Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chicago Flower & Garden Show 2011: Odds and Ends

This is the final weekend of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, so if you haven't seen it but wanted to you better hurry!

I just wanted to share some final thoughts and pictures of an assortment of trends and interesting plants...

First, this year there was nary a native to be seen. In fact, in my perusal of the display gardens I found one. Literally one: this shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia).


There were probably more somewhere, but they were well-disguised, that's for sure. After having an entire prairie restoration display last year, I was rather disappointed. This one shooting star was located in the Silent Poetry garden by Rich's Foxwillow Pines. Every year their display does not fail to disappoint.

In addition to the requisite rare conifers, this year's display included Shona sculptures and bright bromeliads, creating a rather exotic feel (and yet that shooting star made its way in).

Speaking of bromeliads, they were incorporated into a number of displays. I'm a big fan of bromeliads so I thought that was cool. But even more than bromeliads, succulents were a huge craze this year. Here are the two types together!


Echeverias in particular were incorporated in all sorts of displays.


Bulbs were well-represented: cyclamens, narcissus, and this river of tulips which I loved:

The impact of the color was forceful, to say the least. I meandered around it taking pictures of varieties to look for this fall. Check out these gorgeous Ad Rems:

Prairie Rose fell for these too! And how can you not?

Edibles, particularly kale and cabbages, featured prominently as garden plants. In most places they looked great, like in these containers.


In other places it seemed almost contrived, like these sharp rows of cabbages with other annuals.


And vertical gardens got their own display too:

I like the vertical gardening idea, I'm just not really ready to jump into growing one myself yet.

Random sightings: What a nice table setting...


...but upon closer inspection...

...who wants robin eggs on the menu?! Weird!

PS-At the GWA Regional Meeting we got a look at some truly black petunias coming out this year from Ball Horticultural, and the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park will be holding a plant sale on Saturday, May 7th. According to the Lurie brochure they'll be offering "7 different plants that are superstars of the Lurie Garden." And quart-sized perennials will set you back all of $5 each. It might be crowded and chaotic, but I would think about checking that out!

3 comments:

Rose said...

When I got home from the show and had a chance to go through my photos and look through the program again, I realized I hadn't seen any native plants and wondered if I had missed a display. You would think with the emphasis on sustainability, they would have made a point to use more natives somewhere. Thanks for the link love; the 'Ad Rem Beauties' have been added to my must-buy list for fall!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Sorry I missed your blogaversary post, congratulations! The absence of native plant material at the show is very disappointing. Is the someone we can complain to so that they encourage the exhibitors next year to use more native plants?
BTW, I also messed up in my post about my photo award by failing to mention that I intentionally blurred the tag in the photo you took because my daughter is the subject of the photo & I wanted to protect her privacy.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

The robin nest is pretty, but disturbing. Those little lives...

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