One of the vendors at the 2012 Plantasia had a number of blue and purple orchids. For those of you that are orchid collectors, these are infused orchids. When growing, before flowering, the grower feeds using a blue dye to infuse the white orchid with blue. They are very pretty, yet will revert to white on subsequent blooms.
I visited our local garden show on Thursday and was much more pleased with the event than I was the previous year and I can say this because the displays were very doable. Last year there was too much color and flamboyance, but this year it was very classic. The plants were still all forced, which by the way, is a very time consuming thing for the nurseries and growers to do. Many annuals and tropicals were still shown, but not as many as previously. Whole gardens last year were done in tropical flowers, making it not very doable for an average homeowner. A lot of effort goes into planning and preparation for this event, and my hat goes off to the nurseries that participate.
Many of the nurseries at Plantasia display at my garden club’s yearly event, The Lewiston GardenFest, coming up on June 23rd and 24th. I will be posting the poster announcing the event very soon. Garden club members attended Plantasia on Thursday and I walked around with them for a while.
This year the theme was, A Taste of Spring. Many displays incorporated vegetables into the planting beds, much in the same way I did in my garden last year. Getting back to the Earth seems like it has been taking hold in the last few years with vegetable gardens becoming quite common. I am designing one right now as a matter of fact. The client wants a three 12 x 12 foot raised beds incorporated within the large design.
These two designs designated the beds within the larger design, but many did as I did last year by planting legumes and lettuces right in among the perennials. I also had the Veggie Wedgie similar to above for tomatoes and peppers. Many herb gardens were shown, but only a few did so in ways where they work well with the overall design. I have done a few properties that did this nicely. They can be a very beautiful addition to a landscape if done in a decorative or artistic manner. If I can locate the plans, I will post them. Same with moon gardens and butterfly gardens. I have partial plans that I would be willing to share.
The design above was rather formal, and had many built features. They covered both aesthetic and functional elements, but it presents a bit crowded. You can see the full shot of the display in the second image down. The grill was quite large and did not have the same character of the rest of the design. In fact, many of the displays combined many elements not consistent to a cohesive design, more to showcase their construction and installation abilities. When they do this, you do not feel as if you are in one garden. I have been to shows where when you enter an exhibit, you can sense being in an actual garden and walking through taking in the landscape. Granted, these are usually larger displays than shown at this venue.
Many of the displays had a water feature incorporated. The one above, it was the main focus. Below, the feature was an art piece. I very much enjoyed the Menne exhibit, below. Every year they do a wonderful and creative job.
This display below, showed a fire pit, but it would have been more successful with an integrated seating surround, so the pit could be used while seated. The straight seating wall does not allow for this.
Furnishings that resemble living room decor are beautiful, and weather resistant, but the cushions should be stored which makes them a bit inconvenient in an open siting. Another thing with this design above, I think they used too many differing materials. Look at the small garden walls, pillars, fire pit, and edging stone; each is of a different material. That works fine with more care in selection. The edging stone jumps out in the design. Nothing elsewhere in the display is that color, style, or scale of stone.
Word for Wednesday on the 28th is Tracery. Think how Tracery is a design element in gardens. Or use the root of the word and trace patterns, paths, drawings, development, the sun, shadows, the seasons….