Over the weekend, Bill and I drove to Oklahoma City to see the Home and Garden show. Bill likes me to go, and each time I do, I wonder why.
The show filled five buildings at the state fairgrounds, but you could have stuck the gardening displays into one quarter of one building, and that’s if you added the Made in Oklahoma food products. The poor Master Gardeners had a tiny booth next to Bustani Plant Farm, but at least they were a bit of green spot next to the roofing displays.
Landscapers were out in full force and one, Tony’s Tree Plantation, had a large space for his display and for some of his trees. Tony did some work for me once on my front garden, and his guys were great help getting those gigantic boulders in place. TLC Nursery had a booth as did Marcum’s, but I was a bit disappointed in the whole show. Why don’t the other great Oklahoma nurseries partake? I never did find the Oklahoma Horticulture Society. I bet they hid them behind the Pella Window dipsplay?
I found the booth for Oklahoma Gardener magazine, and I was surprised the guy working there didn’t introduce himself when I stuck out my hand. He said he’d had a busy day so perhaps that was why. The issue with my garden on the cover was on display, and I told him it was my garden and cover photo. He yawned, truly, which was a antidote my Sin of Self. I still gave him my card, and he placed it on the counter. I bet he tossed it in the trash as I walked away. It would have been fun to turn around quickly and catch him. (I hope you’re laughing because I am. It’s not good to take oneself too seriously.)
The brightest spot in the show for me was tucked way into a corner. Two women were selling metal garden art. I bought two pieces, and one now sits brightly smiling next to ‘Cl. Old Blush’ where I can see it from the window. I’m still not sure where I’ll place the rooster, but I bet I’ll find a place.
So as my friend, Helen Yoest from Tarheel Gardening said, it wasn’t a total waste.
No, not at all.
Austin’s show is the same, I hear. I’ve never even bothered to go based on reports I’ve heard from other gardeners.
The story of the yawning guy is pretty funny. You’re right, it’s good not to take ourselves too seriously. But seriously, it was his loss.
Pam, that’s just sad. With all the gardeners and garden bloggers in Austin, I would think y’all would have a wonderful show.
Kathy J, Washington Gardener
I know that OK Gardener sales guy – he does booth sales for multiple titles of that magazine franchise – working a show by yourself is exhausting and dealing with the public after a 10 hour day can get on your nerves (no matter how nice they are), but it is a shame he can’t be at least civil/polite and makes us other local garden mag publishers look bad by association.
Kathy, thanks for your thoughts. With you being a publisher of your own regional magazine, you have great knowledge on this.
We visited the show too and I stopped at the Oklahoma Gardener booth. Since I’d been thinking of subscribing to the magazine anyway, I took advantage of the opportunity to do it there and receive the back copies that were part of the offer. I chose the one with your garden on the cover, not realizing it was your garden. I chose it because of the beautiful cover photo and the fact that it was a Guthrie garden (we live between Edmond and Guthrie). What a beautiful garden you have created!
I agree with your perception of the show … not nearly enough garden related displays. There was an over-abundance of roofers too. I bought a little African violet at TLC because it brought back memories of my grandmother’s beautiful African violets. Your rooster is great; I wish I’d seen that booth.
Hi Suzie, gosh, thank you so much. I do love my garden, and that rose is my favorite one. So easy to grow. I also grow African violets, and I wrote about them for Fiskars the other day. They should have the article up on their website soon.
bummer! these things seem more commercial than organic.
Yes, they like HGTV have become more about the housing market than the outdoors. What can we do about it I wonder?
My sister was hoping to drive up for the show from Shawnee. With her newly refinished country cottage, she’s interested in everything home and garden. But maybe your review will make her feel better for missing it.
But here’s my question — Did you at least get to go out to eat?
Hmmm, Janell, let me think. Oh yes! We actually went to Ingrid’s German Kitchen afterward. It’s quite an institution in Oklahoma City, and you know, I think it does well because they’ve changed with the times. That neighborhood is blended with so many cultures, and Ingrid’s has embraced them and kept the German side too. I loved it. Thanks for asking.
