Connecticut Flower & Garden Show 2015

Sir Peacock at CT Garden Show in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Sir Peacock greets everyone at the entryway (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

There’s only one way to fight a seemingly endless winter; enlist some serious flower power! In my neck of the woods this entailed taking a much needed break from the snow and frigid temps to attend the 34th annual Connecticut Flower & Garden Show, just an hour away at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. If you didn’t have a chance to visit, there are other flower shows across the east coast such as Vermont Flower Show from February 27 through March 1, the Boston Flower and Garden Show from March 11 through 15, and the oldest, Philadelphia Flower Show, which premiered in 1829 and will be open from February 28 through March 8. (Please check your area for other local listings).

Witch Hazel at CT Flower Show in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Witch Hazel’s fragrant fringes (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

What can you expect to find when you step inside the doors of a flower show? To be greeted by a delightful assembly of plants, shrubs, trees and flowers spread over *acres of exhibit space (Connecticut encompasses 3 acres, while Philadelphia is over 30). You’ll see colors that seem almost otherworldly, while intoxicating scents of lily and rose bouquets call to you from their prismatic vessels. Witch hazel (Hamamelis) sports lightly fragrant fringes of gold and crimson, while viburnum displays snowy white pompoms emitting a tantalizing smell reminiscent of freshly baked spice cake. And that’s just the beginning.

Landscape designs at CT Garden Show in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Creative Contour’s landscape design-note the waterfall table (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

This year, the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut featured a design and horticulture competition based on “The Spirit of Spring” theme.  The result was a collaboration of mini landscapes offering varieties of lounging areas and patios, seating alternatives from moss covered chairs to stone benches, with thoughtful attention given to exuberantly flowering plants such as rhododendrons, forsythia, tulips and daffodils, all complemented with vibrant ornamentation in forms of fish, mushrooms, even empty bottles.  Creative water features, such as an outdoor area including a dining table with a waterfall running down the middle, were examples designed to stimulate your sense of sound as well.

Colorful water feature in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Creative water feature brightens landscape (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Considered one of the premier garden shows on the east coast, the Hartford Convention Center was once again transformed into a breathtaking panorama sure to thrill any floral or garden enthusiast. There were over 300 booths filled with bright flowers, lush plants, aromatic herbs, bulbs, seeds, gardening literature, indoor and outdoor artwork, yard equipment, enclosures, lighting, and more.  In addition to the vendors, over 80 hours of seminars and demonstrations were offered, including pruning, floral arranging, bee keeping, lighting, water gardens and container gardening.  And though I enjoyed viewing the landscape displays and strolling amongst the plant lined isles, my favorite part of the show was the floral arrangements.

Floral arrangement at CT Flower Show in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Dazzling shades and forms create a unique arrangement (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

I flitted amongst the kaleidoscope of “Ports of Call” exhibits like a butterfly in search of its first drink, visually absorbing their essence and nourishing my plant starved psyche.  Indeed, those creatively bundled blossoms of confectionery enchantment were nectar to my soul.  There were tropical arrangements comprised of the brightest tangerine petals you’ve ever seen.  There were sweetly fragrant rose clusters paired with contrasting blooms in shades you wouldn’t dream of combining, with mesmerizing results.  There were blossoms in driftwood, flowers held in a variety of vessels, underwater blooms, tall flower spikes, staggered heights and low weeping forms.  There were prickly blooms, delicate blossoms and pairings of complex foliage.  There were curious shapes; brightly hued glossy petals next to brown, fuzzy formations called a lobster claw.  I could go on, but instead I will let the pictures do the talking . . . ♥

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A Garden for All