A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, March 10, 2007

2007 Springfest Flower & Garden Show

Important disclaimer: The following post is my personal opinion only. It is in no way a reflection of the opinion of Rutgers Gardens or anyone associated with it. As a volunteer, I have no authority to speak on behalf of Rutgers Gardens or any of its personnel.

Back in 2005, I started attending garden shows. I was quite disappointed by them. They seem to feature mainly hardscape with few plantings. I've been attending the New Jersey Flower & Garden Show regularly as a volunteer for Rutgers Gardens (please see important disclaimer). It has improved each year. I hadn't been back to the Springfest show because it is held in Sussex, which is over an hour distant. But when the Head Hatter was looking for volunteers for the Rutgers Gardens booth (please see important disclaimer), I decided to give it another look. Even better, my fellow Straw Hatter, A decided to join me. We had a fun day answering questions while taking turns touring the show.

Like the New Jersey Flower & Garden Show, Springfest has greatly improved since my first visit. Less hardscape, more plantings and lots and lots of water. Everywhere I turned, there was a water feature:

Some companies did strive to be different:

Here's a familiar face. The same company that designed the "World of Water" garden at the Flower & Garden Show last month, also had a garden at Springfest:

Look at the size of those koi!

Most of the water features in the display gardens had koi in them. Except for these people, who apparently felt that Barbie was more appropriate:

The most spectacular garden was an enormous cottage garden:

I was pretty excited by this until I took a closer look. Go ahead, double click on the picture below.

You see it too, don't you? They've mixed shade lovers like hosta and astilbe with sun lovers like delphinium and roses. I was appalled. People look at these gardens for ideas. Can't you just see a gardener who doesn't know any better trying some of these combinations, failing and then blaming themselves not realizing that these plants have different requirements?

We need to take a moment here. Remember! Personal blog. Personal opinion. Nothing to do with Rutgers Gardens.

Thank you.

I did come away with one idea from this show. And I didn't even see it until I looked at the pictures I took.

Trowels as garden ornaments!

I was very disappointed with the vendors at this show (Personal blog! Personal opinion!). Lots of frou-frou decorative stuff. Most of it looked like it wouldn't stand up to the elements. Or the voracious Middlesex squirrels. Nevertheless, I will be returning to this show next year if volunteers are needed for the Rutgers Gardens booth. I'm looking forward to even better exhibits (and vendors!).

More pictures can be seen on Flickr.


At 7:35 PM, Blogger A said...

Hi, this is A. I just wanted to add that I noticed those trowels shown in the last photo, but forgot to mention them to Oldroses later. They weren't just decorative, they had a purpose - they were plant labels! Each one had the names of a plant (common and Latin) written in blue marker on the white blade.

At 10:35 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Thanks for clearing that up, A! My camera is so poor that I couldn't see the plant labels on the blades. And it was really hard to get a picture of this garden because people kept pushing in front of me. I was literally shooting on the run so I didn't get a good look at the details of the garden.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Good personal rants... and good post, too. Seems like most of the home and garden shows were disappointing this year.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Gotta Garden said...

I so relate to this! Last Friday I went to the Washington Home and Garden Show (haven't even blogged about it...lol) and it was a major disappointment...although, in the back of my mind, I think I expected it to be. Funny, I took a picture of one of the "gardens" (most were just to feature a company's ability to do a water feature) with the POTTED PLANTS...I mean black plastic what you purchase them in.... just sitting in gravel!!! Ummm, how long did it take to think up that design??! Okay, I'm probably being too hard...good thing I really came to hear a couple speakers (one of whom cancelled very late...do you sense my...uh...unhappiness???)...and not get planting ideas!

Wow. I guess I can join a good rant!

At 7:38 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Thanks everyone! I thought it was just me. I always hope to find something unusual but am usually disappointed.


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