Monday, February 8, 2010

Garden Show Goody Bags

There's one truism about goody bags: there's never enough. OK, there's two truisms. The other is no one wants to share. I'm not speaking of kid's birthday party goody bags specifically, but I think the point holds anywhere free, undeserved handouts are in the offing. I suppose tantrums and headaches are a part of the goody bag cycle, too. (I'll let you know if that last bit holds true for adults after a wedding later this month.)  After going over my (100 or so) pictures and goodies from the 2010 Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, I decided I would have to break my (completely biased and mostly factual) report up into two parts: goods and services, otherwise known as "stuff you could buy" and display gardens and presentations, otherwise known as "stuff you couldn't buy" (for next week). 

I was not the only one eager to troll the aisles.

There were plenty of goodies to be had at the show, from whirligigs, water fountains, and windchimes to trees, t-shirts, and trowels.  Some unexpected offerings: rocks, both the small and gigantic versions.   

A fun glass windmill/whirligig art booth where I couldn't afford anything....

Loved the colors at this booth.  Alas, I already had one rock to pack home....

What half the trees look like in Alaska in winter: no green.  Not that nice copper color though.

I was so tempted by this heather nusery and am regretting not bringing one or ten home.

Think this looks comfortable?

I think Bill Clinton would love this water fountain.  The vendor made fountains and feeders out of brass instruments.  Never seen anything like it.

I would have loved to add this to my rock collection.  I'm sure the stoneyard intended them to be informational, but the inscribed stones were humorous as well.  There was also a "one man stone", a "3/4 ton stone", and a "one ton stone."  

Hellebores were extremely popular at both the plant vendors and in the display gardens, where it was used to great effect.  H. 'Ivory Prince' has been sulking in my garden for a few years now.  I really must devote myself to finding a better place for it or some more lively companions. 

Keeping in mind I was trying to be disciplined in my acquisitions, my meager goody bag contents from the show were as follows (see I'm sharing my goody bag, aren't you proud?):

 Acutally, this is not quite all.  I chucked the two lily bulbs in the veggie crisper and the glass art had to be shipped separate.  Wouldn't fit in the old carry-on.

Rubbish.  Or the"mulch" in my carry-on bag, if you prefer.

I think I avoided the goody bag evil of tantrums only because no sugar was involved.  I entered to win the trip to Hawaii at an ATM-looking machine in the convention center: suprise, I didn't win.  However the machine did spew out about ten coupons for things I couldn't use ("free scissors from Fiskars, collect at booth XYZ", now how would I explain them to those nice security people at the airport?).  The coupons in addition to receipts and literature I just had to have, made for quite a pile of papers, pictured above

This booth displayed their products to good effect!

I thought I was quite restrained given the circumstances.  Three plants in pots (to be used in my ornamental grass presentations this spring), two Lilium bulbs (gifts for friends), a glass orb for the fountain, and a small rock basin for the birds.  I felt pretty confident I could fit all that into my carry-on bag.  And then I made that fateful stop at the blown glass and copper stake booth.  Next thing I know, I'm signing my life away via credit card and having in all shipped home.  (Oh, well done, Christine, very restrained....)  I was also tempted by the giant moose made of salvaged metal, pictured below.  Maybe next year.

So the goodies were this week, and I'll be sharing the gardens and lectures presentations next week.  It'll take that long to recover from sitting in a middle seat in the airplane.  Envision, if you will: one young neighbor spit shining (truly!) his i-pod before lovingly placing it in an i-pod fanny pack and the other ear-plug wearing neighbor continuously bumping me with elbow and foot.  I consider myself an understanding traveller, but after the tenth time, I stepped on his foot.  Hard. 

I have quite a few insect art objects in my garden. Just my luck: very fun but very expensive!

I keep forgetting the most important aspect of air travel (in my humble opinion): "never wear a turtleneck on the plane", which edged out close seconds "don't wear wool socks to a warmer climate" and "don't drink a bottle of water before boarding".  What's your travel tip?


  1. Hey, something to do with my saxophone - since I'm not playing it much these days :)

    Nice post, Christine. A great collection of photos from the show. I'm looking forward to more. Hank

  2. I see we made some similar purchases :) I bought a pond float as well, and a lily. I love the shopping as much as the displays. I also noticed Hellebores were in every display (I think) as well as for sale. I loved the booth with the recycled metal animals. I hope we get to see what you had shipped home too!

