RI and New England Flower Show Reviews and Photos

Westford, MA(Zone 5b)

I recently attended the RI Flower Show held in Providence and the New England Flower Show held in Boston at the Bayside Expo. New England Show is still going on. Try to attend if you have the time it is worth it!

Here are some photos. There are three albums for RI and one for New England.
http://www.picturetrail.com/sedum37

Anyone else have photos to share please post in this link. I'd love to see any photos people have!

Enjoy!
Sue

RI Flower Show Review:
I have gone to all but one year of RI. I think by far this was the best year for the displays and exhibits! I think the integrated show theme (music/symphony), use of more sophisticated hardscapes, plantings, etc. greatly improved the displays so they are approaching the New England Flower Show quality. Of course the show is much smaller than New England. We went to two talks. One called "Creating Your Landscape for Seasonal Enjoyment" and "Streptocarpus Plants: A Gift From Nature". I ended up buying a couple of Steptocarpus plants after the talk. There are some photos of the plants in the House Plants album. Both talks were great.

I think the vendor area was much smaller and the seed vendor that I like to go to wasn't there. Also the houseplant section where people exhibit their houseplants was much smaller. This is usually one of my favorite areas of the show since it is great to see some unusual house plants.


New England Flower Show Review:
This was a great show but of course I like all the shows so I am not the best judge! I am so happy to see plants at this time of year I am not picky or judgemental about the displays.

My impression of the show is that there were fewer 'over the top', fanciful displays this year and there were more natural displays that you could see in your own garden. Also I think there were fewer landscape exhibits but the landscapes were larger. Mahoney's Garden Center had a very large, complex exhibit. There was a nice exhibit of tropicals in the landscape and containers in the Bromeliad Society Exhibit. Be sure to visit the New England Wildflower Society Exhibit. If you are not a member, pick up a coupon for buy 1 entrance, get one free. Take a friend to NEWFS. I recommend the weeks near Mother's Day for spring flowers and blooms.

In the vendor area, if you like orchids visit Brennan's Orchids (Molly is one of the owners). This was the vendor I bought the Streptocarpus plants from at the RI Flower Show. Or if you are interested in these plants they have a nice selection.

I went to one talk by the Scott the owner of Old House Gardens. What a great talk! It is too bad that only 25% of the chairs were taken. People missed a great talk. Scott spoke about the history of bulbs from the earliest times (Roman, to Dark ages, European bulbs to early 1900's). And how many bulb varieties are gone for good. He showed many pictures and talked about the various types of bulbs. It was very interesting! His company is trying to preserve and offer these old fashioned varieties. Check them out if you haven't at www.oldhousegardens.com

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

I've purchased from Brennan's before - I bought a chirita from them and a min-african violet. I love the gesneriads.

Westford, MA(Zone 5b)

Anyone else go to New England Flower Show? Any comments about the show? Any photos?

