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4th Annual Maine Flower Show Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

PORTLAND, Maine (March 13, 2020) – Maine’s largest flower show will not open its doors on March 25-29 due to public health concerns around the spread of coronavirus in Maine and New England. Now in its fourth year, The Maine Flower Show is one of the state’s largest events, drawing nearly 20,000 attendees and more than 100 vendors from across the country.

The Maine Flower Show is put on annually by the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association (MELNA), the nonprofit trade group that supports Maine’s large horticulture industry. Executive Director Don Sproul spent much of the past week weighing options for the event, with the health and well being of attendees, volunteers and members in mind.

“We have been meeting regularly to make sure we are doing the right thing for our industry and the thousands of flower lovers that come to The Maine Flower Show each year,” said Sproul. “On Thursday morning we made the hard decision to cancel, and Governor Janet Mills’ address on Thursday afternoon confirmed that we made the right decision. We called an emergency committee meeting to take the official vote to cancel this morning.”

While all events of more than 250 people have been advised to cancel, The Maine Flower Show presented unique challenges given the demographics of attendees. More than 30 percent of visitors are aged 65 and over, and roughly 20 percent come from out of state. Sproul noted that even in the absence of the Maine CDC’s advice, this demographic raised concerns based on the increased risk of coronavirus to seniors.

Since 2016, The Maine Flower Show has offered a yearly glimpse of Spring and opportunity to see color and bloom in the last long days of winter. Each year hundreds of flowers and plants are specially grown to bloom early and be used in the show’s 12 immersive display gardens. Show coordinators are working with the local nurseries to develop a plan for those flowers, as well as ways to encourage Mainers to embrace what may be an early planting season.

“First and foremost, we want everyone in Maine to be safe,” said Sproul. “But with social distancing now in place, it is a wonderful time to get outside, get in the dirt and plant something! We can all benefit from the fresh air, sunshine and movement while still following CDC guidance.”

The Maine Flower Show plans to return in 2021 at Thompsons Point with dates TBD. For more information on the cancellation or to learn more about ticketholder refunds, please visit https://maineflowershow.com/.

 

About The Maine Flower Show
Owned and produced by members of Maine’s horticulture industry, The Maine Flower Show is one of the biggest gardening and horticultural shows in the region. The Maine Flower Show boasts an exciting new location at Thompson’s Point, with vastly more square footage of plants, hardscape, arbor and garden supplies than any recent local garden show. The Maine Flower Show is encouraging and facilitating participation in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, and provides presentations and seminars throughout the show on all aspects of horticulture. For more information please visit www.maineflowershow.com.

About Maine Landscape & Nursery Association
Established in 1970, the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association (MELNA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and promotion of its members throughout the industry, including financial support of secondary horticultural education and product research, website connectivity, media representation, and a professional certification program. For more information, please visit www.melna.org and www.plantsomethingmaine.org.

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Lemon Queen Sunflowers - Helianthus annuus

Annual

 

Short Description

Beautiful butter yellow flowers blossom mid-summer to frost! Typically grow to more than 5 ft. tall. Expect 70 days to flower.

Growing Guidelines

  1. Around the last frost date, sow seeds directly into the soil.
  2. Plant seeds 1" deep and 6" apart.
  3. Water well after planting.
  4. Apply a 3"-4" layer of mulch to conserve water and keep down weeds.
  5. Thin seedlings to 1 ft. apart to allow 2 to 3 ft. between plants.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun. Sunflowers are drought-resistant, but they'll grow better if you water regularly from the time the flowers begin to develop until they're mature. Thriving in most soils, these flowers will become massive if given ample fertility, space and water. Harvest blossoms for continued flowering.

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Calendula Mix-Calendula officinalis

 

Short Description

Fruition has hand-selected this variety to have a brilliant diversity of colors with dozens of gorgeous, petals on each blossom.

Growing Guidelines

Direct sow (recommended)

  1. After the last frost, sow directly outside in the garden.
  2. Plant seed 24 to 36 inches apart in all directions.

Transplant method

  1. A cool-season plant, calendula can be started indoors in flats, under grow lights 6-8 weeks before the last frost for early season flowering.
  2. Seeds germinate in 5-15 days.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun to partial shade. Easy to grow and remarkably drought tolerant, calendula also thrives in containers and will readily naturalize when let go to seed.

