By Peter Covino

A&E Editor

Flower and garden enthusiasts across the state and even around the country have probably already circled March 5 on their calendars as the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival marks its return to the theme park.

This year’s festival, featuring garden tips and seminars, food samplings and guest musical acts such as Gary Lewis and the Playboys and The Alan Parsons Live Project, will run through May 18.

Also coming up soon is the Orlando Museum Antiques Vintage and Garden Show, featuring both antique dealers from across the United States, plus a lots of stuff of  interest to gardeners. That show runs Feb. 14-16 at the museum in Orlando.

But you can get a head start on gardening ideas (and you need to when you live in Central Florida) with the large list of upcoming gardening shows. Mostly all of the show, tours and more listed here come from the pages of Florida Gardening magzine, a great source for Florida growers featuring lots of how-to tips on fruits, vegetables, flowering trees and a whole lot more. The magazine publishes six times a year. For subscription information e-mail or online at

Feb. 1

Today is First Saturday in the Gardens, Discovery Gardens in Tavares. Admission is free, educational programs, $5. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gardens are located at 1951Woodlea Rd. 352-343-4101.

Eco-Nomic Living Expo, Orlando, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event features learning about sustainable practices in gardening, nutrition and personal finance. Plants and other items also for sale. At 6021 S. Conway Rd. 407-254-9214.

Feb. 1-2

Gardenfest comes to Riverside Park in Vero Beach. The event features orchids, natives, roses, ferns, herbs, palms, bamboo, pottery, garden art and more. Bring a wagon. The park is located at 3250 Riverside Park Dr. 772-567-4602.

Venice Area Orchid Society Show and Sale at the Venice Community Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 326 S. Nokomis Ave.

Feb. 8

The Seed Swap is at Leu Gardens, Orlando. Trade or donate your extra seeds. Participants receive free admission to the gardens, 1920 N. Forest Ave. 9 a.m. to noon.

Feb. 14-15

Titusville Garden Club Plant Sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features Florida-grown azaleas, camellias, lantana, natives and more. At 5275 Sisson Rd. 321-543-3696.

Feb. 15

The Sarasota Succulent Society President’s Day Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Large selection for sale and a speaker at 11 a.m. It’s at 1310 38th St.  941-924-2703.

Feb. 15

The Florida West Coast Orchid Society Sale will held from 9 a.m. to noon in Seminole. The sale offers a large variety and good prices at Seminole United Methodist Church, 5400 Seminole Blvd. 813-918-4546.

Feb. 21-22

The Garden Club of St. Petersburg will hold a flea market, plant and garden sale starting at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 500 Sunset Dr. 727-381-8920.

Feb. 21-23

The Florida Ground Society Show  comes to the Azan Shrine Center, Melbourne, 1591 W. Eau Gallie Blvd. The show features gourd art, crafts, demos, auctions and food. Admission is free.

Feb. 22-23

The Plant and Garden Festival will be held at Selby Gardens, 811 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show feautures orchids, bromeliads, succulents, aquatics, natives edibles, expert advice, bonsai, garden art, tools, music and food. 941-366-5731, Ext. 270.

Feb. 27-March 3

Ringling in Bloom, celebrate the fine arts and flowers in Ringling Galleries, Sarasota. There are various tours and talks including Growing Roses in Florida and the Bayfront Gardens Tour. at the Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd. 941-359-5700.

March 1

The Botanical Fest Plant & Garden Sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Florida Institue of Technology, 150 W. University Blvd., Melbourne (Corner of Babock and University). The show features exotics, palms, accessories and tours. 321-674-6152.

March 1-2

Florida Azalea Festival in historic downtown Palatka & Memorial Park.

March 7-8

The Venice Area Garden Club’s Home Tour is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It also includes the garden shop and plant sale. Tickets are $20. More information at

March 8

Spring Obsession in Lakeland, a celebration of gardens, art and music in Munn Park, corner of Main St. and Kentucky Ave. 863-617-9590.

March 8-9

Marion County Master Gardener Spring Festival featuring plants, decor, accesssories, seminars, kids’ activities and more at the extension office, 2232 NE Jacksonville Rd., Ocala. 352-671-8400.

March 15

An orchid auction will be held at the West Coast Orchid Society in Seminole. The preview is at 9 a.m. and bidding starts at 10 a.m. It will be held at Seminole United Methodist Church, 5400 Seminole Blvd. 727-742-0461.

March 15

The Sarasota Garden Club Tour  features 5 private coastal gardens. $30 advance, $35 dau of tour. 941-955-0875.

March 15

Sumter County Master Gardeners Spring Plant Sale features outdoor structures, vertical and hydroponic gardens, bonsai and more. Admission $1. Free parking. Wildwood Community Center, 6500 Powell Rd., 352-793-2728.

March 15-16

The Spring Plant Sale will be held  at Leu Gardens featuring bromeliads, butterfly plants, bamboo, citrus, ferns, fruit and olive trees, ginger, herbs, orchids, paw paws, roses, trees, vines and more. Free admission. Bring a wagon. It’s at 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando. 407-246-3622.

March 18-19

Native Plants in the Garden will be held in Stuart from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free admission at Tropical Ranch Botanical Gardens, 1905 SW Ranch Trail. 772-283-5565.

March 19-23

American Begonia Society Convention  will hold tours, a plant sale, speakers and a judge show at the Tampa Marriott Westshore. 561-865-9211.

March 22

Tampa Orchid Club will hold an orchid auction at the USF Bontanical Gardens, 12210 USF Pine Dr., from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 813-974-2329.

March 22

The Herb Faire will be hosted  by the Seaside Herb Society in Ormond Beach. The faire will feature herbs, baked goods, soaps, seasonings and more. It is at the Riverbridge Meeting House, 1 N. Beach St from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

March 22-23

The Spring Garden Festival comes to the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville and features plants, garden displays and accessories, arts and crafts, educational exhibits, butterflies and more.  Admission to the event, held   9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, is $8 for adults. Free parking. The gardens are located at 4700 SW 58th St. Dr. 352 372-4981.

With any event, it is advisable to call first to see if weather or other unforseen circumstance causes cancelation or a date change.