Sue

Norwich, CT

Yes, we went to the show for the first time this year. We moved from Pennsylvania about 7 years ago and always enjoyed (and been spoiled by) the Philly Flower Show so we haven't ventured until this year. We originally were thinking about the CT show but were steered toward the NE show because it was a "much bigger" show. We were not disappointed! We were there on the first full day of the show, Saturday, and it was well attended. The theme was "Coming Home to NE" and the exhibits were all about a garden that one would grow locally. There were some very large and nice exhibits, as Sue has mentioned, and several of them had live bird "centerpieces". There was a pair each of large geese, peacocks and cranes that were a stunning addition and real crowd pleasers. The vendor area was very large and had a real variety....a shameless plug for these really interesting and cool takes on Adirondack furniture...Archie's Island. Very different, colorful and surprisingly comfortable.
I was really impressed with the "diversity" of specimens on display and there were a lot of eastern (Chinese and Japanese) cultivars that will certainly grow in our NE climate. I got quite a few good ideas for additions to the beds that I am developing and it was also helpful that I had the newest catalog from Forest Farm with me to take notes in and dog-ear. I will not go to a show again without a resource such as this because I can't remember that much detail anymore. I realize this is a "rookie" thing, but I am building on my love for gardening every year.
One of the best exhibits we liked was from the Miskovsky group that had both the geese and the peacocks, but I was most "entertained" by visitors happening upon a set of three Carol Mackies in full bloom. They would walk by, get a hit of the fragrance and start looking all over to identify the source and then find the id tag. Unfortunately, the tag was placed before one got to them in the flow of traffic so many were confused. I helped a few out with the id and gave them some information on growing these beauties....we have a 5 year specimen that is doing quite well...though a yard service we hired to do a few things for us last year trimmed it (=:-0). I hope it will survive and find a means to bloom. We have also introduced a Somerset and are looking to add one more this year.
Mahoney's did have a large collection of exhibits that were a joy to peruse and there were several other exhibitors (Journey's end) that focused on derr resistant plants. Always a plus to get new ideas for that "perennial" problem.
All in all, we were very pleased and will likely go again. The Newport, RI show was advertising as well, and of course, going to see a flower show at Rosecliff would be a treat in and of itself. But I do think that we will make a reservation to return to Philadelphia, granted, we will likely need to go on more than one day because it is just too large to take it all in one visit.
I included one picture but I am not the photograper of the family. If I can get more posted. I'll let you know where to find them. Happy gardening and I can't wait for Spring to arrive in temperature!

John

Thumbnail by JBenbow
Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I'm glad you all enjoyed the NE Spring Flower Show. I will pass your comments on to the show director next week. I am a member of the Amateur Horticulture committee that sets up the individual exhibits. Yes, we were there, behind the Ikebana and next to the flower designs on the North side of the Bayside. I am chairperson of the Junior Horticulture committee and we had over 150 entries in our section of the exhibit from children, age 16 and under. Our Junior exhibit as a whole earned a Gold medal. I hope you caught some of our work. The adults were great too. If you saw any of this part of the show, please let me know what you thought of it!
I like Rhode Island also. It's a jewel of a show, with many fine exhibitors. I was sick over the weekend that it was on this year so I did not get to attend.
Great pictures Sedum. The begonia window was in the Amateur Horticulture section.
If you want to visit that magnificent bonsai again, it lives in Boston at the Arnold Arboretum. They will be putting them out for the year into their gazebo pretty soon and you can go and see them whenever you like. I loved all the carved stones, too. and that trough of succulents as well.
The giant birds kind of freaked me out. i remember one year when they had free range chickens free ranging at the Rhode Island Flower show. That was an idea that wasn't repeated, because the birds flocked to distant corners of the hall and hid from the public only coming back to roost when the show closed. You never know what's going to happen at a flower show!
Here's a picture of my personal Jade plant 'Hobbit' which got a second place in the succulent section of the amateurs. It didn't go on exhibit until 3/14 in the second amateur entry day.
I live for flower show week!
Martha

Thumbnail by gardenmart
Westford, MA(Zone 5b)

Gardenmart -- one of my favorite parts of the show is the judged entries and the house plants section. This is where RI is lacking. RI used to have many more house plants but now there is barely a table or two. The NE show does a great job in this area. We viewed all the landscapes and that is where I took most of my photos. I was tired of taking pictures so that is why there are fewer of the judged/house plants section. Yes, I also always enjoy seeing the children's entries. It is good to see them involved at this age.

Can you give feedback on Mass Horticulture's web site to the director? If so, I was planning to email them with comments about their usability of their web site. The scroll bar they have is difficult and a pain in the neck to use! The first rule of web design is not to make pages scroll in a fixed window. Also the lecture halls are way in the back near the vendor area. I don't think people knew where they were. May be this explains why the talk I attended was not filled up. Thanks for passing these comments along.

Sue

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

Sure can. The Committees all have a show wrap meeting on April 4. I don't know who is currently in charge of the web page, but I will forward your comment to Headquarters. The lecture hall placement was an experiment this year. I will have to see what other kinds of feedback they got about it and I will let you know. I will certainly let them know what you think. do you mind if I print out your comments and hand it over to the show director? Let me know.
thanks,
Martha

Westford, MA(Zone 5b)

Gardenmart - go ahead and print away! I had thought of emailing comments on their web site but when I've done this before for other sites it always seems they go to unread mailbox. So in the past it has been a waste of time.

