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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Garden festival flourishes despite rain

Rain or shine, gardening enthusiasts were determined to enjoy this weekend’s Kanapaha Botanical Gardens’ Spring Garden Festival.

About 2,500 people gathered Saturday and Sunday to buy, sell and learn about plants at the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in southwest Gainesville.

Attendees were serenaded by live music and the booming voice of an auctioneer as they wandered around the gardens and perused more than 200 booths on the grounds. Vendors sold everything from herbs and flowers to garden decorations crafted out of vintage silverware.

But amid the bright blooms and buds of the festival, Lost World Exotics Nursery offered something with a little more bite.

Diane McDavid, owner of the nursery, sold an array of insect-eating plants.

McDavid, 46, has previously attended the festival as a guest but only twice as a vendor.

Her favorite part, she said, was children’s reactions when carnivorous plants ate insects.

“Little boys love the carnivorous plants,” she said.

Adults had fun Saturday, too, including Michelle Fromhart, a 34-year-old graphic designer from Spring Hill, Fla., and an admitted occasional “black thumb.”

“I actively seek out all plant and garden festivals within a 150-mile radius,” she admitted.

Fromhart said this festival was well worth the commute and the inclement weather. She said she plans on returning next year.

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