After a dark and cold winter, Spring officially arrives March 20, and we can finally look forward to longer, warmer days and seeing our frost-weary lawns and gardens come back to life.

It’s the time of year when many homeowners start to think of freshening up their homes, gardens and patios, whether for their own enjoyment or because they are considering listing their properties for sale.

For many Ottawa-area residents, a great source of ideas every year is the Ottawa Home and Garden Show. The 2018 edition runs from Thursday, March 22 to Sunday,  March 25 at the EY Centre on Uplands Drive.

Sponsored Re/MAX (the international real estate company of which my team at Nancy Benson and Associates is a part), the Home and Garden Show includes celebrity speakers offering tips on gardening and interior design; exhibits by home improvement companies and landscape designers and a huge indoor garden to give you inspiration for your own green space.

The spring and summer months are our busiest months of the year for home sales. If you happen to be considering listing your property, the Home and Garden Show can also give you a few ideas for some simple home projects that could help your home look its best for buyers.

If you’ve attended the show before, you’ll know one of the big attractions after our winter is the show’s “Living Landscapes,” a series of indoor gardens that will take up an entire hall at the EY Centre, offering 6,000 square feet of gardens by landscape designers.

Each garden has its own theme, and visitors can vote on their favourite for the Show’s People’s Choice Award. Perth Brewery will also offer a beer garden in the area, where visitors can enjoy a drink amid the flowers before  continuing with the show.

Among the speakers at this year’s show are landscape designer Carson Arthur, familiar to HGTV viewers from his appearances as the gardening expert on the popular program “Home to Win.” Presenting at the Show’s Urban Barn Main Stage March 22 and 23, Carson will talk about getting your home and garden ready for spring. He’ll also talk about some of the most common mistakes people make with their lawns and gardens.

Another familiar face from HGTV is carpenter Chris Palmer, who appeared on “Canada’s Handyman Challenge.” Chris will give a talk March 24 on budget-friendly projects for your home.

If you’re interested in picking up some gardening tips, two members of the volunteer-group Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton will offer tips and advice March 22 and 23 on caring for indoor and outdoor plants.

Ottawa kitchen and bathroom designer Deirdre Jorssen will offer advice on adding exciting design to your home and breaking free from beige (March 24 and 25). And designer and home stager Sue Pitchforth will show you how to create an inviting “Outdoor Room” setting (March 25).

If you’d like to get some ideas on creating a striking flower arrangement, experts from Ottawa’s FlowerNite events will be at the Show, offering tips. FlowerNite presents hands-on flower-arranging lessons as part of social gatherings at coffee shops, restaurants and bars around our region.

If you’re considering buying or selling property in the Ottawa area, I’d love to meet with you and share some of the expertise I offer, with more than 30 years of experience as a Realtor in the Ottawa area.

You can visit my website, at nancybenson.com, where you can read about the services we offer at Nancy Benson and Associates. You can also view my current listings, and get an idea of the sophisticated presentation and professional photography and staging we arrange for our clients.

You can give me a call at 613-747-4747. I’d love to hear from you.

For more information on the Ottawa Home and Garden Show, visit www.ottawahomeshow.com. The site includes details on the show, presenters, presentation times and ticket prices. You can save $3 off of the price of admission by ordering your tickets online. Happy Spring, everyone!