  3. I don't really have a travel tip as it's been since Fairbanks a million years ago that I flew. But my mother flew out yesterday and I can't believe all of the new rules and regulations some of which are just plain money grubbing additions and have nothing to do with national security. Don't think I'll fly again after hearing all of these. LOL

  4. Wonderful pics! That gigantic chair looks cold and hard - love the moose. Looking to the side post: I see you have grey gravel. We have pink gravel and pink limestone walkways. I like the dianthus Flashing light with the grey. I have it set with pink gravel. Gloria

  5. Hi Christine,

    It looks like you had a great time. I love the copper tree art and the stones (I always wondered how much a 'stone' weighed). I think it is great that you broke down and had stuff shipped home. You likely would not have found things like this again if you had passed them up. My travel tip - wear clogs or other shoes that slip off and on easily :-)

  6. @Hank Moorlag
    I just can't picture having the same success making a fountain out of my viola....

    Those pond floats were everywhere, weren't they? Everywhere but Alaska! Now I just need a pond.

    I felt like I was getting undressed. The security even advised me to take my belt off. It didn't help that my sneakers were really stinky and they had to come off, too. I would've driven if it weren't over a thousand miles and through another country, ah, the joys of being an Alaskan.

    Love my gray gravel. It took many, many truck loads (some mine, some hired) to bring enough for walkways even though my yard is small. The Dianthus is great: I use it as a ground cover in sun/part shade. Seeds true, too.

    Never considered the clog thing. Much quicker to take off, and less smelly than my sneakers, I'm sure. I'll take it to heart!


  7. Thanks for the pic.'s I missed the show :(

  8. Oooo.... Great stuff! We don't have a very good home and garden show around these parts. Yours looks fabulous! Now I want (need?) all sorts of new stuff! :)

  9. Loved the vicarious trip through the goodies. I look forward to the next segment. Please post everything.

  10. my travel tip : keep your ticket and passport in a pouch around your waist or neck so you can pull it out and put it away easily.
    Your trip must have been wonderful! I love seeing your photos -- cool glass stuff! and what a use for a sax-- I never saw anything like that before. Great photo of the heather -- looks so beautiful!!

  11. Thought I'd pop over and visit your blog - I almost imagined that you'd have lots of picures of ice formations living in Alaska!? Loved the goody bag items that you picked up - especially that pottery dish... I think I'd have been tempted with the Hellebores too! :-) Have a good week - Miranda

  12. I could go for the life like fake moose. Does it come with a squirrel? jim

  13. @Judy
    Great tip: if I ever travel again (it's still in question at this point as I am in "middle seat" recovery) I will keep your idea in mind as I am constantly misplacing my tickets.

    A post on ice formations, coming soon!

    Plenty of squirrels at the show but you can have mine (if I can coax him into a kennel for you).


  14. I love the rocks! They are so me :D Anything unexpected written on something unexpected.

  15. Hi Christine, My best advice: Don't fly. LOL. I'm too much of a Nervous-Nellie. I'm glad you included photos of the plant booths. I hadn't seen any of those from other attendees' blogs. Let's see, I want me a Clinton fountain, a labeled rock, EVERYTHING in the Vintage booth, not so much the moose but the PINK flamingo next to it. Now time to rob a bank. Fun!

  16. looks like a fun the old chair...

  17. Looks like a fabulous winter getaway. Love that stone dish. Goodies....nice! ;-)

  18. Hi Christine. Now those are some big bugs. ;-) I always love looking at all the goodies they have for sale at garden shows.You notice I said 'looking' I usually end up with a couple things I just do not seem to pass up though.The glass art fish are so pretty. How many of us after getting home have wished we got that one thing we hesitated buying.My daughter usually says ' now you just better get that you know you will be wishing you had after we get home." LOL! I have three heather plants and I love them. I moved them last fall and they were not looking good before the snow hit us. I hope they do not die on me. Cannot wait to see what else you saw at the Gardening Show.

  19. Christine, the flower and garden show looks like great fun (I hope worth the middle seat hassles). My travel tip is to try to avoid the middle seat between two men. If you observe men and women in public seating situations, you will observe that the average woman tries to take up as little space as possible (knees together, elbows tight against side of body), while the average man tries to sprawl out and take up as much space as possible. On airplanes, the average male seat neighbor seems to believe that he has paid for his seat and 1/3 of yours! -Jean

  20. @Hocking Hills Gardener
    I have done the old hesitation/regret thing, too. This time, I regret not buying more of the glass fronds (should've bought at least four more) but the price was a bit scary.

