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A Visit to the Cincinnati Flower Show

Horticulture managing editor Patty Craft reports on the Cincinnati Flower Show, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Yesterday the Horticulture team (those of us based in Cincinnati) visited the Cincinnati Flower Show. This year is the 20th anniversary of the prestigious event and we’re fortunate that ours didn’t meet with the same demise of other long-standing floral extravaganzas.

The sun was shining (after we’d had sleet and rain just 48 hours before) and we happily walked every inch of the show with our photographer in tow. (You’ll have to wait for the professional shots until she’s back from another shoot.) There were three Grand Marquee tents filled with gardens of every type, the flower market where nurseries were selling herbs, hanging baskets and annuals, and tents filled with vendors selling everything from garden hose attachments to self-watering window boxes (Flower Framers) to jewelry and gardening hats. (I resisted the urge to buy that stunning green hat that would’ve only been suited for Sunday tea—something I’ve not attended, well, ever!)

Inside the Grand Marquee tent there was the whimsical garden that included a mossy wall filled with children’s shoes, an all-evergreen garden that included one tiny specimen that grows only 18 inches high, a patio garden complete with a fire pit and BBQ and many more. The show’s new venue is much smaller than its last, and the displays have been scaled down to fit. But the trade-off was that the atmosphere was much more intimate and cozy this year compared to last.

Yes, that’s me hugging a giant peacock whose tail feathers were constructed with a variety of blooming beauties. I don’t yet have the shot us climbing into the entry’s opening display—I’ll do just about anything for the right photo!

On Sunday (the last day of the show), every garden display will be dismantled and the plants will be sold at prices worth fighting the crowd for. I’m planning to go back with my little red wagon and loading up on some end-of-show treasures.

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