March, for most of America, is usually the most miserable month of the year. Ice and snow, rain and mud, cold and gloom, just about anything meteorologically bad can and usually does happen to us during the third month. Yet, with characteristic initiative and confidence, we select this very month to put on parade the glory, glamour and grandeur of our great Spring Flower Shows.
This March there are five of the big shows and it is amid the full-flowered beauty of these artificial Edens that millions of Americans will discover once again the enthusiasm which will launch their gardening season.
It is variously estimated that there are some 50,000,000 gardening families in this nation of ours – that is, at least members of that many buy items of plant material, garden tools and supplies. It is big business, a tremendous business, indeed, and it is the Spring Flower Shows with all their drama that have played such an important part in providing the inspiration and the information that made this development possible.
Of course, in a large sense, it is the development of gardening itself that makes the Spring Shows possible. All of them depend upon a very wide-spread patronage for their support. Probably, at least 150,000 persons must pay their way through the turnstiles of each of the Shows if they are to meet their expenses. And of this number most are probably gardeners – or if not gardeners, at least interested in gardening in some form.
Primarily it is for this type of American that the aspirined members of the Show staffs sweat and toil. Americans want to be shown and so the SHOWS show them what is new in flowers and vegetables, how to design gardens, how to make the most of plant material, what’s what by way of fertilizers and, just to mention one more thing, what the chemists are producing in herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Actually, each Show is a gathering together and a parading of just about everything that is of interest to amateur gardeners. A man would need to spend many months and travel many miles to see a fraction of what is set before him to profit by within a few hours at any of the major Shows.