March 19, 2016

Flower Show Mania!

Living in New England brings its own challenges, winter being one of them. So when March rolls around, we collectively let out a sigh of relief that spring is soon on its way! And there's no better harbinger of the season's change than the Boston Flower Show!
Greeted with incredible scenery such as this, you enter smelling the sweet air of fragrant bulbs, hearing the chirps of (albeit piped-in sounds) birds. Heck, even the mulch smells good! One of my best friends, Traci, and I ventured into Boston and we had a great day followed by a yummy dinner at Legal Seafood on Boston Harbor, complete with some tasty wine (obvi)!
 One of the neat things about the flower show, is the highlighting of so many garden elements, from stonework to plantings, to just plain whimsy! Here is a beautiful pairing of tulips and hyacinths in dramatic color blocking to show off the incredible stonework.
He looks like he's about to fly away!
 I love how they showcase the river stones on the right, coupled with the sectioned gravel all mixed with the wood planking  This whole set-up makes me want to have a seat with a glass or two, but all the "Keep Off" signs won't let me near :(
 This domino-style wall was so cool! The mortar, if they used any, was so well-hidden and the wall was as sturdy as could be, despite the feeling like it was a big chain of dominos tipping over.
 I can't even wrap my pea brain around this globe, or around the effort that it took to create this incredible ball! Awesome!
 And if I hadn't had eight knee operations from my days as a college lax player, I could actually bend down and show you the mushroom stems, instead of this not-so-great view from the top. Oy!
Now that I'm looking at this owl, I regret not buying him! I need a little wisdom these days! 
The way they used the twigs and vines to make what's known as "wattle", is simply incredible!
Wrapped in a spiral, the display of tulips is jaw-dropping!
 Then, there are the scenes and vignettes that just catch your breath. I write copious notes detailing the varieties of plants, take pictures and promise myself that whatever I'm seeing is exactly what I'm going to plant this year! That is, until I get home, life takes over, I lose my notebook and I struggle with the weeds. But hope springs eternal, so maybe this is my year?
 Like this? Maybe I can build a cabana with a groovy fixture, grab some China Seas fabric and outdoor rugs? Where's my cabana boy when I need him?
 I think in a former life, I must've lived in a French palace or an English estate filled with topiary, because I can never get enough!
 And living garden walls are all the rage. See the ivy planted with the pansies? Genius!

Yup, this is just what it looks like outside my window when the weather is warmer. So pretty!
 As a flower arranger, I love seeing the annual flower competition between the Massachusetts clubs. I entered one year and got an Honorable Mention. Not a surprise, since like most things I do, I work fast and close to deadline. Not my best trait, but I have fun! (plus, I hate arranging to a set of rules:) This arrangement was stunning!
 And just check out the designer's materials list!

 Some of the classes are really tricky. This one involved an arrangement suspended in the circle, and then the interpretation was left to the designer.

 I liked this the best of the three, but the judges weren't fans. This got honorable mention too. 
 Though you can't see it in this picture, this arrangement was part of a competiton class that celebrated architecture. The coolest part of the arrangement was that the protea was placed behind and in front of the glass through cut circles. The juxtaposition of glass and materials all at different angles, was a lot like Frank Lloyd Wright's famous house, Falling Water.
One of my favorite categories is the tablescape division (this is the same class I competed in). I loved this arrangement and combo of elements, but alas, it only got a third place ribbon. I met a lady who had won a blue ribbon, and she told me that to compete in this division, "less is more." Aha! That's my problem all along! Doubtful I could ever abide by THAT rule!
 Ahhhhh, and then there is the WHIMSY! The best part of the show! Don't you just LOVE this train rambling through these sweet gardens?

 I feel like little trolls or elves are about to pop out!
 This bike with (yet more topiaries) had me at "hello"!
 I really DO need a puppy! It's getting bad, as any of my friends will tell you!
I love how the designer of this bike wrapped literally every part with flowers, cord etc, all but the gears!
 I see a DIY post coming up soon with these babies! SO awesome! Octopus using sea urchins and air plants. How easy!

 Even wedding cakes made the show! The "flowers" here are constructed using cupcake liners. Super clever! And I love the daisies planted in the Oreo-covered pudding.
 Sylvia Weinstock, eat your heart out! Gorgeous!
And who wouldn't want this cake at a party celebrating spring?
 And then there is the shopping! Easter baskets? Check!
Stunning terrariums? Yes, please!

 I spy, with my little brown eye...

 …gorgeous gardens, but something else?

Stainless steel stripers! I am now the proud owner of a family of five stripers, and also some mackerel to lead the way (since that's what they're chasing in the ocean anyway!). You can find a whole slew of different fish from this incredible Maine company, Fish in the Garden. My cousin, Eliza, owns the blue fish, my friend, Traci, owns the orange fish and I, of course, have the steel. Super fun!
 And we couldn't end the show without stopping at the super-cute "selfie station"! They had all these floral frames ready for you to take a pic, so why not?

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