Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chicago Flower & Garden Show 2011: The Sport of Gardening

If you've read this blog before, you probably know that I'm an avid sports fan (the MVP award, repeated baseball references, etc.). So naturally I was intrigued to learn the theme of the 2011 Chicago Flower & Garden Show was "The Sport of Gardening." How would sports translate in this setting?

This was definitely the year for this theme, with the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup last summer, the Bears nearly making it to the Super Bowl, and the Bulls being generally awesome. I wanted to see how the show would bring this theme to life. The answer was...not that well.

Sports greeted visitors right when they walked in. At first glance this looked like the only sports-related display.

Ozzie and Konerko, OK...

...I like the throwback bench...

...but Jermaine Dye hasn't been on the Sox for two years! C'mon, where are the fact checkers?

Eventually I found an entire Blackhawks garden, which was good because a couple measly jerseys in the front display were not sufficient for the reigning Stanley Cup champions (at least, in my opinion that is).

It turned out to be more of an "outdoor living" display than a garden. But I must say the hockey rink water feature was cool. As the fountain water reached the "rink" it took on the appearance of smooth, glassy ice.

However, it had the worst replica of a Stanley Cup ever!! Another major oversight by show management! I know they're not getting the real thing for a garden show, but really? This was the closes approximation you could come up with?

But they made up for it with...

...a coleus Indian Head! I want one! My husband would actually be excited about the garden! (BTW, Indian Head is the organization's official name for this logo, not my un-PC-sounding terminology.)

This display was not easily replicable in a home setting but I was glad to see the Hawks incorporated prominently in the show. I wasn't too sure what this was, though:

A random wire box of used pucks? In the middle of the pathway? Not exactly a comfortable bench, if that's what they were going for. As for the garden part of the display, it was pretty hosta-heavy along with some grasses that looked like liriope, but don't quote me on that. Lots of greens, and not enough reds or blues drawing out the colors in the rink.

Strangely the Bears were hardly represented at all, with only this little part in the front display:

Now, I'm as upset about the loss to Green Bay as anyone, but surely we shouldn't ignore the team? (No disrespect to Richard Dent and his new, well-deserved status in the Hall of Fame!)

Even more strangely, the Bulls were completely non-existent! Not only are they fantastic this year, but their biggest star is named Derrick Rose! Where was his jersey with red and white roses? Am I really the only person to think of this?!

Next year's theme is going to be fashion, and I sort of felt like the garden designers were already focused on that one rather than the sports theme. Horticultural trends like vertical gardens, edibles-as-ornamentals and succulents were everywhere, but that's another post for another day...

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show is going on now through March 13th at Navy Pier. I'll have an odds-and-ends post coming soon!


Hoover Boo said...

That is a show I've always wanted to visit, and I thank you for the look at it.

I think your idea about roses with a Rose jersey is a good idea, better than a wire cage full of pucks, though I do like the hockey sticks-- is that a fence made out of them? I have a few relatives who would like that.

Sissy said...

I was so disappointed in the show, this year. I did not even see the Richard Dent exhibit, but I kept walking around saying, what sports???
I am also a rabid Chicago fan, Cubs, Bears, Bulls and some Hawks!

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