Friday, March 13, 2009

The Flower Show lives on--at the mall

Last year's news that the Massachusetts Horticultural Society's annual New England Spring Flower Show would not be held at its usual location came as a disappointment to many.  Under the massive roof of the Bayside Expo Center thousands of gardening enthusiasts have viewed hundreds of exhibits, visited venders to stock up on plants and supplies, taken a lunch or dinner break, picked up some planting tips, and enjoyed other activities.  For many New Englanders, the Flower Show signifies the beginning of spring, but recent financial and management problems threatened to break that 137-year tradition.

Luckily Mass Hort has found a way to continue the tradition on a smaller scale.  The result is BLOOMS!, which is taking place in three malls from March 12 to March 22 and three buildings downtown over the weekend.  Despite my mission to avoid malls as much as possible, I made an exception yesterday and checked out the exhibits at the Chestnut Hill Mall in Newton (a suburb west of Boston).

I found a dozen exhibits, including this one by CMC Designs.  With its hydrangeas, hyacinths, and daffodils, this display earns my unofficial award for the Most Fragrant.
I can't say that I had a favorite exhibit, but they were all appealing in their arrangements, with many containing shade-compatible plants such as ferns, hostas, and astilbe, rhododendrons and other flowering shrubs, bamboo, and small trees.  Moss was the most popular groundcover.  Every display featured some non-living element such as a bench or statuary, though the cage in the background of this creation by Peter Sadeck housed three not-so-happy-looking birds.The exhibit was free--obviously you can't charge anyone to enter a mall--but I gladly made a donation to help Mass Hort achieve their goal of bringing it all together under a large roof again in 2010. I suspect that anyone heading into the area to check out the exhibits will find more happening downtown; I hope to make it there on Sunday.

1 comment:

Bryan Bunch said...

I often think of our visit to the Boston Flower Show. We bought a stone turtle at the show and it is still a feature of the garden. When our granddaughter Lydia was here last, she dug it out of the snow (along with some other animal statues). The New York Times carried the story of the loss of the big Boston show on its front page not long ago. Glad to hear that you are helping it make its comeback.