Green Thumb Festival

irun5kApril 26, 2012

Anyone heading to the Green Thumb Festival this weekend in St. Pete?

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yep - first thing Saturday morning! Love it!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 6:50AM
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Yeah, it's one of my favorites. Since it is so close I usually go both days.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 8:38AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

I'll be there first thing in the morning tomorrow, odd as this sounds I've never been - I hate to cross the county due to traffic but since it's a Saturday it should not be too bad....


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:29PM
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We are planning to go as well- last year was our first year. I thought it was going to be just one or two folding tables set up in front of a community center with a few lame plants on top. Boy were we surprised :)

This is such a great county for growing things that you ordinarily couldn't get away with unless you were further south. I just wish we had a larger yard :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Tom, it is definitely worth it. Show up early and you get a free plant. Show up late and you can barely move it is so crowded.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 8:43PM
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Definitely going, it is always great! Plus it is only a couple of blocks from the community garden where I have my plots so I can work in watering at the same time.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:57PM
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We plan on being there tomorrow-Sunday- I have a new wagon-garden-cart, the big yellow one from Lowes, Calvin will haul it for me, I'm looking to find a Avocado tree, , also a Loquat, also some different Salvia, see what's available... haven't seen any blue Salvia anyplace this year, I want the perennial kind... hope to see you foks there!! sally

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 5:03PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Wow, what a friggin nightmare - been there, done that! Came in off 38th and after Tyrone came to a dead stop a quarter mile from the park, good thing I've been here since 1957, went over to Park and got in one of the LAST 1000 parking spaces they had left at 0855 in only five minutes. Scoped it out for 30 minutes, bought a Brogdon and one of the Lion's Ear/Tail that I really wanted and got the **ll out of there by 0949....

Never again....


    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 7:33PM
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I guess it is a trade off - crowds for heat. I went around noon and there was no traffic whatsoever and was able to park about 8 spots from the entrance. I came in off of 22nd after stopping at the community garden at 22nd ave and 78th St.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 10:19PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Tom, I am so sorry. It sounds like it was exasperating for you. I'm glad you at least got a couple of plants. I know that you have been after that Lion's Ear/Tail for awhile. Can you imagine if you left empty-handed?!


    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Yes - totally different experience for me this year too. I won't go early again. Last year I went on Sunday afternoon, bought everything at a discount, and had a blast. This year I went first thing Saturday morning and I couldn't even see the plants for the people. Also - I didn't see much I couldn't get at lowes for a good or better price. That was kind of a confusing experience. I did come home with a lovely bouganvilla that I haven't seen before. The bracts are Pink fading into a lovely cream. Very nice!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:53AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Everyone said get there early for the best selection...I'm just not into crowds like that, you could barely move and had to be really careful not to get run over by or fall over the carts and parking was so tight I had a tough time getting out without running into other parked vehicles, forward/reverse several times just to get out, no doubt in my mind some folks had damaged vehicles....If I do go again it sure won't be first thing in the morning.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:58AM
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Now this is interesting. Yesterday morning was really crowded and I left at 10. This morning it wasn't too bad, but started to get crowded around 11. I picked up a pretty Hawaiian sunset vine, an "old fashioned" red penta, and 6 little succulents for $5.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 1:00PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

So sorry I didn't get to this in time - I'm on the GT comittee & have been awfully busy for the past week or so...

FWIW, the early birds usually flock for the free giveaway plants & $3 trees(lots & lots of crepe myrtles this year, along w/ natives); there are lines waiting before they even open. I also prefer late Sunday for the best deals & less crowding; the ginger guy will practically give away roots late on Sunday - last year I got a bagful of fragrant gingers for $3.

There's also free hardwood mulch over near the dog park - 2 bags per customer.

I run the children's crafts area & we were so busy this year I couldn't get away to shop like I have in the past. Tho I did manage to hit several of my faves - Seminole Vo-Tech & the county jail PTEC program - both are a good cause, have awesome deals & most everything's generally less than $5. & J.A. Dodson has the best fruit trees & plants, IMO. This year I got a variegated pink lemon to replace my 40 yr old Meyer that finally bit the dust, along w/ some great cultural advice for 1 of my ailing trees. That guy knows his stuff!

Hint for future attendees - go to the information tent 1st & get a guide - it has a map & listing of all the vendors. This year they worked very hard to have good signage on all the aisles.

