Wednesday, March 27, 2013

25th Anniversary Southeastern Flower Show

 Southeastern Horticultural Society Logo greets you as you enter

This year marks the Silver Anniversary, 25 years, of the Southeastern Flower Show. I'm not sure if that includes last year when there was no show, or not, but either way, it's a celebration of many years of horticultural excellence. My mom and I have been regular attendees over the last 25 years along with various friends and family. We took her mom when she has been in town for a visit, and regularly took my dad's mom, who was herself a Master Flower Show Judge, when she was alive. It was really interesting to go with her and listen to her analyze the entries and discuss which components lost points - she made many prize winning arrangements in her time.

Surrounding Landscapes "It's Zen, Y'All"

My mom and I both feel like the economy has had an adverse impact on the show. It seems like each year, there's a little bit less on display. I do like the new location, the Cobb Galleria, better than previous locations, like the Expo Center down at Jonesboro Rd, the World Congress Center, or the worst, the bottom of the old Sears building on Ponce, which was like being in a cave. Back in the early days, they offered so much more. I remember taking a class with my mom down at the Expo Center to learn how to build a bog garden, which we then got to take home with us. The classes cost extra, to cover the supplies, etc. but they were really well done and we would usually take one or two each show.

Bloom'n Gardens "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue"

 Another fun feature they had was the tea room. We did high tea at the World Congress Center one year, and they set up the tables in the middle of a giant water feature, so it felt like having tea on a giant lily pad. Again, an extra charge, but so much fun!

Bloom'n Gardens Galvanized tub water feature

The regular ticket price includes access to all of the landscapes, assembled on site by local landscape design firms, Discovery Gardens, the Artistic Design and Horticulture Exhibits and Marketplace. New this year, they partnered with ADAC to create vignettes showcasing some of their designers and also created an Antiques section in the Marketplace, with various antiques dealers.

Cultivators Design & Landscape "ReFresh...A Modern Take on the Heritage Garden"

This was my favorite garden, more for the hardscape than the plant selection, although, they did have some lovely ferns in the terrarium on the left. I loved the water feature created with rock pallets and the bold use of color. I wish my back yard looked like this!

 Terranova Landscape "Old Dog, New Tricks"

This is the best dog house ever! You can't see them very well here, but they even have stainless steel dog bowls built into the deck. I think every pup should have framed, spot-lit art hanging on the walls in his doghouse!

This is one of the entries in the Artistic division, it won the blue ribbon in the "Hats Off to the 25th" class. I really love the echeveria used as the "clasp" for the necklace. The one beyond it with the Spanish moss "hair" was too busy for me, but this one was stunning. I wouldn't mind having this ensemble.

Asarum maximum, or Panda Face Wild Ginger, was entered in Par, which is the class for plants of outstanding horticultural merit, that are judged against perfection, not the other exhibits. I've never see one before, so it was a real treat to see, it was stunning! If anyone knows where I can get one, please let me know.

I'm also quite smitten by this Camelia 'Black Magic', not that I have any more room in my yard for anything else, but it may be worth digging up an azalea to make room for this.

Jason Paolini of Restaurant Eugene

One of the other fun things about the flower show is the variety of speakers they attract, from local chefs to international landscape designers. One year they had the designer from one of the winning Chelsea Flower Show landscapes in to explain the process behind the creation of the garden - they brought in many ton boulders from Scotland to create their water feature! This year I saw Jason Paolini make a Spring-y Vidalia onion soup with duck fat brioche croutons and talked to him about the new H&F burger stands going in at the Braves Stadium. I tried to wrangle an invite to his house for fondue night, but haven't heard from him yet, although I'm sure he'll call any day. I wish I had been able to go back Saturday, as P. Allen Smith was talking at 2:00P, and I have been wanting to meet him. His Garden2Blog symposium is at the very top of my bucket list.

I always love finding out about cool new tools and funky fertilizers from Walter Reeves, like the Bug-A-Salt that he is holding above. Just load that sucker up with salt, aim it at those pesky bugs, and blast away! He is one of the most entertaining speakers around and so knowledgeable! If you missed him at the show, you can catch him this Saturday 3/30/13 at the Pike Nursery Johns Creek from 6:00AM-10:00AM, doing a remote broadcast of his radio show. There are very few things that will get me out of bed that early on a Saturday morning, but I try to get to several of his live broadcasts a year because it is such a fun time.

I hope you will plan to add the SE Flower Show to your schedule next year! If you do, be sure to bring your credit card so you can stock up on some of my favorite things: local soap mixtresses at Indigo Bath & Body create limited edition soaps just for the show, I stock up on the best garden gloves ever made, BIONIC gloves, the sheepskin Classic gloves are so soft you will want to wear them everywhere and don't forget to get your seed potatoes at D. Landreth, I may be potato challenged, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying.


  1. Well done! Definitely a beautiful show and you really captured the moments! Love it!

  2. You have the prettiest picture of any garden show review so far this year. Elegant. They did a great job and your wrote it well!!

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