About Ellen Park
Ellen Park has been gardening ever since she discovered playing in the dirt was more fun than digging in the sandbox. In her blog, Road Trips for Gardeners, she covers the world looking for plant-centric events, flower shows, great gardens and places to see the best things growing.
Latest Posts by Ellen Park
The Boston Flower & Garden Show will return to the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, Massachusetts, March 12 through 16, 2014, with the theme “Romance in the Garden”.
Set to the backdrop of garden displays by landscape professionals and area nurseries, the 2014 Boston Flower & Garden Show will feature hours of lectures and demonstrations by garden writers, industry experts and creative local chefs, a diverse marketplace featuring thousands of plants and hundreds of the newest gardening products, and new special events designed to illustrate the changing landscape of gardening.
This year’s Florist Invitational is “takin’ it to the streets” – the Bike Lane that is, with an exhibit called “Tour de Romance” using bicycles as container, canvas and inspiration (see photo).
In “Small Garden Vignettes: Amore Al Fresco”, exhibitors are asked to create a small freestanding garden inspired by a scene of romance or seduction from a specific, named piece of literature, a movie or a popular song.
(Photo courtesy of Boston Flower & Garden Show)
Garden shows are one way to hurry springtime. The Chicago Flower and Garden Show, set for March 15 through 23, 2014, on Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, offers all sorts of antidotes to winter — from featured gardens to workshops to cooking demonstrations.
This year’s theme (“Do Green, Do Good”) promises display gardens with blooming perennials, annuals, trees and surprises like waterfalls and ponds.
The show also includes educational, interactive workshops and seminars by leading industry professionals on the Gardening Live Stage, cooking demonstrations by top chefs on the Garden Gourmet Stage, children’s programming in the Kid’s Activity Garden, a display by amateur photographers in the Photography Competition, tabletop ideas by interior and floral designers in the Tablescapes Exhibit, a marketplace with more than 100 exhibitors of green-industry and related goods and services.
The Chicago Flower and Garden Show (which is said to date back to 1847) is supported by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Choose Chicago, the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, Streeterville Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Gateway Green, Urban Alliance and Navy Pier.
(Photo courtesy of Chicago Flower and Garden Show)
You might think that the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh is its only location in Scotland. Nope. It’s just first among four, all in the southern part of Scotland.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, Scotland, is open daily (except December 25 and January 1). It was founded in 1670 as a physic garden (herb garden with medicinal plants) on a mall patch of ground at Holyrood Park no bigger than a tennis court. After intermediate stops, it moved to Inverleith in 1820 and is about a mile from the city center. There are more than 70 acres to explore.
The physic garden’s modern incarnation, the herbarium, is the subject of a tour at 2 p.m. March 14, 2014. Visitors will learn about the diversity and significance of the Garden’s collection of almost 3 million plant specimens. It’s part of the Herbarium Building’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2014.
By the way, if you’re headed to Scotland right now — it’s not true that nothing blooms in winter. The Edinburgh gardens have winter-flowering trees and shrubs such as Mahonia and the evergreen Christmas box, a bank of winter-flowering viburnums and a lawn surrounded by Chinese and Japanese witch hazels, which flower from about December to March.
Of course, the gardens come into their own in spring — first with snowdrop trees (Halesia carolina) and rhododendrons, and then with lilacs, primula and Himalayan poppies (Meconopsis).
*The Benmore Botanic Garden, Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland, is set within the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and the Argyll Forest Park, about seven miles north of Dunoon on the Cowal Peninsula. A mountainside garden, it’s open daily from March 1 through October 31. (photo above)
Signature feature is its Victorian Fernery. The one at Benmore was built at the height of the Victorian craze for ferneries. Another highlight is the avenue of Sierra redwoods, a tree native to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California.
*Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo, Near Peebles, Scottish Borders, is about 28 miles south of Edinburgh. An arboretum, it is open daily from February 1 through November 30.
The Swiss Bridge is the Garden’s defining landmark. On one side of the bridge is the Kalopanax, a tree member of the ivy family. Opposite is what’s believed to be one of the original Douglas firs at Dawyck. Upstream are the falls of Scrape Burn which is flanked by a cascade of snowdrops in spring.
