I really enjoyed the show this year.  My attendance record goes waaaay back into the late 50’s … long before blogging but I have posted about five previous modern shows, all listed under “Flower Show” in the tab at the top of the page marked  “An Index To My Posts”.  Anyhow, the first impression is always important and I was pleased with it this year.

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The theme was the hundredth anniversary of the National Park System.  I’m a great fan of the Park Service and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the major parks and preserves and refuges.  I think the service does such a great job that I’ve said for years that I wished they ran the whole government.  When I saw this entrance of stone columns and beams I felt at home.

Well, it’s supposed to be a flower show but sometimes the flowers get lost in the spectacle; this year I thought that there were more than last year.  There were lots of scenes like this to enjoy.

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Under the theme of the national parks I thought everyone did a good job with their entries.  A few even included marshy and pine barrens scenes reminiscent of the work that people like Jud’s Nurseries used to do in the 60’s, with wild azaleas and struggling cedars.

I had a couple of quibbles.  Long time supporter E. P. Henry (hardscaping materials) has been replaced by Belgard, the largest hardscapes manufacturer in the nation.  They provided pavers and block work and stone for exhibitors and they also had constructed what they called a Chesapeake Bay garden with their materials.  It was nice but as a bay veteran it didn’t make me think of the Chesapeake.  In fact I asked one of the hosts where the crabs were.  I was politely humored.  Another quibble:  there was a giant decorated bell shape representing the Liberty Bell.  It was positioned in a pleasant resting area on the back wall of which was emblazoned … not words from the Declaration of Independence … rather, from the preamble of the Constitution, written thirteen years after that bell was rung so symbolically.  Oh, well.


There are the whimsical exhibits, generally always enjoyable.  Here’s one made of some kind of conifer branches.

(Techy comment:  Judges, note that there is a catchlight in its eye.)

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And there are the dramatic scenes here and there.

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Here’s some more whimsy which I couldn’t leave alone.  This was part of the Waldor Orchid display, a long time orchid cultivator and PHS supporter.  The exhibit had a central pond surrounded by orchid plants.  In the pond there were three illuminated translucent buckets upside down in the water, each with a further lighted bucket on top with water bubbling out of them.  It was too difficult to get close enough to capture the bucket scene so I chose to do this impressionistic capture (made with a Sweet Spot Lensbaby).

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The so-called Horticourt is a place where members may exhibit their specimen plants in competition.  I think that the area was larger this year, and I enjoyed seeing all of the entries.

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I’ll close with some more whimsy.  These unusual plants were all over the place, adding romantic colors to displays.  They were of the Electricus family of plants.  (Please, no emails or phone calls, yes they were electric lights but pretty.)

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Finally, there was a creative exhibit representing the Redwood National Forest.  One could walk through one of the simulated redwoods and look up at the lovely artistic effort.  Fun!

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(BTW, and maybe just a rumor but I think that next year’s theme may be the Netherlands.  Wow!  Keukenhof Gardens!)