Thanks to everyone who is reporting in from garden shows. I just got back from the Portland Yard, Garden, and Patio Show, which turns out to be quite a slick show at Portland's big downtown convention center. Easily accessible by light rail, a large and comfortable space, and pretty good food by garden show standards–veggie burgers, burritos, and the like. They had a full roster of speakers, and David Hutchinson of Flora & Fauna Books came down from Seattle to sell books.
Those are the speakers and the amenities. What about the stuff?
OMG! Begonia luxurians, where have you been all my life? I have never been all that excited about begonias, but as Andrew Beckman, Timber's new editorial director, said, "It only takes one to get you started." This might just be my gateway begonia.
I don't know where I would put this Arts and Crafts-inspired wooden trellis or what I would do with it, but I love it.
This little building was meant as a demo for a company that builds human-sized sheds, but I think it's perfect for my chickens. It even has wallpaper inside, which every diva hen requires.
I don't know what to make of this.
Let us know where you're posting your garden show reports. Here's a few that have caught our eye:
BlueGrass Photography with cool panaromas of the Cincinnati show.
And can I just say? Many of these shows are REALLY working hard just to stay alive. Advertising revenue, booth space rental, ticket sales–all hit hard in myriad ways by the economy. It would be an act of good horticultural citizenship to make an extra effort to get out to a garden show this year, bring some friends, buy some stuff, etc. etc. We might not all go to our local garden shows every year, but in this economy, they can all use a little boost. I know that a few shows considered sitting out 2011, but it's hard to get it going again after skipping a year.
And don't you think we all deserve at least one big garden-themed event in our community every year? Yes, the displays can get repetitive, and the vendors can be the same year after year. But I love buying plants directly from the growers at these shows, and I appreciate getting to see the speakers, some of whom are friends, and some of whom are rock stars of the gardening world who I've never actually met but love getting to see up close and in person.
What about you? Worthwhile, these garden shows?