Friday, February 19, 2010

Flower Show Time

Spring must be near, because the flower shows have started. I played hooky today and spent the day at the Rhode Island Spring Flower & Garden Show in Providence. It's the earliest one in the area and there is something wonderful about smelling dirt and seeing plants in bloom in February.

It always amazes me how whole buildings can be brought into a convention center and set up to look like they just belong there. The time and effort required is Hurculean I'm sure. This was
my favorite, a stone house with a moss roof and a stone heart shaped entrance framing the building. It can't be seen well in the picture (double click on it to enlarge the picture) but the top was all grapevines and had a birds nest sitting in the middle. And of course, it was surrounded by incredible plantings.

Here are some other pictures of displays and blooms that struck my fancy...

The lighting on this display gave an ethereal, other-worldly cast on a chapel-like stone building as if it was caught at sunset bathed in red and pink. Accenting the building was a pond in front, dramatic red dogwood branches, daffodils and flowering shrubs. On the side of this were a few fallen down tombstones, surrounded by crocus and primose. Like stepping into a fairyland.

Lady slippers and other orchids to the right. I've never been able to keep an orchid alive, never mind have these beautiful blooms, but I love admiring them.

And then there's the whimsy. This was a whole VW bus from 60's decorated in peace and love, parked in the middle of a man-made forrest. This was the back...unfortunately I dropped my camera and it decided it didn't want to work anymore so I couldn't get a picture of the front which was quite spectacular. Even had a couple hippies sitting in the front that looked like they were made of moss. Groovy!

I attended a fun demonstration on making herbal vinegars by Paul Split, a horticultural consultant who does demonstrations all over the place ( I make plenty of herbal vinegars but got some new ideas as well as a good source for bottles. Paul is a great presenter, and I appreciated his extolling the virtues of organic gardening to the crowd while making his vinegars.

I also attended a lecture by Julie Moir Messervey on the Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love based on her new book. Well organized, practical and inspiring, her slides were beautiful and I wanted to run home and start putting in new gardens all over the place.

I finished up the day going through the vendor area. I bought some heirloom seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library - a Dragon's Tongue bean and scarlet Flax - and a neat herb grinder. I usually always buy pussywillows at this show but couldn't find any so headed to the parking garage. In the elevator, wasn't there a woman with 2 bunches of pussywillows. I asked where she had found them and she told me those were the last 2. So no pussywillows this year from the show, but it was a wonderful day. How many days until Spring?


ledgeandgardens said...

Linda: Thanks for the preview. I am going tomorrow to work in the RINLA booth and hear Ed Smith's lecture as he will be on The Garden Guys next Sunday. I will be on the lookout for the heart shaped gate and stone house. Must bring the camera!

Andrea said...

Hi i am sorry about your camera, maybe it already wants a permanent rest, haha. I love those Paphiopedilum, i've never seen them with long stems. I am glad you are enjoying those shows, as i was not able to attend the last show here recently.

BTW, it seems like you are also having some bad time arranging those photos to order, it happened to me also before until someone guided me to do it.

Linda said...

Andrea - yes, I have a terrible time with the photos. I think I have them all lined up, and then when the blog posts they are all over the place. Aaarh! Where did you find someone to help you with this? I could certainly use some.

gippslandgardener said...

What a facinating show that is Linda - thanks for the tour! We have some Autumn shows coming up soon and I'm very much looking forward to visiting them!

gloria said...

What a lovely way to spend the day. Is it me or are we more anxious for spring than usual!