Spring is drawing nearer, and that means home and garden shows, plant sales and other events designed to get home-owners in sprucing-up mode aren’t far behind.

One of the first is the annual Maine Home, Remodeling & Garden Show next weekend at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The show attracts 5,000 to 7,000 people over the course of two days, and includes exhibits from 180 vendors, an array of seminars and a “Meet the Chefs” cooking series.

“I think the great thing about this year is, we have a lot of new exhibitors,” said Beth Alles of New England Expos in Mansfield, Mass., which is producing the event for the first time this year. “We really focused on the seminars, so there’s great new seminar topics.”

In “Finding Paradise: Creating Landscapes that Transcend Time,” for example, David Neufeld of North Star Stoneworks in Sweden will use visual arts and his storytelling skills to talk about the symbolic power of objects and organization of outdoor space.

Other seminars will cover topics such as remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, decluttering, replacing entry doors, Lyme disease, vegetable gardening, and various energy-related topics from learning about geothermal and solar power to low-cost electricity.

Energy efficiency will be a major theme this year, Alles said, as well as showing homeowners other ways to save money. Bath Fitter, for example, is sponsoring a panel of experts who will be talking about “Remodeling Your Bathroom on a Budget.”

Alles said people are more willing now to spend money on remodeling. It’s a shift she and the show’s exhibitors started picking up on last year.

“I think people are more in that mindset of money is cheap right now, it’s better to do repairs on your existing home compared to a couple years prior when I think people were scared to do anything,” Alles said.

“It started last year that people were definitely interested in what the show had to offer, and we’re hearing that feedback already from our exhibitors that have already started to do shows this winter: That people are interested again, which is a good thing for these companies.”

Another popular part of the home show is the “Meet the Chef” series. Confirmed chefs participating so far are all from Portland: Harding Lee Smith, chef/owner of The Grill Room & Bar, The Front Room Restaurant & Bar and The Corner Room Kitchen & Bar; Jeff Landry, chef/owner of The Farmer’s Table; and Shannon Bard, chef/owner of Zapoteca Restaurant.

Here’s a look at the entire seminar schedule. Unless otherwise noted, the presentations will be held in the Seminar Room located off the arena floor.

FEB. 16

11:30 a.m. to noon: “Declutter and Organize Your Home,” presented by Walter Munsen of Closet Factory in Portland

Noon: “Replacing Your Entry Door,” presented by Home Again/Hancock Lumber at the Hancock Lumber booth

12:15 to 1 p.m.: “Geothermal for Homeowners,” presented by Mark Conley of Conley Enterprises in Raymond, Martin Orio of Water Energy of New Hampshire, Chris Petitpierre of Keep the Heat in Gorham, and Goodwin Well and Water in Turner.

1:15 to 2 p.m.: “Finding Paradise: Creating Landscapes That Transcend Time,” presented by David Neufeld of North Start Stoneworks in Sweden

2 p.m.: “Preparing to Remodel Your Kitchen? What Next?” presented by Home Again/Hancock Lumber at the Hancock Lumber booth

2:15 to 2:45 p.m.: “Save Money and Energy with Home Energy Audits,” presented by DeWitt Kimball of Complete Home Evaluation Services in Brunswick

3 to 3:30 p.m.: “Remodeling Your Bathroom on a Budget,” presented by Todd Bradeen and Michelle Allen of Bath Fitter in Portland, Steve Blossom of Sherwin Williams in Westbrook, and Herb Clarke of Chameleon Coatings in East Baldwin.

3:45 to 4:15 p.m.: “The Growing Threat of Lyme Disease,” presented by Tim Hanson of Mosquito Squad of Southern Maine

FEB. 17

11 a.m.: “Getting Organized in 2013” (storage solutions), presented by Home Again/Hancock Lumber at the Hancock Lumber Booth

11:30 a.m. to noon: “Harness the Power of the Sun to Lower Utility Bills,” presented by Sam Zuckerman of Maine Solar Solutions, Portland

12:15 to 12:45 p.m.: “How to Buy the Right Generator,” presented by Jim Cesare of Gowen Power Systems, Portland

1 to 1:30 p.m.: “Beyond Oil and Propane: Heating Your Home with Low-Cost Electricity,” presented by Dead River Co., South Portland

2 p.m.: “Replacing Your Entry Door,” presented by Home Again/Hancock Lumber at the Hancock Lumber booth

1:45 to 2:15 p.m.: “Veggie Gardening Made Easy,” presented by Tom Estabrook of Estabrook Farm and Greenhouses Inc.

Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]