New England Spring Flower Show!
March 09, 2008
High 41 F
Low 28 F
Come into my garden!
This year's New England Flower and Garden Show in Boston at the Bayside Expo Center runs for over a week starting on March 8th and ending on the 16th. The theme this year is 'Rhapsody in Green'. I love flowers shows, some more than others. New England winters are long and the flower shows arrive just when the bleakness in the surrounding landscape is at its' peak . At a flower show reality is suspended and perfection in a display is achieved for one short week or less. Artistic license allows a designer to incorporate impossible planting combinations into the display with flowers blooming out of sync with one another, a trait I find a bit disconcerting if sometimes enchanting. What I don't like are the crowds packing the hall but, since I am part and parcel of the crowd, this is to be endured and there is always someone interesting to meet. For me, a flower show must have interesting horticulture, great displays and a good speaker list. I did find all of these components at the New England show. There is always something new to learn in horticulture and design and what would a flower show be without mood music?The music was just an added bonus.
This year orchids seemed to dominate many of the areas at the show including the judged floral arrangements , the educational displays and the vendor area along with bonsai. I find bonsai intriguing but have little desire to participate in this form of horticulture. Some things are best admired from a distance and this blooming witch hazel is one of them.
The garden displays at the show this year contained quite a bit of natural stone in the form of patio surfaces, water fountains and walls. I love natural stone, and I understand why many of the designs use block and man made pavers as they are very easy to work with and are uniform in thickness and size for ease of installation but really, natural stone is so much more pleasing visually! When you consider that each flagstone piece has to be maneuvered and levered into position and then leveled, you can then understand the skills and time necessary to implement such a landscape. There were many small gardens with inviting sitting areas just waiting for occupants. This one had a soothing lavender theme and then there is this design which was a rather large display which included a beautiful water feature and a seating area with this interesting shade canopy. Here is a very traditional tea spot and then this modern garden setting is also represented. This patio was set within an area surrounded by moss berms and bamboo plantings for a serene, green scene!
Some designs incorporated animal statuary from the whimsical to the wild
Here is an exhibit on Grass which is educational as well as a pleasing visual compilation of the grass family's contribution to man. The saga begins with this (click to enlarge) rice tablet history and continues with several intertwined and adjoining displays. This custom wheat fence was a delight and this I. M. Pei like display I found curious.
This small garden display seemed to have 'it all' for me. An inviting entry,
wonderful window boxes a small display garden with statuary,
and an unusual roof.
I thought it was well composed and executed, a bit conservative, reflecting the New England flavor but with a decidedly modern twist in the choice of statuary. This was a small, 650 square foot space. A bit packed with plants but then one has to play to the crowd.
I decided to go to the show on Saturday primarily because of the speaker, Amy Stewart. I did work in the cut flower industry for a time and found her book 'Flower Confidential' entertaining and informative. I also enjoy the 'Rant' posts so attending her lecture seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. She did not disappoint! A gracious lady and an engaging speaker topped off a day at the flower show! As flower shows go, this one had several treats!