Also, I understand many folks don't even realise that there is a big flower show & children's plant fair inside the center(along w/ air conditioning) - I always love to see the plant specimens display - so many cool bromeliads & succulents, etc..

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 10:06AM
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We got there abt. 10 on Sun., very little traffic, parked in front of the bldg. w/lots of empty spaces.... not a big crowd, but along toward noon it increased... I shopped for a Brogdon also but they were higher than HD and Kathy's Korner, so I just bought small stuff and several unusual Orchids, and of course we got some Kettle Korn... very enjoyable morning and I look forward to next year.... sally

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 4:19PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

I shopped for a Brogdon also but they were higher than HD and Kathy's Korner

Another point, everything was very pricy Saturday...IF I do go again, which I doubt is going to happen, it will be on Sunday afternoon. Even though it will be mostly leftovers I'm sure the vendors will come down on price to reduce the inventory that they have to take home....

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 7:21PM
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keiki(10 FL)

I have only made it to this sale once and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to go this time but couldnt go, sounds like I didnt miss much. What a shame to hear this, I thought so highly of this sale.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 11:06PM
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I look forward to going again next year, maybe later on Sun. and try and find some real bargains.... lots of the stuff there is dead-common, but there is such a large variety that finding unusual things and/or rare plants is possible, plants not usually available in local Nurseries... the orchids I got are very unusual, never seen before (at least by me), dark purple w/bright yellow throat and pink center..... so was well worth the trip...also just people-watching, and running into folks from GW..also from the Heritage Rose group......(wear your name-tag)....sally

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Hi All,
I am more of a "lurker" here but really wanted to comment about the Green Thumb Festival this past week end.
I am a vendor (not plants) and travel all over the state to a lot of the plant sales for my business.
Out of all of them, I have to say Green Thumb is in my top three picks for shows, if not usually my number one show for the season.
I strongly disagree with the statement that most of the plant material there was "common" and could be easlier purchased for less money at the big box stores.
Yes, there was, and always will be, let's call it general/generic plants, at the show. A huge part of the customer base calls for that.
I was only able to socialize and walk around Sunday morning, and have to say that even then, there was a ton of dif plants that you would be hard pressed to find outside a very good nursery, if even then. What about the Japanese hollyhocks in dif colors?, All the dif irises, the Grand Duke Jasmine I purchased (and he sold out both Saturday and Sunday with that plant), the 30 plus varieties of mint at the herb booth, the dif. gingers everywhere, do any of you have a dancing lady ginger? I couldn't find mine at HD or Lowes.And what about the white desert roses?
These are just a small example of what's at Green Thumb. you can find small starts for a buck to a palm for $700.
Plants,are not cheap for these vendors. If they are not either starting them at their nursery(think containers, soil, starters, water, etc...) or tracking down and purchasing a special find for a show, it's gotten much more expensive. Plus the cost of setting up a booth, traveling to you the consumer, staying over night if you don't live there, the list goes on.
Yup, it's crowded, and it takes a lot of patience to get through the crowd and search out what you really, really, want.
But it's a nice day out, you get to see so much, talk to some experts in their field, and for the most part have a nice day outside, searching out that special plant.
And as for big huge bargins Sunday afternoon. This show is notorious for people asking for that. Maybe some plant vendors can do that, if it's the end of the season, they have no more shows, etc...BUT, I must add that for the majority, me included, I really strive to give my customer a fair price right up front.A lot of times that discount is already there, or as low as it can go for that vendor's bottom line.
Most of us doing these shows are never going to be wealthy with money, it's not going to happen. But we are very wealthy with other friends/vendors at shows, beautiful plants and garden related objects to see and talk about.
Thanks for letting me "vent".

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 7:27PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I agree that the festival is not just about the shopping - there is so much more! The County Extension Svc is always there, along w/ a lot of non-profits like wildlife rescue & native plants society, all kinds of educational things. There is the 'Grow & Share' program inside where you can hear about horticultural topics & take free plants & cuttings, & many cool programs under the main tent - my faves are the wildlife & natives presentations. This year a huge falcon flew right through the tent over our heads!

I really enjoy being able to talk to so many knowledgeable folks & share our love for wildlife & all things green.

& indeed, not all vendors will have special Sun. pm deals - but you can def. find some good 1s if you pay attention...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 12:00PM
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