Thanks to Bill Aldrich of Chicagoland Gardening magazine for inviting local garden bloggers to be part of a discussion panel on garden blogging and publicizing the event so well.
Because of the generosity of Renee's Garden our group had heirloom lettuce seed packets to give away to the people who attended our garden blogging panel. For more info on Renee's Garden seed packets see my post Edible Gardening in 2009. I highly recommend Renee and her seed company more. If you're looking to buy seeds for your garden please support Renee's Garden.
Because of the garden blogger panel I got to meet the women behind My Skinny Garden, Garden Girl in person for the first time. GG, MMD and myself showed up early the day of our discussion panel and walked around for a bit and took photos of the garden installations. The discussion panel went really well even though beforehand I could tell people were really nervous. I think we converted a few people to become garden bloggers. We even had some garden writers in the audience. Beth Botts, garden writer for the Chicago Tribune, showed up to our panel. After the panel Linda Krohne Nitchman, columinst & freelance writer, came up to us and offered to sponsor our memberships into The Garden Writers Association. Denise Corkery , horticultural writer, from the Chicago Botanic Garden also attended our discussion panel. I had a great time meeting all these garden writers and bloggers.
I hope in the future the Navy Pier people play nicer with the Chicago Flower & Garden Show people. When we were booked to do our panel discussion on garden blogging we were told there would be no Wi-Fi because of the cost. It is a little hard to give a presentation on something technical like garden blogging when you can't do demonstrations or show people what it is you're talking about. The night before we were scheduled to present I got the idea to take my laptop and hook it up to my cell phone and borrow the internet connection so we could have internet access at the show to show our attendees our garden blogs.
I'm a sucker for topiary so I want to give a shout-out to the these two garden installations.
I want to give the first ever What The Frangipani?!? Award to the Geo Garden installation by the Museum of Contemporary Art. I don't know what this is suppose to be. A Chicago pothole? Something from Star Trek: Voyager? The day of the media preview I thought it was some kind of mechanical garden that was stuck and they were waiting for the repair man.
Ideas and inspiration are all over the place. From building and gardening sustainably to plant choices and color schemes. I guess the overall theme of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show this year was water. I get it. Water is scarce and precious commodity that we should all conserve and protect. But Chicago isn't exactly Phoenix, Arizona and when it is raining for the first three days of the garden show it is a little hard to drive home the point about water conservation in particular since the place that houses the garden show extends into a ginormous lake.
I would have liked to have seen more garden installations like Paradise in a Parking Lot because it shows what people can achieve when they decide to undertake an urban beautification project. I understand the need for vanity projects by the cultural institutions of Chicago at the show but they could easily have attached themselves or sponsored more gardens that showcased the power of community. So much of the show looked "expensive" and some of the green technologies displayed are out of reach for many working class and poor Americans who would benefit from these kids of updates to their homes. We're in a recession and all the indicators are pointing to people being interested in learning to grow their own food and there was little of that at the show. I realize that a garden show of this size is planned way in advance but there was enough floor space for some last minute additions.
The garden installations at the show are beautiful but it seems like the designers are stuck either in replicating the mass plantings of Europe or copying Asian gardens. I don't know much but I would hazard a guess that people outside of Europe & Asia may grow a plant or two.
I didn't make a post on the garden installation "Del Agua Viene La Vida" (life comes from water) by the National Museum of Mexican Art because my photos didn't come out good. But I'm thinking of going back to photograph that garden. It was dark and I'm not accustomed to photographing in artificial lighting. Here's a video I took which isn't that great
but gives you an idea of what it looked like. More stuff like this please. It doesn't even have to be specific to one ethnicity but show us something different than Europe and Asia.
While going through the photos I took at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show I laughed when I noticed that I captured a little girl trying to eat the fake fruit on display in the Dancing Stones garden.
LOL. I love that the adults near her are oblivious to what she is doing.
If there is something you see in the background of a picture and you'd like to see more of it let me know and I'll try to take more photos when I go back on March 15th to take in the show without the pressure of creating content for this garden blog. If you are in the area I highly recommend attending the show.
Related posts from the Chicago Flower & Garden Show 2009:
Hope for a Healing Planet
Reflections: An Asian Inspired garden
Rooftop Garden of the Future
Paradise in a Parking Lot
If you're a gardener in Chicago see my post on One Seed Chicago. If you're interested in helping pollinators in the garden see my post on The Buzz on Bees. Looking for gardening information? Try Google For Gardeners.