Convention Center show offers look at products, design ideas THOUGHTS OF HOME

March 06, 1994|By JoAnne C. Broadwater | JoAnne C. Broadwater,Special to The Sun

Even if Blaine Bunting Sr. and his son, Blaine Jr., have to travel 100 miles south from Ocean City to purchase colorful plants, there will be flowers blooming around the goldfish pond and waterfall in their display at the seaside resort's 10th annual Home, Condo and Garden Show on Easter weekend.

"We'll do what we have to do to get them," says the senior partner in Bunting Landscaping and Nursery of Bishopville. "We like to create a beautiful look, something lush and green. I have plants in the greenhouse I'm trying to force for bloom, but you never know if they're going to do it on the three days of the show."

The Buntings will be among 235 exhibitors from the Delmarva area who will bring their products and design ideas to the Ocean City Convention Center for the Home, Condo and Garden Show, which opens April 1 and continues through Easter Sunday.

"It's an invitation to better living," says Michael Wicklein, president of Ocean Promotions, a private firm that sponsors the show. "There's such a variety of exhibitors that there is something for everyone."

Designer Nadine Jackson plans to share some of the latest silk flowers with visitors who stop by her booth. Along with hanging ** baskets and Japanese maple trees, the owner of Jackson Floral Design in Pittsville will have silk roses with water droplets on their petals and leaves.

"I like to show people what is new," Mrs. Jackson says. "The water droplets look real but they aren't. Everything looks so real today. It's fun fooling the public."

Visitors may bring a favorite basket or vase from home and she will fill it with a custom designed silk floral arrangement ranging in price from $15 to $65, she says.

"People like the convenience of silk flowers," she continues. "If you want to travel you don't have the problem of finding someone to come in to water them. And they are wonderful in an area that's too dark for live flowers but you still need a plant to soften it and make it homey."

Also on display will be the work of Ocean City photographer Landy Taylor who is best known for his family portraits on the dunes with the ocean in the background. His work may be found on walls and end tables in the Baltimore-Washington area as well as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Canada.

"I like to think of what I'm doing as becoming an heirloom years down the road," says Mr. Taylor, owner of Shoreline Studios at 146th Street. "I do a lot of very touching portraits. Perhaps the oldest child is going away to college. Extended families may be together and there won't be a second chance to take the photograph."

He takes the photos during the day's last hour of sunlight to "give the portrait a warm golden glow." They may be taken year-round but the months from March through November are best when the dune grass has more color and temperatures are milder for the comfort of his subjects -- who usually are barefoot to look natural in the sand.

The ocean surf may still be a bit chilly for swimming, but a builder and remodeler from Millsboro, Del., will be promoting his line of indoor/outdoor "jetted swim lanes" or "exercise pools" that can be sunk into a deck or enclosed in a sun room.

"Anywhere you've got a 10-by-20-foot space you could put one of these in," says David Parker, president of Parker Enterprises. "You literally swim in place against a current. It's an economical way to have an indoor pool. And they are just catching on in terms of therapeutic value."

Visitors may also browse through 165 arts and crafts booths on the lower level of the convention center. Kathleen Davis, a West Ocean City stained-glass artisan, will display hundreds of sun catchers, jewelry boxes and kaleidoscopes.

"Kaleidoscopes have become collectible items that can cost from $16.95 to $350 or $400," Mrs. Davis says. "These are really adult toys, a fun item to put on a coffeetable. There are some with music boxes in them and some shaped like trains and cars. You'll see a lot of unique things that you won't see elsewhere."

An exhibit by the Art League of Ocean City will feature at least 60 watercolor, oil, acrylic and batik works available for purchase. The group will also be selling a "Starving Artist's Cookbook" with recipes and illustrations provided by members.

The Home, Condo and Garden Show will be held from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 1, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 2 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 3. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and free for children 12 and under. Discount coupons are available in local publications.

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