After the recent cold spell, perhaps spring is finally here to stay. One thing is certain: This weekend the 40th annual New Orleans Spring Garden Show will be taking place at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens in City Park.

The show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 7. The New Orleans Spring Garden Show is the largest event of its kind in Louisiana. Anyone who loves to garden will find something of interest; however, it really is an event for the entire family.

There are over 50 vendors offering plants of all kinds: cactuses, bromeliads, ferns, vegetables, shrubs, fruit trees, shade trees, roses, annuals, perennials, native plants, pollinator plants — the list is extensive.

You’ll also find the extras that every landscape and yard require: unique artwork that adds that extra touch, tools from the traditional to the creative, containers that are themselves works of art, beautiful hardwood swings and chairs, pottery for inside the home and jewelry with a plant theme.

Speaking of art, the Pavilion of the Three Sisters this year houses "RESPONSE — Artists In The Park," an art exhibition and sale of original works created by artists “in response” to the natural landscape of the botanical garden and its surrounding park.

While viewing the Garden Show offerings, you’ll be able to enjoy the sounds of local musicians as they serenade visitors. Local chef Raquel Oliveira will provide cooking demonstrations both days, with samples available.

The Garden Study Center will be the site of educational talks by gardening experts on topics such as using native plants, gingers, growing tea, Louisiana Super Plants, herbs, attracting birds, garden insects, butterflies and plants for Southeast Louisiana.

Experts such as Buddy Lee, Bradley Hiatt, David Baker, Michele Andre, Linda Auld and others will give presentations and answer your questions.

Your local AgCenter agents as well as LSU AgCenter state extension specialists will be on hand to answer your questions and offer advice about lawns, vegetables, ornamentals, soils, insects and diseases.

Plus, there will be Master Gardeners throughout the garden ready to share their expertise.

Many of New Orleans’ plant societies and organizations are planning to offer educational booths. There will be a Kids Activity Center where LSU AgCenter 4H agents provide fun activities that are sure to entertain your kids while teaching them about the world of plants. And everyone will enjoy the birdhouse trail in the native plant area where pros and amateurs demonstrate just how artistic these avian abodes can be.

Entry is $10 for adults and $5 for children age 5-12. Kids 4 and under is free.

The beauty of the New Orleans Botanical Gardens this time of year is worth the price of admission alone. So pack up the gang, gather your friends and come pass a good time at this year’s New Orleans Spring Garden Show.

For additional information, go to: neworleanscitypark.com/botanical-garden/spring-garden-show

For a free subscription to the GNOGardening newsletter, email GNOGardening@agcenter.lsu.edu. It is packed full of timely articles of local interest and information on planting times, monthly chore list and local aggie happenings. You can also visit the LSU AgCenter website for loads of other free information. Send your gardening questions to GNOGardening@AgCenter.LSU.edu.

Q: Do tomatoes need a cross-pollinator variety to set fruit? — Jackie

A: Tomatoes are self-fertile and normally wind-pollinated, though they do attract bees and are bee-pollinated as well. A single tomato plant is fully capable of producing a crop.


Joe Willis and Anna Timmerman are LSU AgCenter agents. Email gnogardening@agcenter.lsu.edu with questions or to receive the GNO Gardening Newsletter. For more information, visit lsuagcenter.com.