Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show 2010

This is always the kick-off for the gardening season for me.  When the Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show starts, it means spring is just around the corner. Other garden shows pop up, I finalize my seed orders and I begin to make random stops at garden centers, "just to look."

Mom and I visited the show last Friday, taking in the sights, sounds, and the wonderful spring smells. There are a few vendors that we look forward to every year and each of them was there.

I've been hot on succulents ever since I read Debra Baldwin's Succulent Container Gardens.  I'd grown them before that, but her inspiring book motivated me to delve into them further. Young's Greenhouse always has a nice selection of succulents at this show and they didn't disappoint me this year either.

Somehow, I managed to resist these, but when I got to one of my other favorite vendors, Country View Greenhouse, my will power gave way.  I purchased two Aloes, both of them in bloom. I purchased a 'Red Lady' Hellebore from them last year, and almost bought this yellow 'Ballerina Series' double they had this year.

I like Country View, because they always have something a little out of the ordinary. This year, a couple of things caught my eye. A six-foot Arizona Cypress (Cupressus glabra 'Blue Ice') was quite attractive with its glaucous leaves/needles. I've seen varying hardiness ratings on this, with it being one of those marginal plantings for our zone 5, I think.  It grows in a conical shape and has round cones.

Country View always has plants with great texture and color to their foliage, as shown here with the Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), Fatsia japonica, and Dwarf Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa).

But even better than that was the wire dress form that they'd stuffed with moss and potting medium, then planted with succulents. Adding Fiber Optic grass (Isolepis cernua) for hair made for an eye-catching display.

We then moved on to one of my very favorite places to purchase plants, whether they are here at the show or back at their home base at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. Everything they offer for sale is healthy and so reasonably priced. I chose a container which was planted with several different succulents.

The Conservatory sells an assortment of some of my favorite seeds - Renee's Garden Seeds. I'll be growing several varieties in my garden this year, courtesy of Renee's (thank you!), including the 'Spitfire' Climbing Nasturtium that 50 garden bloggers (including me) will be growing at the same time for the seed GROW project.

Just down the aisle from the Conservatory's booth was another favorite stop, that of the Three Rivers Orchid Society. They always have such luscious orchids on display and some very nice ones offered for sale.  

Though I didn't purchase an orchid as I'd thought on the way to the show that I might, I had a nice chat with one of their members about how to get orchids to rebloom. The information she gave me was consistent with other advice I'd received previously.

Across from that display , The Northern Indiana Florists' Association was giving away baby Spider plants. I was glad to see quite a few young people requesting them. This was one of the first house plants I ever grew, when I was in college, so I picked one up for old times' sake.

Arbor Farms Nursery attracted some attention with their alpaca topiary:

Woodland Water Gardens always has a nice display. See the golden conifer lighting up the left side of the photo? You can buy it for $1000.

I liked the barbecue grill they had put into an outcropping.

One of the landscaping companies (I didn't take note of which one) featured a nice planter/bench combination:

We walked over into the home area of the show, which had vendors of all sorts, including my brother-in-law's Return-to-Center mailboxes. They were featured on the evening news and our niece, Melissa, did a great job of explaining them.

We sampled food items, chatted with friends we ran into, and before we left the show, I got to meet Becky Williamson, Associate Show Producer of Ft. Wayne Shows, Inc.  Becky was the one responsible for sending the free tickets I gave away last weekend. Thanks again, Becky,  and it was great to finally meet you!

Mom and I finally gathered our purchases and headed home. Not a moment too soon either, because by the time we got to my house, the roads were drifting and icy. Because they weren't going to get any better by morning, we canceled our trip to Columbus for the Central Ohio Home and Garden Show. 

We'll be in Chicago this weekend for the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, where we'll meet up with some blogging friends that we met for the first time last year and some that we'll be meeting for the first time.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

What fun. I love that dress manaquin with the succulents and the hairy grass. That is a show stopper. I too am attracted to succulents. It sounds like you will have much more fun in Chicago. A mini Fling. Can't wait to see the photos from there. Beckie and Rose will be there sometime.

joey said...

Thanks Kylee, looking out the window at all the white snow, I needed this boost of color and hope for spring. The Spider plant was one of my 1st hanging plants also ... it was such a thrill when they had babies. Have a wonderful time in Chicago ... we're heading north for more snow :)

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

Looks like a greatshow, Kylee. We're preparing special weather
( sunshine, remember that ?) for your visit this weekend at the Chicago Flower and Garden show.

Looking forward to seeing you again.

Chris J. said...

Just wanted to let you know I received the tickets to the Central Ohio Home and Garden Show today. We aren't going until this weekend, so it worked out fine. Thank you so much for the tickets! I am really looking forward to going.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I wish our local Flower and Garden Shows were even half as nice as yours. Each year is a bit disappointing. Love all the succulents and the cyclamen in the wall planters.

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ I'm looking forward to Chicago for so many reasons! Beckie and Rose are going on Monday, so we'll just miss them. :-(

Joey ~ Do you have much snow where you are now? Ours is melting!!

Carolyn Gail ~ Thank you so much for the special weather just for us! Can't wait to see you!

Chris ~ Glad you got the tickets in time! Let me know how the show is. Mom and I weren't able to attend it after all. :-( I'm sure it will be wonderful!

Janet ~ This year's show was just a little less than in previous years, but it probably had to do with the economy. Still, there's always a lot to enjoy!

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