Sunday, February 14, 2010

The YG&P Show, display gardens

Appropriately the very first plant that I came face to face with at the 2010 YG&P Show was this Agave americana variegata…Followed by this branched Yucca (rostrata I believe)…
And this Yucca whipplei! Do you know how badly the danger garden needs this plant? VERY BADLY.
Clearly I was in spiky heaven; it turns out in-route to the powder-room I had walked right into the Cistus Nursery Display Garden. Does it get any better than this? Welcome to the 2010 Yard Garden & Patio Show!
Agave parryi var. truncata…
However, there was trouble in paradise. The very best display garden with the most interesting plants (in my humble opinion) was stuck in the darkest corner with musicians blocking access to many of the plants, I needed to get up close and touch the plants, but I could not. Thinking this was a temporary mistake that would soon be corrected I went back later, and later again. Each time the pesky violin players were right there in the middle of the display! Now don’t get me wrong, I respect the violin players but they shouldn’t be in the way of my spiky plants! Who ever placed the musical talent was not thinking (this was a show feature, not part of the Cistus display).

I was excited to see these Yucca aloifolia 'Blue Boy', very similar to the Yucca A. Purpurea I purchased last fall at Tsugawa nursery, in fact I suspect they may be the same plant since I can’t find any information on A. Purpurea.
I asked the guys manning the Cistus booth in the Green Market (where you can buy plants from multiple vendors) if injuries were sustained during installation of the garden, they both laughed and shared stories of cuts, pokes and bruises. True danger gardening!

Several fabulous Manzanitas were also featured in the display, like this Arcostaphylos visicida, or hoary Manzanita.
I feel in love with this Sedum palmeri it looks more like an Echeveria to me, but it is a Sedum and it is hardy to zone 7!
There were also many fabulous Restios but I was unable to get a good picture of any of them.

The next garden (sponsored by Hughes Water Gardens) featured a huge pond with a large dragonfly creature suspended above and other creatures around the edge of the pond. It was a hit with the kids but it kinda gave me the creeps.
I did appreciate the mulch of dried leaves, usually the scent of bark mulch at the show is overpowering, it was so nice to have less of it this year.
In another garden these rustic wood stump-stools caught my eye. Very creative eh?
Show sponsor Dennis’ 7 Dees nursery had these fabulous rusted metal containers in their display garden. They seem to be telling people you don’t have to grow vegetables in the ground, any large container will do. Great message.
And they also got into the agaves and succulents craze. I could very happily work a few of these containers into my garden!
In another display there was the requisite waterfall…
Although I liked this version much better. Look at that sexy wall! (sorry the picture is so blurry)
All in all I felt the display gardens in the 2010 show reflected the times. Gone was the completely over the top “showmanship” and huge expensive temporary displays of past years, things were still big and bold but just a little less so. Later in the day as I wandered the show floor I was struck by the restraint of the booths. Most nurseries cut back on their booth size and inventory, and some were gone completely, it felt like everyone is on a reduced budget, not just me! Talking with a few nursery owners they shared frustration about the past years sales figures and concern about what this year holds. It’s universal.

Lots more on the Seminars, the Booths, and the Green Market later in the week…


  1. Hi Loree~~ Did you have to POKE yourself to tell if you'd died and gone to heaven? It really does look like Agaves are going to be on the must-have list. I like the requisite waterfall. I'd be tempted to take off my shoes and soak my feet. Those rust containers look like every rust-lover's dream. I want, I want! [Sans the lettuce. It's out of scale. JMHO] The upholstered tree stump is way cool. Sounds like you had a blast. I sure hope the nurseries do better this year. I plan to do my part. I'll be waiting to see what you bought.

  2. Looks like a great show. That wall is fantastic, and is that a patio on the other side? I'm impressed.

  3. ah, yes, the sign of the times.
    But still very entertaining and inspiring to see what some can do on a tight budget.
    thanks for the tour.

  4. Looks like you had fun despite the changes. Bummer about the Cistus display, why didn't they find a better spot for the musicians?! I would have been pissed too. Yeah, that garden with the fallen leaves and spooky birches - very Blair Witch! The branched yucca looks like a monster waving its hands by its head, saying "Yaaaaaah, take me to Loree's!!!!!!"

  5. I had that exact thought about the musicians! Eventually I realized I could walk around the outside of the display to see the plants on the walls, but I was frustrated with lack of access to the smaller, inside plants - and at the Cistus display of all choices!
    Thinking likewise, too, at the Hughs garden: nice leaf mulch, native trees and pond, but the creepy fairies were a total turn-off.
    I actually liked the toned-down feeling to the display gardens. It seemed as though people were doing more with less, and that's a positive thing in these leaner times.

  6. Amazing pics! We found that the Sedum palmeri grows pretty quick if you can get your hands on some...and seems to stay in flower for a long time. Matti

  7. I'm impressed that you got such good photos of the display gardens. I did not even attempt it, as it was so dark in that area. Love seeing the show through your eyes. Have you discovered a site called lost in the landscape? It will truly feed your zonal envy. in case you're interested.

  8. I was watching some obscene show on HGTV Sun. about over the top yard (I won't call them gardens) makeovers. Other than the mega outdoor kitchen, endless horizon pool, multiple furniture groupings - they had this fire and water feature that was just for looks. Water cascading down a stone wall and at the base was a small wall of flame. Very dramatic and meant to impress, not to warm or cool. That sort of thing seems excessive and wasteful in these times. I am glad to see some of the displayers were heavy on the edibles and other plants. Thanks for letting me vent and taking us along for the show.

  9. Nice photos, especially the yuccas. So dramatic. I like the display gardens best when they aren't too over the top. San Francisco's got scaled down a bit last year, and I liked it better as a result.

  10. Grace, what makes you think I bought anything? (haha). Not only were the lettuce out of scale but they (and the other veggies) were looking a little wilted, except for the radishes...which were store bought fresh!

    Andrew, good eye! Yes a patio, and a very nice one too!

    DD, Michelle...agreed, a budget sometimes brings out even more creativity.

    Karen, Blair Witch, exactly! Good call!

    Jane, the lighting was so much better on the musician filled side too! Crazy.

    faroutflora, what to hear something horrible? I would probably cut off most of the flowers. I like it better with out!

    ricki, I do love the blog 'lost in the landscape' fabulous photography and agaves too!

    Les, I miss out on most of these shows since we don't have cable TV. I'm sure I would be disgusted with a lot of what I'd see too. And you are ALWAYS welcome to vent!

    ryan, did you post photos of the SF show? I'm going to have to go visit your blog and see!

    buy water garden, thanks!


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