Transplanting Tips

  1. Purchase a good seed starting soil like Espoma Organic seed starting mix or Coast of Maine.
  2. Use a small greenhouse tray(tray with a clear plastic dome) to germinate your seeds.
  3. When it's time to transplant into the garden, use a fertilizer like Espoma Flower-tone or Espoma Plant-tone.

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Purple Queen Anne's Lace

"Dara" Daucus carota

 

Short Description

Gorgeously laced 3-5" umbels in shades of burgundy, lilac, mauve & white on long, strong stems perfect for cutting, adored by pollinators. Related to our native carrot, Queen Anne's Lace.

Growing Guidelines

Direct sow (recommended)

  1. In early spring, after late frost, sow seeds directly in soil.
  2. Plant 1 seed 1/8" deep and 2" apart.
  3. Expect 2 weeks for germination.
  4. When seedlings are 2-3" tall, thin to 1 plant every 9-12".
  5. Support may be needed if fertility is high or if your garden is windy.

Transplant method

  1. Chill seed at 40 F 1-2 weeks prior to sowing 1/8" deep, 2 seeds per cell 4-5 weeks before planting out.
  2. Expect germination in 1-2 weeks.
  3. When first leaves appear, transplant into larger containers.
  4. Harden off & transplant with 9-12" between plants after last frost.

Care and Feeding
Plant in full sun. Expect 65-75 days to maturity. Dara has an exceptionally long vase life; harvest when 80% of an umbel's flowers are open & no pollen has shed. Enjoy 7-15 heads per plant on swaying 35-50" stalks.

Transplanting Tips

  1. Purchase a good seed starting soil like Espoma Organic seed starting mix or Coast of Maine.
  2. Use a small greenhouse tray(tray with a clear plastic dome) to germinate your seeds.
  3. When it's time to transplant into the garden, use a fertilizer like Espoma Flower-tone or Espoma Plant-tone.
Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Marigolds

Annual

Care and Feeding

Transplant Only: Sow 4 weeks before last frost shallowly, 2 seeds per cell and thin to 1, keeping soil surface moist until emergence. Transplant to larger containers when true leaves appear. Harden off and transplant outside when the danger of frost has passed with 12" between plants. Deadhead for blossoms all season.

  • Sowing Date: Indoors before last frost
  • Seed Depth: 1/4 inch
  • Days to Germination: 4-7 days at 75-80°F
  • Days to Maturity: 60
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 12 inches
  • Height: 12 inches

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Organic Mexican Sunflower (Torch Tithonia)

Annual

Care and Feeding
Direct Seed (recommended): After final frost, sow every 8" and thin to one every ~2'. Light required to germ, so barely cover seed. Full sun is best. Any (even poor) soil is suitable. Harvest flowers when 90% open for bouquets.

Transplant: Sow indoors 2-3 weeks before last frost, transplanting after frost with spacing below.
 
  • Sowing Date: After frost; Late May- early June
  • Seed Depth: 1/2 inch
  • Days to Germination: 7-14 days
  • Days to Maturity: 85
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 2 feet
  • Height: 5-7 feet

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.

Cosmos

Annual

Care and Feeding

Direct Seed (recommended): After last frost, shallowly sow 4 seeds/foot & thin to 1/foot when first true leaves appear. Wider spacing = thicker stronger stems.

Bouquets: harvest when petals first open. Deadhead for blooms all season.

Transplant: Shallowly sow 4 weeks before transplanting after last frost at below spacing. Transplant your cosmos for earlier blooms and more full-size plants per pack; direct sow for blooms throughout the season and simplicity of sowing.

  • Sowing Date: After frost, late May to early June 
  • Seed Depth: 1/4 inch
  • Days to Germination: 7-10
  • Days to Maturity: 65-70
  • Plant spacing after thinning: 18-24 inches
  • Height: 3-4 feet

Need more information or gardening supplies? Contact your local independent garden center.