Growing Ideas into Reality at Home & Garden Show

Brad DeKraker upends the wheelbarrow as Isabel Steers and Zeke Britten spread the mulch around the plants

A seed of an idea for the Spring Home & Garden Show is planted every fall in the greenhouse of the Agriscience Program at Kent Career Tech Center. The idea blooms spectacularly every year at the DeVos Place annual show. Heather Pratt, instructor, leads students through every step of the process, from planning and planting to display construction.

The show was held March 4-6th at the Convention Center. For about the last 14 years, student-designed and built exhibits have occupied a prime space in the main gallery as visitors enter the building. Second year students, Pratt explained, begin planning in November for exhibit completion in March.

Most student designers have worked on the previous year’s project and know the basic parameters. This includes items like all designs including a walkway, small walls to hold the soil, room for an information table and only using available resources, such independent donations.

Pratt explained as the year progresses, students gain enthusiasm as they tend the plants and finalize designs, and look forward to completion. Once the design is built, they staff an information table at the show, talk with visitors about their program and proudly show off the results of their work to parents, relatives and friends. Having something so concrete and visible to demonstrate their work makes it meaningful to students and visitors alike, explained Pratt.

The exhibit also raises awareness within both the professional and general community about the students’ capabilities and expertise. The Tech Center program inherited the space from previous garden club builders, which otherwise would cost about $10,000.

Many plants were “force grown” in the KCTC greenhouses in preparation for the 37th Annual Home and Garden Show at DeVos Place
Rockford’s William Merring waters greenhouse plantings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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