Looking hard for inspiration

We went to the New Jersey Flower Show last night. I have to say I’m glad it was ‘date night’ (two-for-one tickets) because I found the show gardens sorely lacking, even for my untrained eye. Lots of bright yellow daffodils  (why couldn’t they have used some unusual varieties?), bright red tulips (I thought I loved red tulips but this was too much, and again, how about something a bit different?), purple hyacinth … you get the idea. I felt it could have been a Home Depot display, not something a landscaper wants to charge you lots of money to do. (The Brit says I’m a bit unfair and the displays come down to economics, especially in this economy.)

The witch hazel in the Eastern Trajectory display looked funky and offers winter appeal (assuming that was the winter look), and I could see it as a shrub in the yard (what a concession!), but now I want to know why Ken Druse said it’s ugly for a lot of the year. Can it work as a backdrop in a flower bed, or does it need to go in the back somewhere?

Another discovery: I like lime-green mums/daisy-like flowers.

The ‘stroll’ with Ken Druse was one of the highlights. He was supposed to talk plants as he walked through the show gardens, but he clearly didn’t think much of them and didn’t want to say anything bad while in them. And the organizers didn’t provide any kind of microphone. So there were fewer than a dozen of us, and he just answered questions. It didn’t seem like the place to sell a lot of books.

Speaking of vendors … quite a few junky ones that had nothing to do with the garden, or outdoors. I think the sheet vendor rated highest there. But we bought some foxtail lily rhizomes, figuring they will add interesting spikes in July/August, multiply fairly quickly and should be deer-resistant, and a bike planter. Yes, it’s kitschy but it hopefully will be fun worked into the plants, rather than plopped in the middle of the yard.

Bottom line: once might have been enough. But do I want to brave the madhouse that is Philadelphia?

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2 thoughts on “Looking hard for inspiration

  1. Why don’t you volunteer for some of the guys? This is not a ‘smart alec’ reply. Help them out. And what fun it would be for you.
    If the Philly Show is at Longwood, go!

    1. Unfortunately, it’s at the convention center. Have been to Longwood a couple of times and hope to go again this year, maybe as part of a longer bike ride. Another garden I’d like to see is Chanticleer in a Philly suburb. We joined Winterthur when we went last year, and the perks for other gardens (free admission sometimes, other times two-for-one deals) should get us going to a few new places!

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