PLANNING AND DOING: There are two stages to any activity: the planning and the doing. Yes, for sure, there are probably micro-stages within and next to those -- the cleaning up afterwards probably merits its own category -- but regardless of the task at hand, you need those two elements to get anything one. Most people would probably say they like one category over the other more, but not gardeners. We'll go on record and say that they like both elements equally. One has to purchase seeds and tools and bulbs, which is a pretty pleasurable pursuit. Then one needs to do something with those seeds and tools and bulbs, like put them in ground. Also pleasurable, because you're under the sun, breathing deeply, occasionally swatting away little buzzing things but in general enjoying nature. So where does a major garden show, one that's about to mark a quarter century, fit in? Definitely category one, the planning. And if you've been slow to get your own yard out of its winter doldrums this spring, the Southern California Spring Garden Show is likely the poke you need (delivered ultra gently, of course, by a gardening trowel).
DATES AND DETAILS: The big flower-and-leaf happening takes over a good chunk of South Coast Plaza the final weekend in April, meaning you have through Sunday, April 28 to get to the Crate & Barrel/Macy's area and have a look-see around. Over 75 vendors will be vending gardening tools and books and gloves and such and seminars on African violets and organic gardens and native plants will fill the clock. Start small, if you must, to swing into spring -- a handful of poppy seeds -- or go full-bore this year, with that full rose area you've promised to start for years. Whatever you choose, you've got to leave the planning stage for the doing stage eventually, though. That's how gardens grow, not just with seeds, sunlight, and water.