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San Francisco Flower and Garden Show provides tips for gardeners of all levels

Fun activities, inspiring beauty, innovative ideas and products, industry experts and helpful tips for do-it-yourselfers await all ages at one of the world's largest and most celebrated spring garden festivals: the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show scheduled March 21-25 at the Cow Palace in Daly City.

This year's theme is "Living and Loving the Garden Life. "

Now in its 22nd year, the event is different from other home and garden shows. Its reputation as one of the top six garden shows in the world was earned for the stunning garden displays, educational offerings and quality gardening products.

Garden lovers of all levels and ages can see and experience more than 20 full-size garden exhibits created by top designers, lectures and workshops led by gardening experts and an educational and activity area for families.

The show also features a wine and beer garden with live music and shopping for plants, garden art, tools and unique specialty items.

The exhibits accentuate gardens for entertaining family and friends, artist-inspired sanctuaries, a flower-laden paradise, tropical havens with water accents, a garden full of poisonous plants, an underwater-inspired garden, container gardens, meadow gardens with great grasses, low-maintenance and low-water gardens, and sustainable gardens featuring California natives and recyclable materials.

Fergus Garrett, Steve Martino and Mario Schjetnan will judge the gardens.

The "Sproutopia" area will include hands-on activities and workshops that are free with admission for families.

One-day event adult tickets purchased by phone or at Bay Area nurseries through March 20 cost $17; tickets purchased at the door are $20.

Tickets for students 25 or younger with valid student ID are $9; youth aged 6-17, $4; children under 5 are free. Half-day tickets are $13 at the door and can be purchased from 3 p.m. to closing (Sunday at 2 p.m.). The $65 all-show pass allows unlimited access to the event. Two-day tickets are $29. Group tickets are available for 20 or more by arrangement at $16, and a $48 premium ticket includes special seating for up to four seminars, an autographed copy of a Sunset book about the garden show and a garden show tote bag.

Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.gardenshow.com. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (800) 569-2832 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The Cow Palace is located at 2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City.

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