Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicago Flower And Garden Show 2013

This year's theme was "The Art Of Gardening," so glad it is finally being seen as an art.  Gordon Hayward who wrote Art And The Gardener would be pleased!

There actually was an all out art show in a variety of mediums.

I attended this year again with the Garden Writers Association and do enjoy being able to photograph the show before the public arrives and hearing the many new things that are happening with the show and the latest trends in gardening.

The look is more woodland, natural and sweeping with plantings, shrubs, bulbs, perennials and annuals that weave in and out through trees and conifers.

When you peek through you can see plantings along with garden art.
Masses of Heucheras under trees
Plantings are not always an easy task under mature trees.  The look is wonderful but not realistic in many of our gardens.
Amelanchier (Serviceberry) was used extensively in many of the gardens.  This is one of my favorites for beauty throughout four seasons, flowers, berries, beautiful fall foliage and attractive gray bark.
The director of the show still espouses his mission to inspire, motivate and educate with next year's theme already on the books as Do Green, Do Good.
The Peterson Project is an urban green project being introduced in many Chicago neighborhoods.
All of the speakers gave kudos to the garden writers saying how important we are in getting their message across to the world.  The Landscape Architect Terry Guen spoke about our mission to write about beauty and climate change, Roy Diblik (Lurie Garden and Northwind Perennial Farm) wants his philosophy about sustainability and plant communities to gain worldwide acceptance.
Communities of plantings at the Lurie Garden

Roy spoke about my favorite subject getting children involved in plant communities, growing vegetables interspersed with perennials.  We know children love the veggies so why not introduce them to other garden plants growing next to the tomato plant.  I grow daylilies and nasturtiums in my veggie garden.  There were many children's activities throughout the show this year.

Daylily Ice Carnival in the veggie garden, companion to tomatoes, lettuce, onions, etc.

Layering was an important message, not just for the small garden like mine, but for sustainability.  Close and succession planting promotes dew forming on companion plants that drips down into the soil benefiting all of the surrounding plants.

A great example of layering at Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington, Wisconsin.  Roy Diblik used Piet Oudolf as his inspiration.

Containers were played down this year, maybe because they have a more difficult time with sustainability!  They are large and tall with impressive height in the plants chosen.

Houseplants are prevalent this year in most of the containers.
Containers used as artifacts
Pieces of artifacts used casually
Outdoor furniture continues to be more homelike and comfortable - wicker preferred to metal.
The Chicago Flower and Garden Show is becoming more real for the everyday gardener.  It has inspired me to continue on the road to make a more natural garden with interest throughout the year.  It has motivated me to seek out more sustainabile and plant communities for my garden and educated me even more so why I should be doing all of the above!