You Don't Go To Southern California For The Garden Shows

 Should I wear this outfit to the garden show?  

Or is this more my style?
 Nah, just the usual shorts, tee shirt, and dirt-encrusted shoes.  I arrived at our local garden show early and took photos of all the demonstration gardens--uhh--I mean sitting areas.  Ironic, isn't it, that gardeners love sitting areas in their gardens, and never sit down in them?  
Sit with your vegetables sometime. 
 This one is mostly furniture, but the horizontal slats offset to make an interesting pattern is kind of cool. 
Every demonstration sitting area except one had some sort of open structure pergola type of thing.  This demonstration sitting area had more plants than the other sitting areas, I'll give it that. 
 This one had some good trendy style to it.  Sleek.  A burgundy-flowered grass mixed with burgundy Cordyline was a fine combination. 

 This one was the only one without a pergola type thing.  (The pergola in the background was a different demonstration sitting area.)  This one had an aviary instead.  The birds got the shelter instead of the humans.  It had bottles of booze, too.  
Drink with your chickens, much?
 I took a photo of the Apple store because I thought Steve Jobs would be furious about ladders sitting visible in one of his stores, even if the store wasn't open yet.  Don't you think he'd be irked?  
But...no place to sit!
 This one looked very...well, my first thought was "who decided hydrangeas should be gaudy?" 
 On the other side of the screen was a bar instead of a sofa.  It is not apparent from the photo, but the pink fabric balloons on the bar stools lit up.  The bar lit up too, and...
...changed colors!  
 Instead of drinking with your chickens, you could drink with your back to a glass fountain shaped like a lotus blossom and more hydrangeas of a color trying to compete with the light-up-color-changing bar. 
 At the next sitting area, very cool containers called Point Pots, designed by Dustin Gimbel.  
 A quartet of silver dollar Eucs.   Hefty barbecue.  Seats.
 This was the canine companion of the two fancy ladies seen in the first photos of this post.  Best use of Pampas grass seed heads I've ever seen.  Better than letting the Pampas grass reseed all over. 
 Bear with me, we're almost done.  I'm getting tired, too.  This one had nice colors.  Grey, black, white, with green-grey foliage plants.   I don't know what the CBLA means.  I don't care.  Olive trees, I like olive trees.  Don't plant them this close together.    
 I saved the worst for last.  Why does kid-oriented stuff have to be so gawdawful ugly?  Kids appreciate beauty too, don't they?  Seems to me I did.
 Turn um into good little consumers ASAP.  Kid, someday you'll have clean out Mom and Dad's garage that is stuffed full of all the stuff you never wanted to play with that they couldn't bear to throw out. 
 I should talk consumerism--I bought a plant.  Sellers of orchids and common succulents in 2 inch pots were plentiful.  The guy with the vase that was made up of a bunch of little vases glued together who has been there every year for years wasn't there this year.  No lilys.  No geranium-and-iris seller from Ventura County that has been there every year for years.

I went straight to Rainbow Valley Protea.  They mostly had flower bouquets for sale, but had a few plants as well.  I got Protea 'Brenda'.  
Say hello, 'Brenda'.  
Then I went home, and went into the garden and did a whole bunch of stuff--spot watering, weeding, dead heading, clean up, deciding where to plant 'Brenda'--without ever once sitting down.

Comments

  1. I was there today too but it looks as though you arrived earlier, when it was less crowded. I quickly became claustrophobic so mine was a whiz-bang skip through. I actually thought this show was nominally better than those the last 2 years - at least they're allowing more vendors in. That said, I picked up just 2 plants, one of which was another Leucospermum!

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    1. Got there at 9, was out the door by 10:30. Crowds, me avoid! Did you get the Leucospermum at Ricardo's? They had some nice ones. I guess there's a good show at Descanso every year, and the Fullerton Green Scene, and the legendary Huntington Botanical Sale this weekend, but just so many people-uuuh. Some people actually love and are energized by crowds. I admire that, sort of.

