NE Flower Show in Boston

  • Post published:03/10/2008
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Water, water everywhere at the New England Flower Show. There were still ponds, splashing waterfalls, jetting fountains, dripping pillars and balls. It seems we must all have water in our gardens.

Actually I remember reading Beverley Nichols over 20 years ago and he said that water was absolutely essential in any garden. I was a new gardener at the time and I couldn’t imagine how you could ever manage this and I thought it was a ridiculous requirement. No longer. I want water in my garden. This year!

About the time I am arranging for my water feature this spring, my tree peonies will be in bloom. They look a lot like these Hanakisoi.

What a preview.

Tree peonies are very hardy and bloom very early in the season. They aren’t in bloom for long, and they can be damaged by a heavy spring rain, but they are so elegant, and so glamorous that there is no regret about the short season.

I don’t have delphiniums or foxgloves, but these made me long for spring.

One of the magic tricks of flower shows is that they can get plants that require different climates to bloom together. I don’t remember whether delphiniums and foxgloves bloom in the same exact season, but I do know that foxgloves require more shade.
Delphiniums always make me think of the story my friend Elsa Bakalar tells about her husband sitting on their roof overlooking the garden. He had his rifle and laid in wait for the woodchuck that was marauding the delphiniums. The woodchuck showed up. Mike shot. The delphinium fell dead to the ground. Mike was nonplussed, but what could he say? “It was its life or mine.” Elsa, loving wife that she was, applauded his valor.

I could not leave the Flower Show without bringing home a memento. This is one of the bonsai that was on display. I bought one that is not so aged, but at $15.99 it was in my price range. If I have any trouble, Suthin Sukosolvisit of the Royal Bonsai Garden in Stoughton assured me I could call them for advice. He also invited me to visit the Japanese style garden at the nursery – several acres! I’m putting it on my trip list.

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