Boston Flower Show 2018: Intro

Boston Flower Show 2018 posts:


The Boston Flower Show this year, held from 14-18 March, was even more welcome than usual. We have had more than 80 inches of snow so far, compared with an average of about 55 to this point. I like snow, but it’s also been cold, unrelentingly cold, with only eleven days in the 50s since October and one day in the 60s (68) on 21 Feb., over a month ago.  Needless to say, there are no flowers showing in my yard or anyone else’s around here, except in a microclimate.

front yard, two days after the Boston Flower Show


But in the flower show space, there is a sort of suspension of disbelief: first, we agree we are enjoying beautiful gardens, complete with trees, shrubs, cute little houses, contours, patios, soil and mulch, and water features, when actually we are inside the rectangular box of a fairly ugly convention center; and second, we agree to pretend that spring is right around the corner and that crocuses, daffodils, maples, witch hazel, trillium, and hellebore — to say nothing of tulips, azaleas, roses, primula, heathers, Korean spicebush,  lily of the valley, and orange trees — are just about to burst, in our real lives, into colourful, fragrant bloom or fruit, and we allow ourselves to believe that the crisp air is on the verge of becoming redolent with humidity, warmth, soil & flower aromas. Pollinators will be here any day!, we almost believe, as we head for the restroom.


The show was presented, as usual for 5 days, at the Boston World Trade Center in the Seaport. I attended the first day of the show, for the first time ever. Usually I like the second or third day, when the kinks have been worked out but before the weekend crush. I chose the first day of the show this time mainly because it was a snowy day following snowy days; I knew that some flower show bus tours had been postponed to the next day due to weather, and most people weren’t venturing out yet, so I thought it might be quieter, fewer visitors — and boy, was I ever right! The place was almost deserted. I was there (with spouse) from about 10:15 to 2:30 and we almost had the place to ourselves. Actually, there were just enough people for it not to feel lifeless and lame, but few enough that for the first time I was able to take a giant step or two, or three or four, backward to take a photo without careening with or sidestepping anyone. We could actually sit at a table to eat lunch in the venue. It was added bliss to already bliss, a luxury to focus on the gardens without so many of the usual distractions.

Look — almost no other people!



Here’s a selection of the lectures and demonstrations offered this year:

Garden Farming: Edible Plants, Healthy Food, Seeds, Bugs

  • Apple Tree Grafting and Orchard Care
  • Growing Lavender in New England
  • Early Birds in the Herb Garden: Which Plants Will Thrive in a New England Spring
  • Small Space Kitchen Gardening
  • Growing a Food Garden That’s Right for You
  • Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix (notes/pics from Red House Garden on this lecture)
  • Native Bees: Our Unsung Pollinator Heroes
  • Backyard Beekeeping
  • Spotted Lanternfly and Other Bad Bugs!
  • The Power of Saving Seeds
  • Seven Essentials of Seed Starting (and Common Mistakes to Avoid)

Design; Suggested Ornamental Plants

  • Creating High-Impact, Low-Maintenance Flower Gardens
  • Color Gardens: How to Make Beautiful Perennial Combinations from Spring Through Frost
  • Design-Your-Garden Tool Kit
  • Spring Fling: Easy Breezy Floral Designs
  • Plants Every Northeast Garden Should Have

Specific Plants:

  • Fool-Proof Roses
  • The History of Growing and Selling Dahlias
  • America’s Story of the Tomato
  • How to Divide a Hosta
  • Designing Gardens with Peonies


Check out the next flower show post, Edible Gardening.


Featured image at top of page: Official 2018 Boston Flower & Garden Show program.


Leave a Reply