Gardenscape, the Rochester Flower and Garden Show

– Posted in: Events

Most people are surprised to hear I’ve never been to a flower and garden show. Well, to get to those shows, you have to travel and pay money, two things I never did much of before I became a blogger. And that’s just to get in. Once you’ve paid your admission, you’re not required to buy anything more, but, really, that’s the point. What finally got me to Gardenscape, Rochester’s (NY) flower and garden show, is the opportunity to meet up with my friend and fellow blogger Elizabeth Licata. (She writes at Gardening While Intoxicated and Garden Rant, and is the editor for Buffalo Spree.) After perusing the program, I realized Colleen Plimpton, author of Mentors in the Garden of Life, was also going to be in town, so we made it a threesome.

Colleen Plimpton Elizabeth Licata

Colleen Plimpton and Elizabeth Licata, two speakers at Gardenscapes

Rock the Garden

At Gardenscape there are two main areas. The dome area had the flower displays and the stage where Elizabeth spoke. The Exhibit Hall had the vendor booths, where they hope you will buy something, or at least, pick up a brochure to entice you to a future purchase. I’ll show you what caught my interest in both areas. The theme of this year’s Gardenscape was “Rock the Garden,” and exhibitors took that in two different directions: literal rock (stone) and rocking to the music.

What’s For Show?

Stone adirondack chairs

Adirondack chairs made of stone

This is from the exhibit that won Best of Show. The exhibits are intended to give you ideas for your own garden, but obviously there is an element of showmanship involved, too. I doubt anyone would feel comfortable sitting in these chairs, but they certainly are clever, and they tie in with the theme. And I didn’t notice until I inserted this photo into the post that the wine label matches the color of the wall. Nice touch.
lawn swing Rochester garden show

The Monroe County Parks made extensive use of wood and rock

I love pale yellow and pink together, so the corylopsis paired with Angelique tulips especially appealed to me. I also liked the use of rough lumber for the lawn swing and other structures in this exhibit.
stone fountain from Rochester garden show

This stacked stone fountain was part of the Monroe County exhibit, too

I like the sound of water on stone, but it is very difficult to create an artificial stream and arrange the stones so they look truly natural. This fountain is satisfying precisely because it doesn’t pretend to be natural, but still replicates the essence of the natural, the sound of water on stone.
Huge picnic table at Rochester garden show

The biggest picnic table I've ever seen

Here’s another shot of the picnic table that was in the background of the fountain photo. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a big picnic table. I wonder where they harvested the logs from and who sawed the logs into planks. I wonder what they are going to do with that table after the show is over, because I know a family with twelve children who could actually use it.

Here’s another piece of outdoor furniture I admired.

bear bench at Rochester garden show

This chain saw sculpture bench caught my eye

This is not a bench for down by the house. There is a place in the woods where the path divides, and I would put this bench there, so that out-of-shape visitors could catch their breath before continuing. The bears are not my favorite part. I think that a bench in the woods should still have some of its “treeness,” and this one does.

What’s For Sale?

Now we move on to the vendor booths.

hose wreath Rochester garden show Flowers by Kate

I'd put this on my tool shed door, but not my front door

This appealed to my sense of whimsy. I spoke to Kate, of Flowers by Kate, about how she made them. She buys the garden hose wholesale and cuts it to length, then attaches the couplings herself. It was a creative spin on the traditional wreath.

I have several pictures to show you from my favorite vendor booth, The Salvage Gallery. These were all sort of flowers, plus insects and small animals, made out of salvaged stainless steel or silver flatware and the occasional kitchen gadget.

butterfly on flower salvage gallery Rochester garden show

This one was my favorite, a butterfly on a flower

daffodil made from spoons salvage gallery Rochester garden show

I liked this daffodil made from spoons a lot, too.

salvage gallery spoon strainer flower Rochester garden show

What do you think of this flower made from a kitchen strainer and spoons?

spoons pot flower salvage gallery Rochester garden show

The center of this one is an old Revereware saucepan. Evokes a sunflower, don't you think?

Rochester is a two-and-a-half hour drive for me, so I don’t think I’ll make a habit of attending this show. But if I do go again, I’ll put more money in my wallet, because, after all, that’s the point.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

Comments on this entry are closed.

patsposies March 23, 2011, 4:02 pm

Thanks for sharing. I’ve always said – the Rochester show is always worth the drive (from Syracuse), but unfortunately, I couldn’t make it this year. As always, they lived up to their great creative talents…

Patrick's Garden March 23, 2011, 8:35 am

I love the spoon sculptures. I love to witness incredibly creative thinking like this. Thanks for sharing.

Ilona March 23, 2011, 5:00 am

What fun to meet up together! Those metal sculptures are really unusual, and like ou, I really like the “treeness” of that bench. It looks like the trip was a worthwhile event, and yes, I was a little surprised ou hadn’t been to a garden show previously.

Leslie March 22, 2011, 11:30 am

I’ve seen lots of spoon jewelry but nothing like these garden pieces…I like them a lot! Looks like it was a fun day.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter March 22, 2011, 11:23 am

It looks like it was a good show. The use of tree trunk rings as bed edging is really clever, and would work well in my garden. I agree with you about the bears on the bench. It would look better without them. I think I need my own welding studio. Those metal art pieces are really neat.

Bonnie March 22, 2011, 10:56 am

I’ve been to the Rochester show once, I always attend the Syracuse show. It looks like the Rochester show was better than the Syracuse one this year.

Cindy, MCOK March 22, 2011, 9:45 am

Kathy, like you I love the daffodil made of spoons. I wonder how long it will be before I see similar creations at the antiques fairs coming up near me. The stacked stone fountain was very cool, too.

Donna March 22, 2011, 9:11 am

looks like a great show…I rarely get to the one here in Syracuse in early March…usually because I know I will leave with an empty wallet…

Frances March 22, 2011, 7:34 am

That was a wonderful show, Kathy! So much good stuff. Did you inquire about the picnic table? Imagine how heavy it would be! I really liked the best in show winner, all nice touches. 🙂

Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence March 22, 2011, 6:49 am

Kathy, It looked like you had fun. I like the garden art; some very clever pieces there. Raleigh doesn’t have much of a garden show, it’s more for the home. H.