A drismal start!
Wordless Wednesday!

New England Spring Flower Show!

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?Dsc_0033The music was just an added bonus.
This year orchids seemed to dominate many of the areas at the show including the Dsc_0091 judged floral arrangements ,Dsc_0090 the educational displays Dsc_0032 and the vendor area Dsc_0028 along withDsc_0016 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,Dsc_0013 water fountainsDsc_0014 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 Dsc_0059 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 gardensDsc_0089 with inviting sitting areas just waiting for occupants.Dsc_0002   This one had a soothing lavender theme and then there is this design which was a rather large display which included a beautiful water featureDsc_0040 and a seating area with thisDsc_0080 interesting  shade canopy. Here is a very traditional tea spot Dsc_0071 and then this modern garden settingDsc_0103 is also represented. This patio was set within an area surrounded by moss berms and bamboo plantings for a serene, green scene!  Dsc_0006

Some designs incorporated animal statuary from the whimsical Dsc_0065 to the wild Dsc_0084

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 thisDsc_0102 (click to enlarge) rice tablet history and continues with severalDsc_0098 intertwined and adjoining displays.  This custom wheat fence was a delight and this I. M. Pei like  display I found curious.Dsc_0100


This small garden display seemed to have 'it all' for me.  An inviting entry,Dsc_0055 wonderful window boxesDsc_0052 a small display garden with statuary,Dsc_0053 and an unusual roof. Dsc_0051 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. Dsc_0096_2 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!