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  2. The photo's you are sharing could be photo's of a Dutch indoor garden show. I hope Brenda
    get's a nice place in your garden.
    Have a wonderful day Hoover Boo.

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    1. The location, which is a shopping mall, wanted the stores to get more attention. Plant people bought plants and left. The stores want people to buy furniture. So it is very indoor oriented, unfortunately.

      'Brenda' will get the best spot I can give her!

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  3. I hear ye on the highly artificial, aspirational "indoor" "garden" "show" format in southern California, a showcase for all of our worst local habits: dated and out-of-touch landscape trends that don't belong here, an almost anti-intellectual disinterest in plants, a passion for the finicky and non-functional. These attract people, both consumers and professional designers, with no horticultural literacy and do little to advance that literacy.

    We've got the climate for a multitude of plant palettes and from coast to boonies the space to apply those palettes, but a cramped interior is not an ideal location to demonstrate the potential for either. Instead you get a room with fifty kinds of hardscape and cushions in aggressive prints.

    There're many reasons for it, but we have no history of (and currently lack the will and interest needed for) organizing permanent community garden shows and prizes, which is a shame because garden shows around the world are no longer limited to offering ribbons for pretty canned fruit, painted gourds, cottage plots, and comically oversized veg (though that'd be a lovely start). Tours fare a touch better here because at least they generally feature a landscape, if not a "garden."

    Can plant selections be tone deaf? If so, that's how I'd characterize those hydrangeas. Also, the kiddie orb is irritating but I take heart that at least it's not a tipi.

    (By the by, you asked me ages ago about my avatar. Apologies for not responding earlier. It's an image from a volume of the Life Science Library series published in 1964 and called "The Mind." Guy either worked in a lab or was a patient or research subject.)

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    1. Most interesting avatar source ever!

      Very sad, the state of plant-love today. Most people can't be bothered. For us few with plant love in the DNA, we form a tribe. 10,000 years ago we were the ones who created agriculture and civilization. Today, we are obscure lovers of an obscured art. The rest of the species has moved on, not realizing the bedrock upon which we all depend.

      Aggressive pillow patterns, indeed! Good one!

      I sighed from my heart last week, to see neighbors replanting their big lawn with new sod "now that the drought is over". Why are so many clinging to ignorance, in this and of course in other matters?

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  4. A garden show in a mall, in SoCal. For some reason this seems the perfect analogy for family who lives in SoCal (or NM) and never opens their curtains to see the blue sky, or windows to get fresh air...even on a fresh cool morning. I just don't understand either.

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    1. Some ten or twelve years ago this was a fantastic show, with all sorts of great vendors from all over the west coast bringing amazing plants to sell. It was fabulous!!! Then the large tenants of the mall, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, etc complained that all the scruffy people cramming the place buying up vegetation were not spending a penny in their stores, so the show changed to promoting whatever products the stores sell, furniture and blenders and so on. Ruined it for the plant people.

      I know what you mean about people living in Southern California and never going outside--I'm surrounded by them. The garage door opens, they drive in, the garage door shuts. The next morning the garage door opens, they drive out, the garage door shuts. Pools that are never swum in, gardens that are never walked in. I don't get it, either.

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    2. "No geranium-and-iris seller from Ventura County that has been there every year for years." -- do you mean Schoustra? I saw him Thursday walking around but didn't find his plants table, so maybe he didn't bring plants this year. What great reportage of the exhibits. I said hi to Dustin then checked out the plants and ignored the exhibits. Didn't buy a single plant -- saved it up for the Huntington's sale.

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    3. I don't know anything about baseball or rounders per se, but Restoration Hardware appears to be batting zero (substitute for eggs or pairs or summat in cricket, I have no idea and they obviously don't either). It seems that nothing RH touches doesn't instantly become more irritating and exhausting, and at double the price.

