Thursday 13: Boston Flower & Garden Show

A list of thirteen things. This week, from the Boston Flower & Garden Show which I attended last week. The theme was “The Beauty of Balance.”

1… My overall impression: Fewer and less interesting garden landscapes than ever (a total of eight, and none you could enter — all the walkways were closed off), no tiny houses, teepees, or other dwellings his year, yet more vendors and sales kiosks, virtually no edible gardens and nothing remotely permaculture on display. I didn’t discover any new plants for my own garden. All in all, fairly disappointing.

2… But, the smell of dirt and the sight of plants can’t help but be cheering in mid-March, while my yard remains entirely covered in over a foot of snow. And there were some bright spots: one garden display labelled its lichens and mosses, the first time I’ve noticed that; another used moss instead of grass as landscaping material, quite exquisitely; and, I ran into a permaculture friend I haven’t seen in a few years at the show!


3… One surprise: Two or three vendors, for the first time, were selling CBD in various forms. CBD is one of the 113 cannabidiols in the cannabis plant, said to be helpful for anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain relief without giving the “high” associated with THC, another cannabidiol in marijuana. (802 Hemp Oil; Whole Harmony — they don’t show their CBD tonic on their website yet; and I think there was at least one other)


4… Another surprise was preying mantis egg cases for sale!

5…  I mentioned that one garden used moss extensively as landscaping material. It was my favourite garden exhibit, the creation of Interiors by M.S. [Maria Sadeck] in Lakeville, MA, a teahouse with koi pond.

Her design statement read,

“The spaces that surround us should reflect our values in life. That could be defined as a moment … or simply the way we choose to live from now on. Equilibrium, beauty and rhythm are fundamental when it comes to outdoor living spaces that transmit peace and tranquility.”

The simple spacious teahouse, the moss, the large stepping stones, the weeping katsura tree(s) and others, and the rectangular koi pond all worked well together, I thought. It would have been even better if we could have walked into the teahouse and viewed it from there.


6… Spouse liked the rather orderly landscape of Paul Massad Landscaping (Boylston, MA; he’s the one who labelled some mosses and lichen).


‘Charles Joly’ Lilacs

7… Pink azaleas were everywhere!

Samantha’s Gardens
not sure which exhibit, shown with an umbrella pine
‘Blaauws Pink’ azaleas (which look a bit orange), Heimlich Nurseries
pink azalea, pink dogwood, and Blue Atlas cedar tree (plus lavender and daffs), Heimlich Nurseries
Paul Massad Landscaping

8… I did love the pink dogwood in the Heimlich Nurseries (Woburn, MA) garden.


9… The Calceolaria crenatiflora aka pocketbook plant, an annual (USDA zone 10-11), was catching a lot of eyeballs in the TerraScape Design (Sudbury, MA) exhibit.


10… I think this was in a Massachusetts Horticulture display (they’re the show’s sponsors). I like the icy blue stone subbing for water, though insects and other animals would not feel the same, I imagine. I could have both.


11… I’m not the only one who wanted to know what this unusual (for New England) plant was; I was glad to find the makeshift label — Naranjilla — on it. This subtropical perennial plant’s scientific name is Solanum quitoense, a nightshade genus whose species name indicates it hails from Quito (Ecuador, South America).  Wikipedia says that its “fruit has a citrus flavour, sometimes described as a combination of rhubarb and lime. The juice of the naranjilla is green and is often used as a juice or for a fermented drink called lulada.” Yum.


12… Joseph Gray Stonework (aka Graystone Sculpture & Masonry) of Pittsfield, NH, traditionally offers a display with a bit of a spiritual bent. I particularly liked the stone lattice waterfall with meditator atop and the stone circle in this year’s design.

His design concept statement is titled “Spiritual Awakening” and reads in part,

“Yin Yang is the most symbolic of all designs for balance in our universe. The meditating man is at peace pondering the beauty of water, nature, and wildlife.”


13… What could be cuter that this Hudson Valley seed packet for German Thyme?


Hudson Valley’s seed packet artwork is always amazing.


Milkweed seeds
Pollinator Petal Patch seed mixture, with monarch and bumblebees
Mother of Pearl Poppy

This catnip art is stunning.


As lovely an interlude as the flower show was from the winter exhibit outside its doors (and even more so outside my doors in central NH), I was just as excited to see this Eranthis hyemalis (winter aconite) blooming along the Greenway the next day when we walked to the Aquarium.



New Thursday 13 meme
Featured image from Garden Up (Boston) display at the flower show


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