Today I wasted $18 on the Southeastern Flower Show admittance so that you didn’t have to. It’s really unbelievable how far the show has fallen. I remember the first one I ever went to in 2004 or 2005 at the Georgia World Congress Center – I was amazed, inspired, dazzled! The spectacular fountains and amazing full-sized landscapes were jaw-dropping as one company tried to out-do the next.
This year, my jaw dropped in a totally different, and oh-so-not-good way. Where to begin? The number of gardens was disappointing – only seven. Just one even remotely approached the level of what we saw in the old days, and that was nicely executed by Bloom’n Gardens Landscape. Her garden was imaginative and well done.
A beautiful arbor!
A musical instrument used in the fountain was inspired and well executed.
Moss covered chairs are imaginative, although impractical. Metal fireplace surround- very chic, very hip!
She should have won Best of Show, but the yawnfest that was Ed Castro’s garden won this year.
Yawn! Nothing to see here, keep moving.
He continues to do the same thing over and over year in and year out, and can probably design it in his sleep. Although perhaps if he designed something in his sleep it might be more interesting. It was the usual turf and evergreens with a few ho-hum pots and a Corylus avellana (that’s a contorted filbert for you non-plant geeks) for the “wow” factor. I guess some people don’t want fun, imaginative landscapes, if that’s the case, Ed is your guy.
Here were some of the jaw-dropping-not-in-a-good-way scenes:
Pardon me, your pots are showing!
The whole thing about the indoor gardens is to make them look like REAL gardens. That means hiding the pots, and taking off the plant tags. This is the equivalent of seeing Kermit the Frog with someone’s hand up his butt. It wrong! It’s just wrong!
This is just beyond bad. Seriously? The black liner, the white bucket, the bricks in the bottom - WHAT'S GOING ON HERE???
And what is with the pipe coming out of the wall? This looks like a drainage ditch. Those are dead azaleas floating in the water. Sad, just sad. This shouldn’t have even been allowed in the show. I won’t tell you who it is, because I am too embarrassed for them.
Take a break-here are some good scenes:
Habersham had a cute little discovery garden using the little cottages they sell. With all the miniature trees, etc., it was lots of fun.
There were some awesome bonsai trees on display. Some were over 50 years old!
Back to the not-so-great:
The Home Depot display was titled “A Symphony of Color” But we thought “Cacophony” would have been a better word:
Ouch! My eyes hurt!
Orange and hot pink, yikes! Okay, so technically all flowers grow together in nature, but when putting a garden together it is generally a good idea to consult a color wheel and use colors that are opposite each other. It’s more pleasing to the eye. But when you’re paying people $10.00 an hour, you don’t get color consultants, you’re doing well if they keep the plants alive until someone can buy them.
Back to some nice things:
Designer displays were sprinkled around, and here are some of the better ones:
Very cool wedding display
Lovely bench and bird combo.
Other notable things missing this year:
A garden by Unique Environmental Concepts. Never has been know to miss a show, and usually wins best-of.
Starbucks – there used to be kiosks sprinkled about, and I was looking forward to sipping my latte while walking the show. There were no concessions of any kind offered in the showroom this year.
The Stick Man - usually doing a booming business selling curly willow and other decorative branches that can be rooted in water and grown, or used as dried arrangements. Sadly he was not in attendance this year.
Overall, the Market Place was as shrunken as the rest of the show. It’s hard to know which came first – did bad attendance lead to a smaller show, or vice versa? I’m sad that it looks as if the economy has taken such a toll on everyone that we are in danger of losing this show. I wonder if there will even be a Southeastern Flower Show at all next year? If there is, I will not be reviewing it, because I will not be going back unless ticket prices drop dramatically. That was a $10 show at best, and it was only because I didn’t want to embarrass Melinda that I didn’t go and ask for the return $8.00 of the $18.00.