A special Preview Garden Party, on Friday, March 2, 6-9 p.m., benefits Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake. The preview includes music by Jimmy Gaudreau and Moondi Klein. Tickets are $60 at the door. Go to http://www.habitatchesapeake.org. 410-252-0200.

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