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    The 2009 Carolina Home & Garden show is all about the green: being green, buying green, saving green.
Sponsored for the 10th year by the Home Builders Association of Fayetteville, the 2009 Carolina Home & Garden Show, scheduled for Feb. 27-28 and March 1 at the Cumberland County Crown Center, is putting an emphasis on the “garden” portion of its title.
    {mosimage} We have several companies this year that deal with environmental issues,” said Natalie Woodbury, executive officer of HBAF,” including PWC, which will have exhibits concerning the ideas of water conservation.”
Woodbury said there will be 73 vendors at the three-day event, including one company that will really put the “green” into the Carolina Home & Garden Show — Green Biz Nursery and Landscaping, Inc.
    Located on 120 acres off Wilmington Highway, Green Biz has landscaped local lawns and provided plants for contractors and nurseries up and down the East Coast for nearly 30 years. Green Biz will bring a little bit of the outdoors indoors at this year’s home and garden show, providing all the landscaping for the event.
    “Since it’s a home and garden show, we’re going to bring the outside in,” said Charles Allen, owner of Green Biz. “We plan on bringing as much greenery and flowers and landscape … beds and such … into this building as we can. We want to try and give it a little more of a garden show aspect; the last couple of years it’s been more of a builders show.”
    Allen says decorating the Crown Center for the show is about more than just aesthetics: he says a lack of green — as in money — is convincing more and more homeowners to get “back to the country.”
    “I feel like even though things are kind of tight people are going to be able to do some things in their yard and those things are going to be maybe using smaller plants,” said Allen. “The same plants will always have the same kind of appeal. People will always like evergreens, they’ll always like berries and flowers and they might just go for something a little smaller. I feel like there will be less vacations taken abroad and across the country … more day trips, more stay at home cook-out type things and they’ll actually do a little more on their own property. And I think you’ll see people do a lot more remodeling, which should really be a good thing for this show. Instead of buying a new house they’re going to redo a room or add a room. Instead of doing a completely new landscape they might do just some clean-ups and pruning.”
Allen says homeowners can use strategically-placed greenery to save on electricity bills: planting the proper trees around a home can keep it cooler in the summer; and, he adds, folks with green thumbs can save greenbacks by making their own mulch rather than purchasing pine needles and wood mulch.
    While it might seem contrary for a businessman to suggest folks cut back on purchasing some of the products his business is built on, Allen sees himself as more than just a tree salesman or pusher of pansies — he thinks of himself as a conservationist who just happens to make a living working with plants; a caretaker rather than an owner of the very land his business sits on.
    “Most of my customers from a retail aspect have always been kind of green-minded,” said Allen. “This farm was settled in the late 1600s. People had been on it before that based on arrowheads and pottery shards we’ve found; people have been here forever.
    “We’ve got green spaces where we feed turkeys and deer and bobcat and the quail,” said Allen. “I’ve got bluebird houses up. It’s all interconnected.”
    Allen also toes the line when it comes to recycling. Everywhere you look on his 120 acres you see concrete shoring up banks and used as riprap; old blacktop filling in potholes on dirt roads; canals funneling irrigation runoff and rainwater back into a pond to be used again; plastic pots that have been used over and over to hold several generations of plants.
“We recycle everything,” said Allen. “It’s very important to me that as we move through this world … we’re not here for very long … that we leave something that’s better than what we found.”
    Woodbury adds that Allen’s theme of conservation will be extended to even the youngest visitors at the 2009 Carolina Home & Garden Show.
    “Saturday, Feb. 28, is Kid’s Day, sponsored by PWC,” said Woodbury. “There will be kids’ seminars from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It’s very hands-on; in the past they’ve have made bird feeders and planted flowers.”
    Other special days include Senior Citizens Day on Friday, Feb. 27, sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas, and Military Appreciation Day on Sunday, March 1, sponsored by Gore Built Homes — service men and women with a valid military ID will receive a $5 food voucher to use in the food court at the show.
    Admission to the 2009 Carolina Home & Garden Show is $6 — children 10 and under will be admitted free. For more information, check out HBAF’s Web site, www.carolinahomeandgardenshow.

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