Certain plants just have a bigger following than others. Perhpas it's shape, color, blossom time…
Flower Shows share long tradition
Recently I attended the Boston Flower and Garden Show.
Though it was a cold day and remnants of a recent storm of wind, rain, and snow lingered on, it was a wonderful morning.
Such shows teach gardeners about new plants and provide ideas for this summer’s garden.
I had the opportunity to see many excellent landscape designs spread throughout Boston’s World Trade Center where the show took place.
The awarding winning exhibit by Miskovsky Landscape deserved the acclaim it received. It proved the top winner with seven awards, including Best of Show. [below]
Flower Shows have been an important part of American gardening from at least the early nineteenth century.
Philadelphia seed company owner Robert Buist introduced dahlias at the Pennsvylvania Horticultural Society flower show in the mid 1830s.
Of course the Massachusetts Horticultural Society sponsored its own flower shows in what was then called Horticultural Hall on Massachusetts Avenue, right across from Symphony Hall.
Though Mass Hort has now relocated to the suburbs. the words over the building’s entry “Horticultural Hall” make it clear that this red brick structure was once home to fabulous flower shows.
The English of course have a long tradition of such shows with the annual Chelsea Flower Show in May now the grand dame of them all.
Rochester seed company owner James Vick (1818-1882) once received a letter from a reader who was traveling in England,
Vick included the letter in his magazine Vick’s Illustrated Monthly in November 1878.
His reader wrote, “I went to a Flower Show the other week, at a place called Quarndon, a beautiful little village, situated on a hill, overlooking a magnificent country. The show was held in a tent in a field, and was largely attended.
“The center tables were filled with plants, loaned by several ‘Lords’ and ‘Squires,’ and were of a high order – I mean the plants.
“The side tables held the articles for competition. Dracaenas. Caladiums, and some luxurious tropical plants, were interspersed with Coleus, Ferns of all descriptions, Fuchsias, Abutilons, Balsams, Cockscombs, etc.”
He described several of these plants in great detail.
It was obvious that this flower show gave him a great deal of pleasure. He simply wanted to share that with Mr. Vick.
That’s another reason we go to a Flower Show. It should provide a bit of pleasure for a gardener.
That only seems right especially because spring has arrived.