Last weekend, Amanda Thomsen and I spoke at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. We gave a talk about "What to Plant and What to Buy" when thinking about organic dollars and yard space (the talk is posted on our podcast site, Good Enough Gardening). And though I am fairly certain that Amanda was responsible for the nasty case of food poisoning that curtailed much of my trip activities, she is also the one who directed me around the show, making sure I saw all of the good stuff.
Now, if you know Amanda, you know that "good stuff" is a relative concept. For her, and often for me, "good" equals unusual, innovative, freaky...and we saw all of those things...and more. Here are some pics of my fave trends:
Dead Things as Art:
This is a full sized, defoliated, spray painted tree with sparklies. What's not to like? There were a couple of dead trees suspended from the ceiling at the show...I am not exactly sure how to do this at home, but I love the idea. It's very RuPaul in the garden...
Spray Painted Toys
Yes, this is a green baby. This particular exhibit is from the Broadway show "Wicked"...so a green baby actually makes sense...if you've seen the show. If not, this is just plain creepy.
When Garden Tools Attack
What I find particularly moving here is that the stumps look like they are bleeding. This immediately brings to mind a couple of references. One of which is a popular (and often misquoted) Shakespearean reference "If you cut me do I not bleed"? The other is a toss up between Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Saw.
Is it a Styling Product for Your Hair or Your Garden?
Where to start? So many atypical design elements: neon wigs, Aqua Net, hair curlers...this homage to "Hairspray" would make Tracy Turnblad proud! If I had a dollar for every can of Aqua Net I used in the 80's...I could recoup all of the money I spent on spiral perms.
Life Sized Animals as Tablescape Elements
Yes, these are full-sized carousel horses in the middle of a table. Now, I hate to call anyone on the carpet here, but it seems to me that this is a page out of the Sandra Lee "Semi-Homemade" tablescape book...though I doubt she could find these at her local craft store.
Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...but I truly loved this show. There were so many unusual, far-out design ideas that it shook me right out of my "lets add another border" box. And touring around with Amanda made it all the more fun! For videos and photos of our ridiculousness, check out the Good Enough Gardening Facebook Page.