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New England Flower Show

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The New England Flower show is something, I think, that’s timed to get Bostonians through that last and in some ways cruelest part of the winter: after the official First Day of Spring, when it’s STILL freezing cold and sometimes snowing. It’s mighty fine to see delphiniums abloom, Japanese maples all leafed out, and smell wet mulch and hear trickling water that time of year. Lisa White and I went to take in the sights and smells. There were many fine plants, like this succulent whose name I didn’t catch,
And some over the top ones, such as these Paphiopedalums (lady-slipper orchids) that might just be a wee teeny bit overbred for my taste. OK, a lot overbred. This is the Pekingese of orchids. Yap, yap.

I absolutely cannot look at, much less photograph, those “modern” formal flower arrangements that involve giant heliconias, banana leaves, slabs of metal, chicken wire and/or Plexiglas. Those arrangements that are trapped forever in the 1960’s, that people keep doing for reasons I don’t understand. Flower arrangements that are intended to evoke space travel and technology. Whaa? What does any of that have to do with flowers? Instead, I am drawn to the Dutch style arrangements, like this one. Just an old fashioned girl, I guess. We had very similar arrangements at our wedding. Mmmmm. Pause for extended reverie. Big sigh. Oh. The post.

When I was little, I used to daydream about having a house with real moss carpet and a stream running through the living room. Here is a garden powder room. The chair would be handy if you were incontinent, I would think. Very absorbent. Kind of a drag after a rainstorm, though.

I was not expecting to see a Temminck's tragopan at the flower show. A tragopan is a short-tailed pheasant that comes in exotic colors like cinnamon, blueberry and Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry. Simply amazing birds. Shy mountain edibles, rare as all get out, vanishing like the guans I've been posting about; the same story only in Asia. Some people keep them as ornamental pets. Other people hunt them to eat them.

I apologize for this picture. No way around the crop netting that kept him from scurrying through the hall. His electric-blue wattles were so striking that every time he turned around to face the crowd, everyone gasped aloud. So he kept his back to us the whole time. Poor guy. This wouldn't happen to him in the Himalayas. I'm still trying to figure out how you get electric-blue skin. Mandrills have the secret, too, only they have electric-blue butts. Yeah! See my BUTT? Now, why would you need a neon butt? But I digress.

This is a garden-themed baby. There were strawberries on his little shoes. They didn't have shoes like this when my kids were babies, or I'd have used them.

I found the garden structure I want. It's NOT a gazebo. I do not long for a gazebo. I do long for a pagodoid structure. I don't know where we'd put it but it would be cool to have something to keep the sun from beating down on us as we sipped our martoonis in the evening, Lovey. Flower shows make you fantasize that you have all this leisure time to hang out in gazebos and pagodas and stare into koi ponds. Maybe that's part of their allure. That, and the smell of wet mulch and narcissus.

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