Springtime in Paris was the theme of this year’s International Flower Show which opened to the public on March 6th and continues through March 16th. Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies”, the street art of the underground subway system, intimate cafes, can can dancers at Le Moulin Rouge, and the 1950s musical “An American in Paris” all serve as inspiration for the floral designers and growers competing for blue ribbons and recognition. There was a carousel built of flowers, beautiful daffodils, tullips, and narcissus in a host of sizes and exotic colors along with displays of flower boxes. storefront windows, and window boxes. Dramatic flower arrangements contrasted with displays of green roofs and vegetable gardens filled with ripe tomatoes, green beans, and lettuces ready for picking.
This was my very first time attending the show, has become a yearly tradition for many gardeners. I joined many fellow Annapolitans departing from Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in the bus trip organized by Friends of the Tawes Garden. The kind managers of this trip did everything within their power to make our two and half hour trip comfortable by providing us with home baked muffins, cookies, water, and juice. They even drew for raffle prizes and one of my friends, Eileen Leahy who organized several of our book club members to attend the outing, won a gift certificate to the Wild Orchid Cafe. (Now if only the subject of our book reading this year had to do with gardening, but maybe next year.) We were one of several buses leaving from Annapolis. Another left from Homestead Gardens and another from the Annapolis Recreation Center. From throughout the region garden enthusiasts arrived by bus, car, train, and taxi. Many attend the show for several days, partaking in lectures, demonstrations, and movies that are offered in addition to the exhibits. In the three and a half hours I had available, I quickly walked the show with my friend Susan Eckert, another Flower Show newbie. The lines were too long to see the miniature displays but we were able to view jewelry, handbags, and artwork all created from seed pods, leaves, bark, and flowers (no artificial dyes allowed) as well as water gardens, ikebana, boxwoods in all shapes and sizes, and rows and rows of vendor booths selling tools, spices, seeds, bulbs, ornaments, jewelry, and of course….flowers! In closing I have to make a plug for the Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden, a hidden gem here in Annapolis Tucked in right beside the Tawes State Office Building on Taylor Avenue the garden is Maryland in miniature, planted with native species representing the different regions and growing conditions present in our small but geographically diverse state. Open daily from dawn to dusk, admission is free. It’s a great place to take your small children as the weather gets warmer and have a picnic.