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Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show: "Masterpiece of Trade Shows"

The Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, known as "The Masterpiece of Trade Shows" comes to the Baltimore Convention Center this week, and retailers who visit will be making decisions about what to have for sale for gardeners this year.

MANTS, as it is called, is here Wednesday through Friday. It features nearly 600 booths and about a thousand vendors -- down from previous years -- and they will be displaying everything from petunias to heavy equipment.

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This trade show began in 1970 as a cooperative effort among the Nursery and Landscape Associations of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. It moved around for a few years before settling permanently at the Convention Center in 1981 because it had gotten so large.

There is plenty for retailers to see: plants, shrubs and trees, landscape and garden items, heavy and light duty equipment, tools, furniture, fountains, containers, sheds, greenhouses and dozens of other yard and garden products.

But the general public is not invited. Indeed, the event isn't even featured on the Convention Center's web site. (Just as well. There is no shopping.)

But Garden Variety will be there, and I will report back on what looks like it will be hot for 2011.

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