Wednesday, February 04, 2009

NJ Flower and Garden Show Long Time NJ Tradition

As we work our way through winter, we start to get more and more excited of the approach of Spring. One of the first area flower shows in the are is the New Jersey Flower and Garden Show.

This show has been around for a long time. Originally located in Morristown NJ, then to Somerset it is now held in Edison on Feb 12-15.

Although we no longer have a garden at the show, its still a great location to see some great Springtime color. I included a few pictures here from the Williams Archives. The first is my father Ed receiving an award in 1967. The second is the garden that he built to win that award.

Here is the list of this years gardens:
2009 Garden Descriptions:

A screen with a round bamboo window divides a garden of two “rooms.” The passionate side features flowers in hot and steamy reds, yellows and oranges and seating perfect for a lovers’ tryst. The soulful half is a study in moody blues, purples and greens with a soothing fountain to create an aura of calm contemplation.

Created by students of the Landscape Architecture Department at Rutgers University under the guidance of Bruce Crawford, director of Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick.

Eco-conscious practices are highlighted in a backyard setting that features a rainbow of brilliant tulips, daffodils, crape myrtle and hydrangeas combined with colorful native plants designed to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. In the vegetable patch, a cornucopia of edible delights. Underneath it all, a reverence for healthy soil.

A screen of witch hazel and cherry trees and a dense thicket of evergreens make this pretty and practical garden a secluded hideaway among the flowers. Picture yourself tucked under the arbor with a small pond at either hand and a view of blooming roses, daylilies, coreopsis and phlox. It’s a perfect place to while away a summer afternoon.

Ease your mind into the meditative spirit of the East. An imposing stone pagoda, crowned with a serene statue of the Buddha, and a pool featuring a pair of bronze cranes set the mood in a garden inspired by Asian culture. The curving path invites movement through a landscape where cherry trees form a lacy canopy overhead. A carpet of color-splashed foliage and a panorama of cheerful spring bulbs and perennials take you directly to the heart of spring.

Enter a compact garden setting through lit pillars. Everything is included to make your backyard your retreat. A patio surrounded by blooming flowers, a trickling pond enclosed by a stone wall makes this setting complete and an option for any New Jersey backyard.

Against a painted backdrop of Japanese mountains, a stream tumbles down a waterfall, flows under a bridge and spills into a pond where jewel-toned koi swim. This garden combines Japanese elements with contemporary American design.

"While some gardens are designed for specific seasons, many landscapes are viewed all year long. Stroll through a series of garden rooms designed to accent the wide array of colors available to the creative gardener during all 12 months. It is a colorful world all year long!"

Looking for a tranquil escape from everyday drudgery? Shed your worries in this serene garden retreat where meandering paths thread through a bounty of flowers and lead to elegant, secluded pergola. If this garden were yours, you could sit back, take in nature’s beauty…and relax at last.

GROUNDS KEEPER is excited to showcase this eco-friendly outdoor garden room emphasizing the capturing of rainwater for future use in our gardens. Our rainwater harvesting system and pondless water feature, along with our bubbling urn sitting on permeable pavers will both be a delight to not only see and hear, but to learn how they work. The beauty of our unique container garden creates a wonderful sense of enclosure for relaxing and entertaining. As you stroll through our “room”, we hope you enjoy our carefully selected plant material as much as we do. The “exotics”, some of which are surprisingly hardy plants, can be enjoyed in all of our outdoor spaces with the right attention to their needs.

Tom Castranova from the gardener news was kind enough to give me a coupon to post online to save $2 towards the admission. Click this link to download it.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Wow...Ground Hog heralds early Spring!

Originally uploaded by qmnonic
For those that watched the news this morning, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. For those living way out there in Pennsylvania, they're going to have six more weeks of Winter.

NJ and NY's groundhogs seem to take a bit of a different approach. Perhaps their fast paced lifestyle here has conditioned them not run away from their own shadows.

I would also listen more to a ground hog that was in our own region then to one that was several hundred miles away. The two closest groundhogs that are considered weather experts are Essex Ed who calls the turleback zoo his home, and Charles G. Hogg of Staten Island. Both of these groundhogs didn't see their shadows, indicating an early Spring.

Unfortunately for Charles, if he's wrong, he may be out of a job. Mayor Bloomberg was joking with Charles this morning, and like many animals that are morning challenged, Charles took a bite out of the Mayors hand.