Because I Should

Did you ever write about something because you know you should and not really know what to say? Know the material and players intimately yet still can not find the right descriptive terms in which to pen an article?

I have been procrastinating about this post, because all the nurseries, landscape artists, master gardeners, garden vendors and garden writers that I admire and respect were present. So rather than give the first person account with those first impression rants, I will simply post the images. Rather than critique displays having spring hyacinth next to late-blooming Rudbeckia, daffodils in amongst the daylilies, and over the top floral arrangements screaming for attention…..oops, my bad.  Shhh, I will be quiet now. No need to nitpick.

I hope you enjoy our local plant show Plantasia. The theme this year was Artistry in Bloom, yet there was more a theatrical presentation of lighting and vibrant color.

I will start with a display I really enjoyed. A design to bring the inside out, and as you know, that is what I often discuss on Green Apples.

And we had color….

Big Bamboo and feathers….

Blinding color of light bathing rock and water…

Very tall and full floral displays…

Welcome to Bedrock, Fred will be your host…

Look at the size of the spruce….

The pianist was very good.

Bistro anyone, the tables were set.

Open burn, where is the fire marshal… kidding.

And there was a children’s garden.

A vendor whose items I like…. I bought two cast frogs.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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36 Responses to Because I Should

  1. Masha says:

    Thanks for the wonderful pictures! For me garden shows are not about reality but about fantasy, so it is OK to have feathers and plants that don’t bloom together in anybody else’s garden. I enjoyed this tour a lot.

    • They used so much color this year. So many bright lights. It was very theatrical in my opinion. The pianist played very classical music and I think original numbers. I was the only one standing for his performance and he was really wonderful. His music gave a very different mood to the displays around him.

  2. dona says:

    Colourful exhibition! I loved the Weep Cherry picture.

  3. Shannon says:

    Ooh, that bed looks cozy. Practical? No, but very cozy! I think the idea of these shows is to be over the top. Kind of like haute couture. You’d never actually use it, but it’s fun to look at and talk about, and maybe you take a few of the ideas home.

    Of course, then when you get a client who wants their very own StarGate with tulips and petunias all blooming at the same time…… well, that sounds like a designer’s headache! LOL!

    • Precisely… you get those clients and what they say is… I saw it at the garden show. I know it is about being over the top and part of the problem for nurseries and growers, is getting the plants in bloom that they wish to use. And in time for the show. I have some really pretty shots of combinations that would never occur, or could be even planted in our climate.

  4. You lulled me in to a false sense of security. The first two pictures are so lovely, I wasn’t expecting psychedelic rocks and stone circle gates that wouldn’t look out of place in a bad Sci Fi B-movie. Yikes. And it is a personal bugbear of mine when people show plants that could never bloom together flowering away as if they are the ideal companions for one another.

    • I am glad to see I am not the only one. I was very disappointed this year, not in any one display, but the theme did not ring true. What they could have done with it and what they did was a polar opposite. Usually there are good ideas to take away, but there were so many colors. And loud ones too. I did not even take images of the fake lighted trees for SALE. They were in bright blues and daring pinks. I can see this is a night club, but a garden?

  5. Catherine says:

    It also bugs me a bit when I’ve seen flowers that bloom in totally different times of the year blooming in a garden display. I remember noticing that at a garden show last year .
    Anyway, it does look like it was a very colorful garden show. I know I would’ve found something at that vendor too, hope we get to see your new frogs.

    • My two new frogs will accompany my two I got previously from this same vendor. His work is so nice, it reminds me of those old cast iron toys from my parent’s time. I collect them inside, but my frogs are for outside. I forgot about them this fall and left them out all winter. When the snow melted last week, to my dismay, there was one of my frogs. It was perfectly fine. Not one bit of rust. Now I have to wait for all the rest of the snow to melt to find the other one. They are kinda small, so I might have a long wait.

  6. Apparently bright colors are in this year not only in fashion but in the garden. I like going to these shows to see the over the top displays since it is a great place to get ideas. True not everything is practical but one can dream…the bed looks very inviting but I think I would worry about the snakes and spiders trying to join me during the night. Thanks for sharing your visit.

    • I have a love hate relationship with the shows. One year I will come home raving, others years I am not as impressed. Some years they are more realistic other years more creative. I visit the shows in Rochester, Toronto and Ohio some years. All the wildness is to be expected, but I did see displays this year from Philadelphia which made me wish I was at that show and they were very, very creative. It is all in execution I imagine.

  7. Donna says:

    loved that vendor too…and my bed in the garden..heaven…some interesting displays but a couple seemed a bit garish…

  8. Jean says:

    Donna, When I was studying Latin in high school, my favorite part was when we read Cicero. One of the rhetorical devices that Cicero used often and which I particularly enjoyed was the sentence that began “We will pass over in silence….” I very much enjoyed your particularly adept use of Ciceronian rhetoric in this post! (Oh yeah, I enjoyed the photos, too.) 🙂

  9. Les says:

    I am of two opinions on displays like these. If the intent is to look realistic (and to sell your art and or services to the local public) then your plants should be appropriate for the season and the region, and please whatever you do, do not stuff your display with hothouse-grown florist’s plants normally seen wrapped in colorful foil near the salad bar at the grocery store because they are the only things you could find. On the other hand, if you have a good eye for design and a keen sense of color and fun, use whatever plants, colored lights and found objects will work for you.

