The Beauty Of Van Wert
Thursday, July 24, 2014
An AmericanHort Experience
Cultivate'14 is recognized as the premier educational and trade show event for horticulture professionals in North America. There were1600 exhibit spaces with over 12,000 in attendance. It is growing and getting better each year.
I picked up Sue, my co-writer, at 5:30 AM and headed for Columbus. We had beautiful weather. We drove to the Convention Center and parked in the parking garage. We headed straight to registration. We had to pick up our Press Passes. This gave us all access to all areas of the show.
Saturday we spent most of the day in educational seminars. The first being Jarad Barns from North Carolina State University on how to landscape with Great Background Plants. It was interesting how it started the showcase of the garden .The one fault I would find, was his plant selections were not inclusive of our zone 5-5b. I would love Crepe Myrtle, but it will not winter here. His design will work here with the right plant selection for our zone.
Next we heard the ever famous Dan Heims/ Terra Nova about "Right Plant, Right Place". Plants for dry spots, for dry shade, perennials for containers, plants for crevices and salt tolerant plants. Dan has the most pleasant speaking voice and his travels make him an amazing communicator. Plus he is a new Grandfather. We exchanged talking about grandbabies.
Sue and I met two young nursery men from Charleston South Carolina at the different seminars during the day.. They asked us to join them for dinner and being it was Saturday night without reservations it became a challenge. We ended up at The Cheesecake Factory at Easton. We had a 45 minute wait. which was better than 4 hours at other places. They were two very fine young men. We had a wonderful dinner and great conversation. After dinner we headed to The Varsity Inn about ten minutes from the Convention Center. It didn't take long for us to fall asleep.
We set the alarm early because P. Allen Smith was the keynote speaker. We were able to chat with him before he took the stage. He is the most personal celebrity you will ever meet, as well as his "everything", Mimi San Pedro. I know Mimi is taller than I, but she had her "Big Girl" shoes on. P. Allen certainly has a way of addressing where the future of gardening is going and what we need to do to be a part of a growing industry. Allen is a very savvy business person and has his way of motivating his audience.
|Mimi San Pedro|
The convention hall opened for us to see all the new plant introductions and all the equipment and products of the industry. Favorite stops for me was and always is Proven Winners, Dramm and HGTV. Over the years I have met many of these people in the industry and is always great to see them once again. We met new people and saw new products. Our minds were whirling.
Late Sunday, we took the shuttle to Franklin Park Conservatory Trial Display Gardens. This is always a treat. The daylilies were in full bloom. I love the Chihuly glass that enhances the gardens. We returned to our motel to ready ourselves for our final day, Monday.
It was a great show, and this post only touches on a small part of what we experienced . We plan to attend next year.
Louise and Sue
Thursday, July 17, 2014
The past two years the Children's Garden has been transformed into the Christmas Garden during the months of November and December. The Garden comes alive with sparkling lights that dance to the sounds of Christmas music. Young Carolers sing several traditional songs "Ole Come All Ye Faithful", "Frosty the Snowman" among others. Santa you ask? Yes, he was able to stop even though it was his busy time of the year. Mrs Claus joined him too.
|Santa and Mrs. Claus|
A great deal goes into the transformation of the Gardens. A special individual in our community along with his family have been instrumental in providing this for the community. Each year hundreds of candy canes are given away. Thousands of lights are installed. Santa was able to hand out presents to the children that attended on opening night and this all possible through donated dollars.
The Children's Garden was designed with some green space. Developers, Master Gardners, had in mind that the Gardens would be able to accommodate special events such as dance recitals, mini concerts or performances for children. Just this past week the first concert was held in the gazebo. It was a beautiful night for a concert. Taking place in the Garden's gave it even a more relaxing evening.
Barnaby Bright was show cased in the first Benefit concert. All proceeds from the concert went to the Lighting of the Children's Garden. This was their second appearance in Van Wert. There's nobody out there like them. Their music was hauntingly unique. What a beautiful voice and so pleasant to listen to.
SaMax will be at the Children's Garden, Saturday, August 2 and Kelly McRae will be performing on Friday, September 5. Both concerts will begin at 8pm.
See you in the Children's Garden!
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Did you stay in your home town for the Fourth of July? This past Friday many cities, towns and villages put their own twist on how they celebrate our nations birthday. The name says it all, "Holiday at Home", for Van Wert's Independence Day celebration!
I have spent all but one Fourth of July in my home town, Van Wert, the past 32 years! The one year was missed due to the birth of my middle son, Kyle. How appropriate to have a Firecracker Baby when you are the chairperson for the "Holiday at Home" Committee.
Ok, this isn't a blog posting on plants or gardening! I thought I would share with you the activities that took place this past holiday weekend. If you are from Van Wert, or the surrounding area, I hope you were able to take in some of the festivities.
The day begins with an all you can eat pancake and sausage breakfast at the VFW. If you like to bike, the Century Bike Tour begins at Jubilee Park. The bike tour is a great way to see Van Wert County as there are three different routes to choose from. Shortly there after the annual parade commenced down Main Street so spectators chairs began to line up along the parade route.
There always seems to be a variety of units in the parade. The local police and sheriff departments always start things off with their sirens a blaring. The parade is then filled with bands, floats, color guards, tractors, motorcycles and you can always count on the Mayor to lend his support!
|The Parade Begins|
Our new parade judges definitely had their work cut out for them. It wasn't easy picking out the winners in the various categories!
If you are into crafts, music and history, a trip to the Van Wert County Historical Society would be the next stop on the agenda. Also held the first weekend in July is the Old Fashion Farmers Days. A three day event held at the Fairgrounds.
|Van Wert Fireman's Chicken Dinners|
Until next year!