Whenever you see two of the same things side by side, you can't help but compare them. Yesterday, Mom and I went to the Ft. Wayne Home and Garden Show and today we traveled to Columbus to the Central Ohio Home and Garden Show. We expected to be wowed in Columbus, after seeing the much smaller Ft. Wayne show, but that was not the case. No doubt it was because the Columbus show was more home than garden. If either of us was building or remodeling, then Columbus would have been the place to be, but we were there for the gardening stuff.
The Garden Showcase, which featured what was supposed to be gardens from other countries, was beautiful even if we couldn't tell what country a garden was from without looking at the sign. Outdoor rooms was the theme for many of them, and the word of the day was 'stone.'
It was amazing to see how many creative ways stone pavers, blocks, slabs, pillars, and freeforms could be used. These displays were lavish and would cost several thousand dollars to recreate in your own yard, but bits of them could be taken and modified for use in the average backyard garden. And besides, it's always fun to dream and see how the other half lives.
By far, the most beautiful was the Japanese garden. It received a Gold Award, and it deserved it. Not only did the layout of the space contribute to the esthetics of the display, but also the use of beautiful and unique trees, shrubs, and plants. Shades of green flowed one into another and it was anything but bland, yet it didn't scream at you. It gave a feeling of peace and being at one with nature, which is what most of us enjoy most about being in our gardens.
Besides the use of stone, if there was anything else that resonated throughout the displays, it was the variegated evergreens. The lime green shades of some were fabulous, while the whitish and orangey shades made some appear to possibly be in a state of dying, even if that wasn't the case. It's a personal preference that makes you either love them or hate them.
Paul DiMeo, one of the designers for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was a featured speaker. The team had done a makeover for the Jason Thomas family of Columbus, and they were supposed to be there, too, but we didn't hang around long enough to see them. I remember watching that episode, though, because one of the team members cut his hand while working on a wooden flag wall hanging and ended up in the hospital.
It didn't take us long to browse the displays, both home and garden, and by noon, we were on our way back towards home. We stopped at Tuttle Crossing Mall to take care of an exchange at Brookstone, and we grabbed a bite to eat at Panera Bread. We got to look in at Pottery Barn, which is always a treat since we don't have the store locally. I bought a shadow box frame on sale, and a small metal figurine of a hummingbird, which I plan to use together with a picture of one of my garden flowers.
It was another fun day, though with the way I've felt this past week (flu), I probably should have stayed home. But I just hate to miss out on anything, and now I can say that I didn't. Flu be damned.