A close-up of Mark Fuhrman's model trains incorporated into the Complete Landscape Services Grand Garden exhibit at Dogwood House and Garden Show (Photos courtesy of Dogwood Arts)

Mark Fuhrman of Complete Landscape Services of Knoxville doesn’t see his participation in the Dogwood House and Garden Show as advertising. He sees it as a community service and a chance to share his passions.

Those passions are landscaping and model trains. And while it may sound surprising, in the 26 years that Fuhrman and his colleagues have participated in the show, they’ve become one of the show’s most popular exhibits.

Plenty of art and shopping opportunities are available at the Dogwood House and Garden Show.

The show launches this Friday, Feb. 16, and keeps rolling through the weekend at the Knoxville Convention Center. Grand Garden exhibitors have been hard at work since Sunday creating their life-size, breathtaking garden displays, complete with gazebos and water features. As always, Fuhrman’s exhibit features G-scale model trains, handcrafted model buildings and lush landscaping.

“The gardeners are the people who are helping keep Knoxville beautiful,” said Dogwood Arts media coordinator Shannon Herron. “We’re bringing the natural beauty of the area into the convention center. It really transforms the convention center and gives you a pop of spring in the middle of this cold weather.”

Fuhrman said he’s always been interested in model railroads, a hobby passed down from his father. In addition to the House and Garden Show, he’s set up model train exhibits at UT Gardens, Dollywood and the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.

“It shows a lot of creativity, and it’s something different. Everybody seems to enjoy it. Every year, we try to do something a little bit different,” he said. “I always look forward to it. To me, it’s kind of the end of the winter and the beginning of spring.”

This year, Fuhrman’s display will feature a debut of a new fascination, a rolling ball sculpture with moving balls that go around on tracks. The sculpture measures 20 feet long and 12 feet tall.

“I don’t know how to describe it. You have to come and see it. As my wife says, it’s another one of these projects of mine that’s totally gotten out of hand,” he said.

But while Fuhrman’s exhibit is truly one-of-a-kind, he’s not the only expert ready to share knowledge with show-goers this weekend. The House and Garden Show will be packed with displays, shopping and folks with the know-how you need in any area, including home repair, interior design, dining, outdoor and lakefront design and much more. There’s even a place for kids to enjoy fun activities.

Celebrity guests give pro tips from the DIY Network How-To Stage.

It’s also a milestone year for the show. Forty years ago, former Dogwood Arts Festival chair Susan Brackney and friend Betty Campbell started the show as a fundraiser for the festival. Today, it’s Dogwood Arts’ biggest fundraiser and attracts nationally known TV personalities to the DIY Network’s How-To Stage.

“Our mission is to promote the arts culture and the beauty of the natural environment in town, so this show promotes all those aspects,” said Herron. “There’s truly something for everybody at this year’s show.”

For ticket info and a full schedule, visit the Dogwood House and Garden Show website.

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Written by Shannon Carey
Fountain City shannon.b.carey@gmail.com 865-235-5324