Winter’s icy grip is slowly letting go. Slightly warmer temperatures, growing patches of mud and blossoming frost heaves are sure signs that spring has arrived, and it will be welcomed with open arms at this weekend’s BDN Maine Garden Show and Spring Fling at the Cross Insurance Center.

The largest event of its kind in the state, the show is presented by New England Home Health Care and will feature demonstrations, speakers, an expanded children’s area, live music Friday and Saturday nights by John Tercyak and, of course, landscape displays to highlight the event’s theme of “Family Backyard Fun.”

“In 2013, we saw the show grow by almost 40 percent to bring in 10,000 people, many of whom had never been to the show before,” said BDN Maine Events Coordinator Kelly Donnelly. “We’re excited to see the show grow even more this year.”

Eight area landscapers have spent hundreds of hours planning for and designing exhibits that will be displayed on the arena floor.

“Visitors will have a chance to vote on their favorite display and at the end of the show, we will crown the People’s Choice Award winning display,” Donnelly said. “From what I’ve seen so far, the designers have upped their game this year and the competition will be fierce.”

Throughout the venue, more than 125 vendors will be on hand featuring Maine products. Attendees can try for a hole-in-one and chance to win $10,000 each day or listen to a variety of speakers who live and work in the Maine outdoors.

Scheduled speakers include Lisa Colburn of “The Maine Garden Journal” on trends in houseplants, Katherine Garland of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension on composting and BDN columnist Peter Cowin of Hampden on backyard beekeeping.

“After this never-ending winter, we all deserve to enjoy a taste of warmer weather to come,” Donnelly said. “We hope that people will come and tour the gardens, sample local foods and spend time as a family exploring the fun that awaits them in their own backyards in the coming weeks.”

The BDN Maine Garden Show and Spring Fling will be held 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, April 4; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, April 5; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, April 6.

For a full list of speakers and events, visit