    A big "Amen" to that tip. I tried to assert myself on this trip and claim at least one armrest. Stomping the feet of one passenger and stealing the armrest of another: isn't it funny how when people are crowded together civilities seem to fly out the window?


  21. It sure looked like a good show...I told Catherine I completely forgot to attend our local one. Flying is no longer glamorous. gail

  22. Christine it looks like the show was a whole lot of fun. I want that chair, pictured with the peeling paint and a sign saying antiques on its seat. I love old stuff.
    My travel tip, for airplanes, is to resign yourself that it will be long, cramped, boring and to just tolerate whatever happens because it will end:)

  23. I really enjoyed your post. Several bloggers have posted on this show, and they all have featured different things. How neat! I love the whirilgigs; got to get me one of those for my garden!

  24. @Gail
    When I hear about flying being glamorous, I picture high heels and perfectly coiffed hair. My plane style is substantially more relaxed.

    That vintage/antique booth was fun to stroll by. And it drew people because it was staged so well. I have resigned myself to many things about flying though loud talkers do strain the nerves.

    I'm not much of a whirligig gal myself, but the king sized brightly colored glass ones were fantastic. For sure an errant ball or kid would break it at my place....


  25. I feel like the stone yard should have said '2 person stone.' I mean, jeez, try not to sound like dumb stone guys, please. Make the rest of us male stone workers look bad. A nice rock otherwise, and some of those other items look great too.

  26. looks like a great garden show. I really want to attend one very soon...

  27. oooh, I loved checking out the scene at this show! I'm going to the Philadelphia Flower Show soon and look forward to the booty I'll collect (hopefully!). It didn't occur to me that I might be able to purchase stuff - I've never been so not sure. The show you attended looked great. What inspirational fun!

  28. Thanks for the virtual tour. Wish I could have gone. I will be hitting the Philadelphis flower show in March. Can't wait!!

  29. @ryan
    Not very "PC" with the labelling, but maybe they have a womans and childs line of stones as well;) so it's just them being accurate. I got a laugh out of it anyway!

    Hope you make it to a garden show soon. They are such fun especially after a long winter.

    I hope you'll share the lowdown on the Philly show with us, esp. all the "booty" you snagged.

    You have to wait 'til March? How can you stand it? I'm sure you'll be that much more excited for your green fix, I know I was, but then I'm notoriously desperate for green this time of year.


  30. Hi! Great pictures and I like your organized way of presenting them! Thank you for stopping by my blog and I am glad that you are cool with taxidermy. I did get a few rude comments (not published) despite my caveat statements about appreciating the animals, etc. I look forward to more show pics! Thank you, Bonnie

  31. My tip is to always bring a cashmere wrap, it'll keep you warm and toasty on the plane!! I'm all about swag as well!

  32. I'm enjoying your tour of the show from afar. Brightens my snowy morning here in VA;-)

  33. Thanks for a fun post. My current travel tip for airline travel: take NO carry-ons whatsoever, except ID, ticket, and money in a fanny pack. Avoids many hassles. Makes it hard to take certain things home though!

  34. Christine - Loved this report, I think it's my favorite yet! Funny about the plane ride home, that sounds truly awful. Rude people, ugh! I often leave the NWFGS with nothing but free plant lists in hand, this year was (almost) no different. I figure if I want any of that other stuff, I can track it down and not have to carry it around all day. I missed the heather nursery - would have been tempted by the reddish one, which I've seen recently and it looks gorgeous. My 'Ivory Prince' hellebores are okay so far, planted in part shade in a dry-ish spot under my witch hazel. Not sure what the secret is, though. I applaud any plant that can thrive in your garden, with its much-harsher climate, Travel tip - bring one small empty duffle bag for trip purchases.

  35. The rocks! I never knew there were so many colors! I wish I could visit the place. Sounds so fun!

  36. @Bonnie Story
    So sorry you had to read through rude comments on your blog. I guess some folks don't understand that there is such a thing as a civil exchange of ideas, even if you heartily disagree on a point...I hope you don't let some lemon commenters discourage you from blogging.

    @Maria K.,
    Cashmere anything is good with me. Right now I'm looking for a cashmere black turtleneck....

    Glad to share some Seattle show bling with the gang in VA!

    No carry-ons is the mantra around here. And don't tell anyone but the LFG hubby has a camo fanny pack!

    An empty duffel bag is just good horse sense. Alas, I didn't think of it!

    @Chandramouli S.,
    I loved all the bright colors in the rock booth. I'm still not sure what they were all for...didn't notice!



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