Sue

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks. One thing I liked this year was that Brent and Becky's bulbs had an exhibit for the first time. They were giving away a neat plastic ruler which was a ruler on one side and had a list of bulbs and their planting depths on the other. Everyone needs one of those! I am waiting for my first order from them to come up now. Here's a picture from their exhibit. They had a wonderful collection in bloom. This is a gorgeous amaryllis. My daughter took the picture but, sadly, did not get the name.

Thumbnail by gardenmart
Westford, MA(Zone 5b)

Wow that is a stunning amaryllis! May be someone in the bulb forum could identify it? Or looking on their web site could narrow it down?

Ok -- Just looking quickly at their web site could it be Dancing Queen?

http://www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com/spring/productview/index.php?sku=40-0127

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

The brent and becky's display had them numbered, unfortunately. I didn't get a copy of the key. I like name signs to have names, call me spoiled. But brent and becky's can certainly identify this for you. it does look like dancing queen.
Martha

Nantucket, MA(Zone 7a)

We have a passive solar greenhouse which helps heat our house. In the fall I bring in lots of tender plants and they put on a nice show during the winter, then in early May I will cut them back and replant them outside in late May. (see the Picture) we have all sorts of plants collected over many years that manage to survive in this gh without heat save for part of the metal wood stove pipe that we vented through one end of the greenhouse for a few feet before entering the chimney that we fire up in the late afternoon during the winter. So this is my flower show pictures, as I didn't get to Boston this year. The clivia in the forground was bought in 1983 at the NYC flower show and has never failed us. It is huge with many stalks. I want the yellow one when the price comes down.

Thumbnail by bbrookrd
Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

Holy cow - look at the size of your Jade Plant!!! Does yours flower?

Nantucket, MA(Zone 7a)

They all bloom...the one in the picture is a not the big one ! I saw in this thread a picture of jade called hobbit which I think is the same type that we have several of that we started from a 1" piece from a plant in a Vt inn that we stayed in 17 years ago.They have been very slow growing so only about half the size of the one in the picture. I never knew the name, so I was trilled to see the picture. Everyone who sees ours wants a piece. I'll post a picture to get someone to id it for me.

Thumbnail by bbrookrd
Westford, MA(Zone 5b)

bbrookrd - thanks for sharing your pictures. Love to get a peak in people's greenhouses. I think I also have the Jade Hobbit but as a small succulent that I bought unnamed at one of the box stores. It is slow growing. So this is what it will look like in a few years!

Sue

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

That's my Hobbit and yes, they are extremely slow growing compared to the regular jades. They stay little for a long time so if you are doing a miniature landscape or a desert terrarium or dish garden, they will keep their shape and won't grow out of the dish too quickly. Regular jades tend to get too leggy quickly in low light. My Hobbit is about 15 years old. It has an 8 year old "baby" that came from a fall it took where a branch broke off. I have several small cuttings and leaf starts from it as well. I hand carried the mother plant home from NC on the plane in a basket along with several other cacti I had acquired there. this is the only one left.
Martha

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

When I was at the Botanical Garden - I ran into a gentleman who owned a nursery and said that he leaves his jade plant out all spring/summer/fall and brings it in just before the first frost and always gets flowering. Reminds me of a Christmas Cactus that my grandmother had given me. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by the cats that I had at the time. Very sad as my grandmother has since passed away and it would have been wonderful to have that from her.

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I have regular jades that flower and they stay out all spring summer and fall. They have to be a certain age and potbound. They are late fall flowering because they come from the southern hemisphere. My Hobbit isn't old enough yet, I don't think, though the mama plant is certainly pot bound. But at 15, I think it is getting there. My daughter's jade bloomed beautifully this year. I put mine outside carefully, however. I start with them in a real shady spot and then gradually work them out into the full sun. If I don't do this, the leaves scald and get black patches on them. It's like sunburn. the sun is too much for them at first having been in all late fall and winter. I love my jades. My current plants are daughters of plants I got 26 years ago.

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

wow

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