      The lawn revival crowd sticks in my craw more so than the saps that got grifted by "turf terminator" types. The soddies luxuriate in their destructive Sinead O'Rebellion contrarianism and flouted the rules (irrigation schedules, AB1881) even at their strictest. (Though, truly, why wouldn't they when cities don't enforce the same regulations on predatory developers?) Not coincidentally, these are the same people who take aggressive pride in "owning" their own solar panels, but emphasize that this isn't for environmentalist reasons but because they fancy themselves sovereign and anti-government and only support regulation when they've got something to gain from it, otherwise the Invisible Hand o' Randian Freemarket is their lord and savior. I'd argue that we're more Okier than ever, but that's an insult to Okies. At least we've still got a handful of grown-ups in office. :/

      And now I will stop ranting in your blawg. :)

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    4. Denise, yes, Schoustra. The Geraniaceae lady wasn't there either--she was at the Fullerton Green Scene, though. Thought hard about braving the Huntington Sale--I've never been--but I'd probably just end up buying a bunch of plants.

      Saurs, I always enjoy your comments, so rant away, please. As a person who takes pride in owning solar panels, at this point whatever reduces fossil fuel use is copacetic with me. Jerry B. has done a good job his second time around, steering a pragmatic but still progressive course that takes the long term view. I'll be sorry to see him go.

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    5. Correction, the Geraniaceae site says they are going to be at the show. I guess I just didn't I didn't see them. Mea culpa.

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  5. Isn't it ironic all the peeps that moved to California for the weather and then never go outside ? I didn't even go to the SF show this year and there was quite a ruckus on FB and Yelp and a disclaimer on the garden show website. I fear it's done for unless something drastic takes place ie. bankruptcy and a buyout. I'm glad you at least had some vendors there to ease the pain, plus no admission fee (I assume) and free parking.

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    1. It's more than ironic, it's nutty. Not a facebooker, so, ruckus? Yes, no admission or parking fee--really can't complain. Though for a good show I'd pay.

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  6. Agreed, it's sad in your climate with more horticultural possibilities how garden shows miss the plant dimension. As does much of the public. In either of our enviable climates, outdoor living is just another place like indoors, except its outdoors.

    Maybe we should all meet at the northwest garden show Danger Garden & others up there talk about! They get it...

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    1. I often think of attending that PNW show. Seems fun--the PNW seems to have an active garden culture that I envy, though there are good clubs here--though they must be sought out and a long, long drive is involved.

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    2. More and more people will live in a world of paved surfaces, eating test tube meat. O brave new world!

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  7. The Protea vendor would be the highlight of the show, for me. I'm just not interested in outdoor living areas like these. Plants are more than secondary design elements. They are living organisms. Their needs should take precedence in any outdoor design. I know I don't have to tell you that. I wish more people understood.

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    1. To use an old saying: you took the words right out of my mouth. Plants are alive, are our fellow residents of this planet, the product of millions of years of evolution. They deserve our respect. They are not throw pillows.

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  8. Howdy Brenda. You're right. I do like to have seating areas but, unless someone is here for a visit, I never sit in my garden. Following your sage advice, I'll sit with my vegetables sometime. Now where did that can of beets go? Sorry the show was dreary.

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    1. Outlaw, your garden, (and your comments) can't be beet!

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  9. I'd be tempted to drink just to forget about the many horrors lurking in these displays :-).

    For me, the plants were the best thing by far. I guess the lesson is: skip the garden show, go to a nursery.

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    1. Well, I did find a new Protea plant...you never know what you might find at that show, and it was close by, and free!

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    2. Close by and free? Heck, I would have gone too. Plus, I learn as much from the stuff I DO NOT like as from stuff I DO like. Maybe even more!

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    3. I was just thinking I've learned more from the plants I've killed than from the ones that grow like weeds and are happy, happy, happy.

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