Portland Flower Show promises to be a exhale of sensuous air

March 1, 2015 - garden totes

Sweet Lillie Landscaping of Bar Mills will applaud a coming-out Wednesday during a celebration opening of a Portland Flower Show.

Stephanie Shaw, association founder, has been meditative about her flower uncover muster garden given final summer when she could indeed see and smell some of a flowers she designed to have in her display. But her formulation was difficult by a pierce this winter, that compulsory that she idle her hothouse and maintain many of her plants in a guest bedroom of her new home – boxwoods, needled evergreens, junipers, heather.

Additional Images

A Jewel of Africa nasturtium during a 2010 Portland Flower Show.

Geese supplement life to a garden during final year’s show. Exhibitors have designed this year’s displays around a thesis “Taste of Spring.”

The Cozy Acres Greenhouses vaunt “Jack is a Hero” won a Best in Show endowment during a 2014 Portland Flower Show.

PORTLAND FLOWER SHOW: A TASTE OF SPRING

WHERE: Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St., Portland

WHEN: Gala opening: 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Show hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mar 8

HOW MUCH: $30-$40 for gala; $12-$15 for a show

INFO: portlandcompany.com/flower/

Sweet Lillie’s depiction of a Maine café will be one of a 13 gardens covering 9,800 block feet and regulating 300 cubic yards of mulch during a Portland Flower Show this week. The muster gardens and that smashing smell of mulch after an generally prolonged winter will hail a 10,000 to 13,000 people approaching to attend a show, by Mar 8, during a Portland Company Complex.

The flower uncover garden is a vast step for Shaw, who graduated from a University of Maine in 2009 with a grade in landscape horticulture and has put in time operative for O’Donal’s Nursery in Gorham given then. “We’re perplexing to build ourselves as a incomparable association and get some exposure,” she said. Her gangling bedroom-cum-nursery this winter has meant some challenges: “The vast disaster was my shaggy things,” she said. “I dug them out too late from underneath a 4 feet of sleet we had.” They didn’t unfreeze out until Presidents Day. Her perennials have sprouted though not nonetheless blossomed, and though her hothouse she will be shopping a flowering annuals for her display.

Joanna Sprague, who has concurrent a Portland Flower Show for 16 of a past 18 years, says that typically, a worse a winter, a aloft a attendance. So if that binds true, a Portland Company Complex should be tangled to a rafters this year.

Each year, exhibitors during a uncover emanate gardens formed on a theme; this year it is “Taste of Spring,” so a displays will use early-spring vegetables and flowers. Gardens built by companies from via southern Maine are a show’s primary attraction.

Sprague is generally gratified that her uncover is one of usually dual remaining flower shows in a East that are professionally judged – a other is a huge, ancestral flower uncover in Philadelphia – and that winners acquire esteem money: $500 for Best in Show and People’s Choice and $250 any for winners in 11 other categories.

The creators of arrangement gardens, especially, “need to advantage from this uncover as they put in during slightest a week of many labor hours building a gardens, formulation given October, and they compensate for all materials,” Sprague said. “And removing flowers during this time of year is horrendous.”

Jeff O’Donal of a Gorham nursery, who in past years has won a Best in Show and People’s Choice awards, pronounced he builds a arrangement garden given his business pattern it; in a years he has skipped a show, they’ve let him know. Also, being in a uncover brings business, he and other exhibitors agree.

While some attendees investigate a plant labels for sparkling varieties, accumulate pattern tips for their possess gardens or collect a garden core to emporium during in May, others simply wish to shun a frozen, snow-covered streets and revelry in a interesting smells of mulch and foliage, a colourful colors of flowers and vegetables and a fun of spending time with like-minded gardeners.

Once visitors have toured a displays, they can check out a nonprofits. As always, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension will have a children’s find center; a Maine Soil Testing Service will assistance we figure out if your garden is prepared for a season; and a Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, McLaughlin Garden and a Garden Club Federation of Maine will plead a values of membership.

And afterwards there’s shopping: In further to plants, past shows have featured equipment from paintings to poison-ivy treatment, square seat to jewelry. Keep in mind, if we buy a slab birdbath, we competence have to lift it home yourself.

The Morrison Center in Scarborough will be offered orchids and other houseplants during discount prices. Morrison’s clients are developmentally disabled, though their gardening talents are shown to good advantage in a audacious container-grown plants they produce.

Every year, we move home a garland of perfumed Maplecrest lilies. Sometimes we buy lily bulbs from a Parsonsfield company, though my mother tells me a gardens are out of space. And I’m always tempted by collection to make gardening easier – not to plead fudge. (Every garden uncover needs fudge.)

Speakers operation from a paltry – I’m deliberating invasive plants and responding questions during 10:30 a.m. Thursday – to a sparkling – Kerry Ann Mendez, an author of several gardening books, including her latest on tiny gardens, will give a display on “The Right-Size Flower Garden” during noon Sunday. Other talks embody O’Donal on deer-proofing your garden (not to be missed if a deer ate your daylily blooms final summer); Peter Felsenthal, who will plead and uncover photographs from his book on 6 Maine organic farms; David Homa of Post Carbon Designs on bee-friendly permaculture landscaping; and Christopher Paquette of Robin’s Nest Aquatics on garden float ponds.

If your report permits, get to a uncover early – both early in a week and early in a day. The gardens are during their best early in a show, and a uncover is reduction swarming Thursday and Friday. Also, a Morrison Center’s preference of orchids is many bigger early in a week.

This year’s uncover could be a final during a ancestral industrial site, where it has been reason many years given 1998. The Sprague family sole a formidable in 2013 though has been authorised to reason events there while a new owners work on redevelopment plans.

“We are in traffic for subsequent year,” Sprague said, “so I’d never contend never.”

If a uncover can’t be reason there, it competence not be reason during all for a integrate of years. Maine Landscape and Nursery Association members have discussed sponsoring it, though have nonetheless to opinion on a offer or find a vast adequate plcae with on-site parking. So don’t skip it this year – it competence by your usually bit of regard for a while.

Tom Atwell is a freelance author gardening in Cape Elizabeth and can be contacted during 767-2297 or during [email protected]


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