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Garden Party

HGTV’s John Gidding freshens up SCP’s garden party.

HGTV’s John Gidding

Calling all green thumbs! South Coast Plaza is bringing the outdoors in once again for its Spring Garden Show—and this 25th year is the freshest yet. HGTV’s Curb Appeal host, architect, designer and former model John Gidding kicks off the four-day program on April 24. He’ll share his secrets with garden enthusiasts before letting them loose to explore exotic flowers and accessories (from 75-plus vendors), display landscapes and other offerings. Here, Gidding gives us the dirt.

What’s the scoop on your seminar? I’ll discuss the design process behind my favorite projects-how I identify architectural characteristics, and how I pick plants and colors. I’ll also touch on outdoor furnishings and house numbers as key components to creating curb appeal. Any tips for O.C.’s homeowners? Focus more on your driveways. Once you've created a pedestrian-friendly path to your door, find a way to hide the driveway with a bit of topography and layered plantings anchored by a low hedge like a boxwood. Let’s talk trends: What will take root this season? The plight of the bee has become something home gardeners have embraced as 2014’s cause célèbre. People are keeping chemicals and pesticides away, keeping blooms flowering throughout the year and providing safe habitats. Another trend is the chicken! Coops are becoming stylish, and the addition of fresh eggs in the morning is irresistible. Anything we should stay away from? Fountains. Favorite flower? Night-blooming jasmine—it reminds me of home. And what’s the one thing you must do while you’re here? I try to find great restaurants. One eats well in O.C.