Plant festival adds flower power to Mount Dora
The 13th Annual Mount Dora Plant & Garden Fair takes place Nov.3 and 4 at Simpson Cove.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
For more information, call (352) 357-4116.
The 13th Annual Mount Dora Plant & Garden Fair is held the first weekend in November in downtown Mount Dora.
When summer's heat abates, gardeners know it's time to head to Mount Dora and its breezy lakefront park, Simpson Cove. The downtown park, with its red-and-white lighthouse, is a half-block from the busy shopping district.
Whether they garden on several acres or on a windowsill, people know they can count on the Mount Dora Plant & Garden Fair for rare and unusual plants.
"Many people new to Florida don't realize we grow annuals in the fall and winter," said Christine Cole, the event's chairman. "Also, fall is the best time to plant most shrubs and ornamentals, such as camellias. Woody plants need time to put down roots before temperatures rise again."
Central Florida's finest growers bring most every type of tropical plant, including tropical fruits, gingers, bamboo, bromeliads, begonias and hundreds or orchids. Gardeners make a special point of visiting growers of native plants, ferns, herbs, antique roses and camellias.
But great gardens depend on more than plants only. The Fair brings together purveyors of wrought-iron, containers, garden antiques and garden and patio décor.
A juried event, the Fair invites only the finest exhibitors, limiting the number to about 75. Unlike other events, the Fair does not keep exhibitors in 10-by-10-feet spaces. Instead, growers can spread out their colorful wares over large swathes of the green park.
The Fair got its start when Cole, in a nod to the 90-year-old Baltimore Flower Mart, proposed a community-based garden event for Mount Dora. Local growers and exhibitors account for nearly 20 percent of the total.
Sponsored by Traditions at Fiddler's Pond, the Fair benefits the Mount Dora Library Association. All proceeds from the all-volunteer event go to augmenting the budget of the W. T. Bland Public Library.