The N.J. Flower & Garden Show draws me in like a bee to a lily every year; by February, I’m starved for flowers, green shrubs and the scents of spring. Typically, six or seven “gardens” are set up inside the huge convention center by talented landscapers and I get my spring fix wandering up and down cobbled paths, listening to the various water features burble and trickle, reading plant tags and taking photos of things that catch my fancy.
In addition, I carefully study the flower show entries, trying to learn by looking at these excellent examples how to become a better floral designer. Last year, I entered the state show for the first time; you can read about my experience here. This year I didn’t enter a design, but two local garden club members did. Do you remember me mentioning Debbie, the professionally trained chef who demonstrated the “Cooking with Herbs” workshop this week? She finished the cooking demo and immediately drove to the state show to set up her floral design entry, which received a yellow ribbon.
In addition, Florence entered a design in the state competition that received a white ribbon.
Both women are talented designers. Last year they entered floral designs in the Philadelphia Flower Show. I’m talking talented!
After I’ve breathed my fill of witch hazels, magnolias and mulch and snapped my last photo of well-done floral designs I wander up and down the aisles to see what the vendors have brought to tempt me. Some return year after year, like the Amish baker; I always buy a dozen whoopee pies from him, unwrap one immediately, wolf it down, and lick my fingers. It’s what I do.
This year I found Juan Lee of “Art on Tiles”; he paints the most beautiful free-hand art on tiles. I must have been in his booth for 30 minutes or more, checking out the different sized and themed tiles, from whimsical cats to pastoral vineyards in Italy. I purchased two tiles, but it was difficult to settle on just two. The artwork is very well done and his glazes are gorgeous.