It’s Flower, Garden and Home Show Season around the U.S. Part I.

 
Photo courtesy Colorado Garden & Home Show

Photo courtesy Colorado Garden & Home Show

Flower shows require an immense undertaking from thousands of hours of work, people and planning.   We’re in the heart of Flower, Home and Garden Show Season and here’s a small taste of what goes on to make these annual events great.  The finished products are fully landscaped spaces that pull us into realizing what our own outdoor rooms could be like.  Designers Le Jardin created this amazing space below at the recent Northwest Flower and Garden Show held last week in Seattle.

Le Jardin's outdoor design at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show.  Photo Couresy the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Le Jardin's outdoor design at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Photo Couresy the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

The theme for the Northwest show was Beauty and Functionality.  Although the final landscaped environments like Le Jardins’ were simply amazing, the process of how a show is physically built has its own beauty and functionality.  As the show illustrates in asking, “Ever wondered about how much work goes into making 25 beautiful full-scale gardens indoors?” Well they do a great job showing us in this time-lapse video which they explain, “shows you the incredible amount of soil, sweat and plants needed to create the gardens at the West Coast’s two major flower shows every year – the Northwest Flower & Garden Show at the Washington State Convention Center and the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show at the San Mateo Event Center.  12 frantic days of activity (5 of move-in, 5 show days and 2 of move-out) are compressed into 7 ½ minutes.”

Last week I had a booth at the Mid-Atlantic Home and Garden Show at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.  It was a huge show and I learned a lot about how much work goes into these shows. I especially enjoyed the landscaping.  Dreamscape Designers, for example, built this lovely backyard fountain and pool as part of their landscape display.  There were even flower petals floating in the water, a nice touch.

Dreamscape at The Mid-Atlantic Home and Flower Show. © Britt Conley

Dreamscape Designers at The Mid-Atlantic Home and Flower Show. © Britt Conley

Beverly, owner of Pretty Things, did the official display flowers for the Mid-Atlantic Home and Flower Show.  She also had a fantastic array of flowers for sale just outside the main Hall in the  foyer.  Beverly also teaches custom programs on floral design as well as doing floral design for events and even dinner parties!  She is fantastic!  To reach her directly about having her teach a seminar or be the floral architect for your event, large or small, call 1 (757) 472-2522.

Flowers by Beverly  © Britt Conley

Flowers by Beverly © Britt Conley

From what I could see flowers sold all weekend and it’s no wonder.  They were all fresh, lovely and amazing!

Flowers at the show by Beverly © Britt Conley

Flowers at the show by Beverly © Britt Conley

Each day more fresh flowers arrived and the crowds began picking them up.  There just may be another post on these flowers.

Flowers at the Mid-Atlantic Home and Flower Show by Beverly © Britt Conley

Flowers at the Mid-Atlantic Home and Flower Show by Beverly © Britt Conley

In 2009 Amanda Brown documented some of the preparation work for the seventh annual New Jersey Flower and Garden Show.

I made plans to cover as many shows as I could this season, but with the sudden layoff I’ve had to significantly scale back.  That said, no reason I can’t buzz some of them from afar!

Right now in Denver there are about 70,000 people expected to attend this year’s Colorado Garden and Home Show at the Colorado Convetion Center.

Photo courtesy Colorado Garden & Home Show

Photo courtesy Colorado Garden & Home Show

The show touts itself as the “region’s largest, oldest and most prestigious consumer garden and home improvement show west of the Mississippi.”  It’s no wonder that 600 companies come from around the US and Canada to sell their wares here.

Photo courtesy the Colorado Garden & Home Show

Photo courtesy the Colorado Garden & Home Show

Everything from garden landscapers to garden decor is available for perusing this weekend.

Photo courtesy the Colorado Garden & Home Show

Photo courtesy the Colorado Garden & Home Show

So what’s on tap for this years garden displays?  Well, the show touts “more than 15,000 blooming flowers comprised of 75 varieties of annuals, perennials and bulbs, and hundreds of flowering trees and shrubs. More than 100 tons of boulders and rocks, 2,000 truckloads of fresh recycled mulch, waterfalls, ponds and streams, paths and elevated walkways and bridges (which) all add to the gardens’ living nature.”

Photo courtesy the Colorado Garden & Home Show

Photo courtesy the Colorado Garden & Home Show

At this year’s show there is more than 45,000 square feet of the convention center devoted to garden displays.  According to show administrators, “The flowers and blooming trees are grown in Welby Gardens’ greenhouses. They are planted in August and are grown in a strict climate-controlled environment which encourages the plants to bloom in the middle of winter.”

Photo courtesy the Colorado Garden & Home Show

Photo courtesy the Colorado Garden & Home Show

Putting on a show is a tremendous feat!  At the Colorado show they proclaim, “2,000 cubic yards of recycled mulch used in the gardens. This is equivalent to 2,000 pickup truck loads, 400 tons of boulders and rocks used in the gardens, 30,000 man hours over 5 days during move in and set up of the show (with), 3,000 workers from exhibiting companies, gardeners, and convention center staff work.” Then what happens when it’s over? Nearly “7,000 flowers will be delivered to more than 60 area nursing homes at the end of the show.”  Now that is a great end to the show.  So for any Bee Friends in Denver, consider stopping by to see some of your local landscapers and vendors.

Every show is different and most have different vendors which means there are endless varieties of plants one can peruse.  At the xx market there is plenty to choose from at the San Francisco Show.

The Plant Market.  Photo Courtesy the San Francisco Flower and Home Show

The Plant Market. Photo Courtesy the San Francisco Flower and Home Show

According to the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show they also have a massive undertaking each year.  They explain,

“The San Francisco flower show uses 1,200 cubic yards of sawdust and mulch for the gardens (that’s about 150 dump truck-loads) and 280,000 pounds of rock. The trucks bringing in the flowers & plants for the gardens come from all up and down the West Coast. More than 300 theatrical lighting instruments are hung from the ceiling above the gardens.

Creating the gardens is the most complex part of the show. Planning for them begins nine months before the show. The gardens are like the actors, scenery and music in an opera, ballet or play. Just as those elements are the most expensive part of those artistic productions, the landscaped gardens are the most complex part of a garden show.”

In 2007 at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, Organic Mechanics created this fantastic undersea world for their display and won “Best in Show.”  They will be at this year’s show as well.

Organic Mechanics at The San Francisco Flower and Home Show 2009.  Photo by Gregory Case courtesy the San Francisco Flower and Home Show

Organic Mechanics at The San Francisco Flower and Home Show 2009. Photo by Gregory Case courtesy the San Francisco Flower and Home Show

The next San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is coming up March 24-28th, 2010.

I’ll be covering more shows over the coming months. I’m especially looking forward to covering upcoming regional shows and the Philadelphia Flower Show in person.  For me Philly is the place to “Bee” this year!

‘Til Tomorrow,

Britt : )

Related posts:

  1. It’s Flower, Garden and Home Show Season around the U.S. Part II.
  2. Celebrate a Symphony of Spring at this weekend’s Maryland Home & Garden Show!
  3. The Washington Home and Garden Show 2010!
  4. Some Garden Shopping Buzz from The Mid-Atlantic Home and Garden Show!
  5. Travel, Trade Shows and Teachable Moments at the Mid-Atlantic Home and Flower Show.

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