A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Sunday, February 19, 2006

NJ Flower & Garden Show (Part 1)

This is going to be another one of those multi-part posts because I took so many pictures and it takes so long to upload them. Last year I went to the NJ Flower & Garden Show as a spectator. This year, I worked a shift at the Rutgers Garden booth, so I got in free. I thought I was smart to take the early shift and then have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the show. Bad idea! The crowds were just incredible by the time I finished at 1:00 PM. I don't like crowds which is why I always go early to events. And just like last year, I came home with an odd purchase. Last year, it was a birdfeeder (which I have enjoyed tremendously). This year, it was a seagrass basket. Besides the fact that I love baskets, I need something to carry my tools in when I work at Rutgers Gardens. This is roomy, light, durable and can get wet. And only $20. I'll let you know at the end of the gardening season if this was a good purchase or not.

Now, on to the show. Please tell me, are people in NJ particularly rude or is it common all over for people to look straight at you, see that you have a camera aimed at a display and then walk directly in front of the camera, completely blocking your shot? Or even worse, walk in front of you and STOP!! I was so frustrated because I liked the gardens so much more this year than last. More plants! Less pavement!

I learned my lesson after the Longwood Gardens Christmas Tree fiasco and took pictures of the sign for each display garden. I'm a little confused about the theme. It had something to do with countries of the world, but there was also a Cape Cod garden, a Garden State garden and an urban garden. I know that there are a lot of new countries since I graduated from school but I'm pretty sure I would have heard about it if Cape Cod and New Jersey had become countries!

Rutgers Cook College did a garden for the first time. The theme was "Fiji":

It won first prize for Educational Design. I think it should have won for tallest garden:

I'm told they transported the bamboo on a 30' flatbed. Once they got it inside the hall, they had to turn off the lights directly over the display. I was actually stationed at this garden for a while and expected to answer the public's questions! I blogged about it on Garden Voices .

The next garden I visited was the Urban Garden:

Next up was "Rock the Kasbah". It was almost impossible to get a picture of this one. They had lights under glass stones. People were fascinated by it and filled the whole display.

I was really disappointed with the "Bulb Gardens of the Netherlands". It was pretty, but not terribly unique or exciting.

The Tuscan Garden was another very crowded one.

I loved this little boy playing in the fountain:
I think my favorite garden was "Les Jardins de la France".

After France, I headed back across the ocean to that new country, Cape Cod.
Do they surf on Cape Cod? The surfboards looked out of place to me.

The other new country:
I think what they were trying to accomplish here was a veggie/herb/flower garden. It just didn't gel for me.
Tomorrow, we will continue heading west to the Orient. Is it PC to refer to Asia as "the Orient"?


At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Judith said...

I am waiting for the Boston flower & garden show in March...I could slip over the border to the RI show this weekend but don't have to now that I visited you today. It is so nice to see plants & smell the mulch at these events. Nice pics!


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