Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 Central Ohio Home & Garden Show - Columbus, OH

Each year, I receive free tickets for the Central Ohio Home & Garden Show, held at the Ohio Expo Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds. It's a 2½-hour drive to our state capital, so when I make the trip, I intend for it to be worthwhile.

Guzmania 'Firecracker' at Oakland Nursery
Last Friday, Mom and I headed out, with plans to stop at A Proper Garden and Oakland Nursery, the latter being our favorite garden center that we never miss when visiting Columbus.

The home & garden show didn't open until noon, so we had plenty of time to see what these garden centers had to offer, which was plenty. A few plants were purchased and a chicken just might have come home with one of us.

Floating islands of spring bulbs greeted us at the entrance to the Central
Ohio Home & Garden Show

Design by Spellacy's Turf-Lawn, Inc.
We arrived at the show around 4:00, a bit concerned that it could be late when we wrapped things up and headed back home. But by 5:30, we were ready to call it a day. An hour and a half for a city home and garden show?

The show, as expected, was more home than garden. That's usually the case, and we're prepared for that, but sadly, this year was even less garden than previous shows we've attended.

The theme was "Happy Birthday, Columbus!" as the city celebrates its 200th birthday this year. The 11 display gardens each featured Columbus landmarks and neighborhoods, but only three of them really caught my eye, and only one of those contained anything I might be tempted to try in my own yard.

The Columbus Museum of Art had lovely large urns at the entrance of their display, designed by Wood Landscape Services, Ltd. The artwork on the walls made this garden worth seeing for me, but there was nothing remarkable about the landscaping. It was attractive, but was merely raised planters with the usual fare planted in them. 

I liked the flooring design, which echoed the placement of the raised planters.

The mosaic artwork on an easel had water flowing down over its surface.

The layout of "You're Invited," designed by Spellacy's Turf-Lawn, Inc., was like that of a city park, as were several of the designs. A fun fountain added to the party atmosphere and visitors could sign a big birthday card to the city as they exited the display.

As expected, there were a few vertical gardens that showed up in the gardens, such as this one, in The Ohio State University garden, designed by Warwick's Landscaping & Garden Center.

The mini-me downtown Columbus display was fun to walk through, but there was little to inspire the gardener.

My favorite display garden by far was Hayden Falls Park expertly done by Seely's Landscape Nursery. They recreated Hayden Falls, which is located on the western shore of the Scioto River in Northwest Columbus.  I liked their display garden last year, too.


While I can't even come close to replicating this in my own garden, since it was a 12-foot waterfall, the fact that they did this on the floor of an expo center amazes me and the beauty of the display makes me want to visit the park and see the real thing.

There are two kinds of garden shows: one that is so over the top that you simply enjoy the Disneyland effect and are entertained by it, or the other, which is an inspiring combination of plants, trees, shrubs, and hardscape using color and unique style that motivates you to adapt it to your own garden. Sadly, this show was neither.

I try to find positive in every situation and there were some lovely spaces to walk through. But I have to say that the show this year was a disappointment to me as a gardener. I expected more from a city the size of Columbus. But there's always next year...


minhus said...

I live in Columbus and have never made it to this show. Your post makes me doubly glad I didn't spend $30 for two of us to go! It seems like our show is more of the "get crap sold to you" variety than the inspiration variety unfortunately.

RobinL said...

Yes Kylee, that's exactly how I felt. Nothing new to see. I love the blooms in winter when there's nothing going on in my own garden. But I expected more! And I missed my favorite garden vendors. Three of the best were missing, and that cannot be a coincidence. I think they were not invited! I may not even go next year.

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