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Springtime Sights from the Great Big Home + Garden Show

Great Big Home and Garden Show

I keep repeating to myself “Spring will be here soon. You’ve seen worse winters.” as if it will warm my chilly bones and make the bumpy commute to work better. However, there are moments where my patience for this year’s winter has worn thin and I need a better reminder that I’ll soon be enjoying summer days at Cedar Point.

Attending the Great Big Home and Garden Show last weekend was the boost I needed. Everywhere we turned we saw the vibrant green of Spring.

We saw many plants and flowers…

Great Big Home and Garden Show - Flowers

Got home improvement and landscaping ideas from the experts…

Great Big Home and Garden Show - Ahmed Hassan

And even played some pinball at The Pinball Shoppe‘s booth!

Great Big Home and Garden Show - Pinball

I will have you one day, Space Station pinball machine!

Out of everything we saw, The Ohio Valley Group‘s Beer Garden was the best. They partnered with Great Lakes Brewing Company for a garden dedicated to GLBC and other Ohio beer.

There was the beer bottle chandelier, the topiary wall cut into the shape of all of the Great Lakes, and various fountains and light fixtures made from brewing and bottling materials.

The highlight, though, was the beer tap waterfall.

Great Big Home and Garden Show - The Ohio Valley Group Beer Garden

Although my all-time favorite garden is from the year they were Classic TV-themed, Ohio Valley Group’s beer garden reminded me of all my favorite parts of warm weather: Hanging out at one of Cleveland’s awesome patios. Sipping wine while overlooking Geneva’s vineyards. Enjoying a game of lawn bowling in our backyard.

Although I’m definitely ready for Spring, if it’s going to take its time getting here, I’ll be ok.

Great Big Home and Garden Show - The Ohio Valley Group Beer Garden

You still have a few more days to visit the Great Big Home and Garden Show, which runs through February 16. You can read about the show’s other features and programming in my Great Big Home and Garden Show preview.

Buy your tickets online and save. Online tickets cost only $11, plus take another $1 off by using promo code CIC when you check out online.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the show with a guest in exchange for hosting a giveaway and sharing my opinion after the show. The opinions here are 100% my own.

Event Recap: Great Big Home and Garden Show

Barnes Nursery's Beverly Hillbillies themed garden

I have the tendency to go a bit crazy when thinking about home improvement. Don’t get me wrong – I love our house. But although I thoroughly enjoy some of the vintage touches like the laundry chute and milk bottle delivery box, there are a number of updates on our to-do list which can get overwhelming for someone who’s impatient (like me!). 

You would think, then, that the Great Big Home and Garden Expo would be sensory overload. But after going in with a game plan on Saturday, the expo helped narrow down and organize our home improvement goals.

While I'm not ready to get a pinball machine just yet, it can't hurt to try them out

We started the afternoon by walking through the exhibitors. Thanks to Scott, we stayed on target, systematically browsing each aisle. We even met a few contractors to add to our list for our eventual four-season room and kitchen upgrade. 

I’m happy to say I only got distracted a couple of times and bought only one small garden chotsky (tiny gnomes are my weakness).

Creative Construction Solutions' Idea House

While in the vendor hall, we stopped by Creative Construction Solutions’ Idea House where we found some inspiration for the family room we’re re-doing. From paint color to Timan Custom’s window treatments, the plan for the room finally has a sense of direction. And even if it is only a wish list item, I kind of want North Coast Integrated Technologies’ thermostat-lighting-security system.

It was then off to my favorite part of the show – the Garden Showcase. Although I hate gardening, I love showstopping gardens (as long as they are in someone else’s yard and I don’t have to weed them). 

A stone carver from Tri-R Stone hand-carving a sculpture of Dino

What made this year’s Show Gardens even more of a don’t-miss for me was that they were themed around classic tv shows. For the most part, the gardens impressed. I think that  Brian-Kyles Construction‘s Yogi Bear, The Ohio Valley Group‘s Fantasy Island, and CK Stonescapes/Tri-R Stone‘s Flintstones gardens overall captured their tv shows the best. The stone carver live-carving a Dino statue was a great touch.

However, my favorite part of the entire showcase was the fountainwork in Complete Outdoor Installation‘s Batman Garden (surprise! I love comic books!).

Besides the fact that my office at home is decked out in comic book memorabilia, I really liked owner Zach Goebelt’s incorporation of Batman details in the stonework.

Zach Goebelt, owner of Complete Outdoor Installation, with his Batman Villians fountain

In particular, he had handcrafted a one-of-its-kind fountain that had Batman villians Joker, Catwoman and the Penguin as the fountain faces. A hilarious touch was that the water coming out of their mouths fell on stone replications of the Bat symbol in the fountain’s base.  So they were literally spitting on the Batman. 

Of course, it helped that Goebelt also had a “Bat Cave” behind the garden display, featuring some very nice Batman memorabilia along with a video demonstration of how he constructed the fountain.  

Brian-Kyles Construction's Yogi Bear-themed garden even featured a geyser

While we were in the Garden Showcase, we ran into WhyCLE and CLEGuy scoping out fences and riding lawnmowers for their new house. You can read about their experience here.

We ended our day at the Main Stage for John Hall’s talk, 25 Design Tips Towards that Perfect Kitchen. In addition to running The Hall Design Group, Hall also teaches a variety of courses for individuals who want to learn more about kitchen design.

John Hall during his presentation, 25 Kitchen Design Tips

It was helpful to see some of the different options out there for kitchen lighting, proper spacing for kitchen islands, and the different styles of kitchen cabinets and countertops. This last one was important for us because that’s the part of our kitchen we’ll eventually be focusing on.

If you missed the first weekend of the 2012 Great Big Home and Garden Expo, you have all week and this weekend to check it out.  It will be at the IX Center through Feb. 12 (show dates and times).

The Great Big Home and Garden Show is family-friendly with a playground zone and the Angry Birds Cornhole game (catapult not pictured)

Tickets are $14 at the door for adults, but buy your tickets online before the show and save $3. Tickets for children 6-12 are $5, and 5 and under are free.

Plus, Clue into Cleveland readers can save even more: Use the code “CLUE” when you’re buying tickets online and Adult tickets will cost only $10 – a total savings of $4.

Purchase tickets here and hopefully you’ll likewise find the inspiration you’re looking for.

"The Plane! The Plane!" (The Ohio Valley Group's Fantasy Island)

Disclaimer: I was offered two tickets for myself and two to giveaway to a Clue Into Cleveland reader. The opinions expressed and events I choose to cover are 100% my own.