*Logan Botanic Garden, Port Logan, Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland, is found at the southwestern tip of Scotland: 14 miles south of Stranraer in the Rhins of Galloway. (Note: Logan Botanic Garden is NOT the same place as Logan House Gardens.)
Warmed by the Gulf Stream, southern hemisphere plants flourish in the country’s most exotic garden. It’s open daily from March 15 through October 31 — plus Sundays in February. A walled garden, it includes cabbage palms, Chusan palms and tree ferns. The atmosphere on a sunny day is said to be quite tropical.
If plants from central Texas will grow in your neck of the woods, do bring a wagon to the Garden Festival, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 29 and 30, 2014, in Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Texas.
Vendors from across Central Texas will fill the garden, selling a variety of plants – annuals, perennials, cacti, succulents, vegetables, herbs and tropicals. Festival goers can also shop for garden-themed arts and crafts, ceramic pottery, jewelry, herbal products, baskets, birdhouses and garden benches.
The annual Flower Show in the Garden Center features judged designs and an array of horticultural specimens. This year’s theme is “Grandma’s Kitchen”.
There’ll be live music on the Soundstage in the Rose Garden and gardening talks under the big, white tent next to the Garden Center.
Zilker Garden Festival is co-sponsored by the Austin Area Garden Council and the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department. The festival is the primary fundraiser for AAGC, and proceeds support Zilker Botanical Garden.
Headed south? The 21th annual Daffodil Festival is March 7 and 8, 2014, in Camden, Arkansas.
Begin your adventure in the Great Hall of the First United Methodist Church, 121 Harrison Avenue SW, Camden, Arkansas (look for the Festival banners). Inside, coffee and home baked refreshments are offered by volunteers who show you where to buy the various tickets you’ll need. It’s all located in a room that also will be displaying the Quilt Show, Art Show/Sale and Daffodil Boutique.
The annual Rose Show and Festival in Thomasville, Georgia, will celebrate its 93rd year April 24 through 26, 2014.
The show itself opens at 1:30 p.m. April 25 “under the big top” at Broad Street and Remington Avenue in downtown Thomasville. Opening time for April 26 is 10 a.m.
It’s not all about the roses, however. The eighth annual Orchids on Parade takes place from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. April 25 and 26 inside the Genealogical Library, 135 North Broad Street. It showcases orchids grown by the Thomasville Orchid Society.
If that’s not enough flowers for you, check out the 73rd annual Civic Garden Club Flower Show. It’s open from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. April 26 “under the big top” in Paradise Park with roses, wild flowers and horticulture presented by the Thomasville Civic Garden Club.
Christmas Season With Flair, a blend of tradition, art and rustic charm, is underway through January 5, 2014, at the Montréal Botanical Garden, 4101 rue Sherbrooke Est, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
The Main Exhibition Greenhouse presents a tribute to the Nordic nature of Québec, with five Christmas trees (each almost 10 feet tall) below a flight of six life-sized reindeer made from recycled materials soar through the greenhouse’s airspace.
Arriving at the Botanical Garden, visitors will see an immense outdoor botanical sculpture covered in willow branches suggesting antlers. In the exhibition greenhouses, unusual lamps decorated with wreaths show off the Botanical Garden’s collection. There are several more Christmas trees — one of red poinsettias, one of ferns and others of shiny steel wrapped in plant garlands.
At the end of the greenhouse trail, sip on warm herbal tea from the Great North at the Biodiversity Centre’s 1000 Days for the Planet Base Camp while learning how antlers are used as communication tools.
The Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN) and the Ohio Invasive Plants Council (OIPC) are co-hosting a two-day symposium on invasive plants during the North Central Weed Science Society conference, set for December 9 through 12, 2013, in the Hyatt Regency, 350 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio.
The symposium, December 11 and 12, 2013, will focus on invasive plants in natural areas and will include concurrent sessions on assessing invasiveness of non-native plant species, using online reporting tools for early detection, and management of some of the most problematic invasive plants, including an in-depth session on Asian bush honeysuckle impacts and management.
NCWSS includes 15 U.S. states and one Canadian province: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Ontario, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
(Photo of thistle courtesy of NCWSS)