    • Me too on the two opinions. I love art and creativity, but the execution matters. I felt like I was in a NYC nightclub in one area of the show. I suppose that is fine, but all the bright lights competed with the color of the flowers. The flowers were the display and those arrangements would have been so pretty had they been on their own without the bright lighting and close cramming. Maybe a few up-lights or accent light would have showcased the floral arrangements. I am not that kind of designer, so what do I know, but I think that is what seemed to be the problem in my opinion.

  10. One says:

    I love that weeping tree and the Bed Rock. I see flowers beneath the bed. This fair reminds me of a fashion show where the clothings catch our attention but need to be toned down quite drastically before we could put them on.

    Have you found a good spot for the frogs?

  11. I have actually never been to a garden show, even though there are some fabulous ones in my area. I’ve heard they are so far removed from reality that the admission price isn’t worth it. But I may have to give one a try. I like the last vendor, too. Cute stuff!

  12. Greenearth says:

    What a lot of great ideas.

  13. p3chandan says:

    Impressive show of floral and rocks arrangement in lovely garden settings. Love that weeping cherry blossoms cascading beautifully like that., dont mind having it in my garden! I used to have that kind of 4 foster bed in my bedroom, with sheer white curtains on the bed and windows….very charming and romantic and sort of a tropical resort retreat in your own bedroom!

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Donna, the garden show had some very original ideas, but not altogether practical ones. If they planted all the spruce trees that close together and to the waterfall, in two-three years, there would be nothing but scraggly spruce trees to look at, but I realize this is just for the ‘wow’ effect and it is very pretty. It’s just a shame that the average beginning gardener doesn’t know about planning for future size and often ends up with an overcrowded landscape, and I’m talking from experience. And seeing flowers which have completely different bloom times all blooming at once really does confuse the rookies.

    I have to admit to being taken with the Bedrock Arch (seeing as how we copy the Flintstones around here all the time, lol) but I don’t think that’s real stone, is it? I do like arches in the garden though, there’s just something about looking through a round aperture. I really enjoyed this tour, Donna.

    • I love stone arches and have seen some gorgeously created ones. This one was not real and it looked like it was from a movie set. I do like how they landscaped around it. The path was really nice.

  15. Connie says:

    It was great meeting you in person! I love your photos. They made me feel as if I were actually outside.
    I guess I don’t mind if the displays mix plants from different seasons; I’m just amazed that they can grow summer plants to bloom at this time of year. One of the best parts of the show for me was smelling the hyacinths, but if we had an entire bed of them, it would be overpowering.
    I think the gardens should be allowed a certain amount of artistic expression. They’re attempting to give people an experience of a garden rather than being a technical guide.

    • It is nice to see the artistry from the professionals by professionals, yes. But it is the new gardeners or those willing to pay to have a garden, that sometimes the problems will jump in. They see the azaleas blooming with the petunias and say ‘I want that combo’. Or they see the mulch volcanoes and ask the landscapers to build them around all their trees. It really does happen and they look questionably at you when you tell them this will not occur. I know the nurseries have to use the plants they forced and sometimes they have to mix up it up differently from what actually blooms for the event.

      True to about the hyacinths. You can not have fields of them, although I wish. I enjoyed the show very much, but like I said there was some nit picking on some of the displays. The color overload was my main observation. I guess I just had a different look in my head from the moment they announced the theme. I saw a more subtle Seurat or Monet-like event, not so much a Warhol or Kandinsky.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Hi Donna, I always go to these types of flower shows and often come away disappointed for the very reasons you hint at. I can forgive the odd mixing of daffodils and daylilies- but badly done or tasteless displays are less appreciated. Of all your show pictures, that bamboo and feathers display leaves me speechless- but not in a good way. And that Fred Flintstone gate-god forbid any of your neighbors think it would be perfect in their garden!

    • I seem to be in the minority on my opinion locally of this show. I have many more photos and may make a second post on it. Last year these same exhibitors made displays I really was impressed with. More natural stone was used too. I should show some from last year. I loved the display that was at the entrance. It was where the bamboo was located. If I remember and can find the photos, it was a huge tree trunk with pussy willow coming out of the top. I think it was lighted with mini-lights too. I just remember thinking this was so cool and whoever created it was genius. Did not think that this year.

  17. Holley says:

    I want that bunny in the last picture! Really! My sweet husband had given me one almost like that one year, then accidentally mowed it down with the tractor (I had it by the edge of the woods). Other than that, I have been reading that the 70’s are making a comeback!

    • Sorry to hear about your bunny. Funny, but I took shots of bunny art at the show. I like bunnies in the garden, not the real ones though. At the farm in the fields, nice seeing them, but a home garden, munching away at the flowers, get me Elmer Fudd.

  18. Dear Donna, I totally agree with you. I am ALWAYS disappointed with flower shows, especially as I find them exhausting to walk around. I usually come away thinking I would have rather expended that energy in my own garden. But as I didn’t get to any shows this year, I enjoyed seeing yours. P x

  19. Bom says:

    The indoors outside has caught my fancy. I think it should be much easier for me to set up a wooden platform of sorts. There has to be a good side to having all this cement around the house instead of ground, right? Oh, BTW, what is Green Apple?

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