Sounds too familiar. Most of them now are long on the home and short on the flowering department. I was so disappointed last year at our show. I understand that the economy is bad and many of our local nurseries are now gearing up to sell more landscaping and cutting back on the floral so much. I think they are having a really hard time competing with the large box stores which offer cheaper but not always better plants. People should really support their local nurseries. Your metal yard ornaments are so cute.
Lona, I think that’s just sad. Yes, box stores did change the landscape. I must say in Oklahoma though that some of ours are pretty good, and they get the newest plants brought here. Before that, all I ever saw at the local stores were begonias. Flats and flats of them.
I have noticed the Home and Garden shows are just like that here in Texas. It seems they are all run by the same folks and have the convention centers booked at their regular schedule with the same deck and hot tub vendors in attendance. I keep my eye open for the ones that advertise the local gardening experts being in attendance. Those are the true garden shows where the nurseries are invited.
TufaGirl, First, I love your handle. Very cute. Yup, I’m afraid everyone was pretty much in the same place. Silly, that’s what it is.
I went to the garden show one year and wasn’t too impressed so opted not to go back this year. Love your garden art! that dude you talked to sounds like a complete dork.
Thanks Jennie for having my back. What are girlfriends for anyway? 🙂
I’m not laughing.
Sometimes one as to wade through all sorts of irrelevant stuff at garden centres too.
Lucy, I’m so sorry I didn’t make you laugh. I was trying.
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
You know I love metal garden art. You got a couple of good ones. It’s a shame about that show.
MMD, thanks. She had lots of things you would like. Wish you were here.
The Nashville H&G show is a tad better~I’ll go this year to see the display gardens that the local landscapers build. Last year it was all about giant outdoor kitchens. Trust me when I say that is a California thing that makes no sense in our mosquito climate–> spring, summer and fall! I’m glad you found a few garden treasures. I like them both! gail
Gail, we do not need giant outdoor kitchens here either. Too freakin’ hot. However, we went through the giant kitchen stage too. Now, we appear to be in the bubbling fountain stage. Nice to be in the middle of a trend for a change.
I had a similar complaint with our area garden show last year, and I’m sure there are various explanations…but you realize you damned with faint praise, right? Fitting return for the yawn, I think. Somewhere in all this I bet there is part of an answer for why the gardening industry has been taking such a hit, along with the obvious economic reasons.
I would think that when there is less available attention, and disposable income to be spent… there would be greater enthusiasm to welcome our friends with common interests and goals ( like spreading the word on how rewarding gardening can be).
Hi Ilona, you are funny, and you got my point. If you want people to love your blog, magazine or gardening, you’ve got make it appealing somehow. Right?
Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence
I feel your pain Dee. Raleigh’s HOME and garden show isn’t much better. Get it? Big on home, little on garden.
Each year when I hear about SF, NWFS, Chi, and of course, Philly shows, I feel gypped; especially in a city such as ours where we can garden year ’round.
So sorry to hear about the magazine. Putting a good face on your business (or the business you represent) is important; and treating people with decency and respect should be the easy breezy part. You have to wonder how many other people walked away with a negative feeling. Hopefully once the took the mag home and read great stories all that was forgotten.
But indeed you scored on your garden art. I have a similar rooster. I’ve had to show restraint, tho, when I discovered the turtle, bunny, pig and other cute critters I would love to have in my garden. Alas, there is a road-runner that has been calling my name for some time now; so we’ll see what I’m really made of!
P.S. I already know the answer to that last question. Mush. It’s only a matter of time. I just need to pace myself. ;~\
Ha Helen, it’s hard to show restraint. As for the magazine, I just thought the whole thing was funny. A subscriber was there, and he took the issue with my garden in it.
Lisa at Greenbow
This is exactly why I don’t go to most of the Garden shows. It is mostly a “home” and garden show even though “home” gets its own show. I usually go every 5 years or so the Indianapolis show. There isn’t one closer. Your colorful chicken was a nice addition to the garden.
Lisa, I wouldn’t go, but Bill thinks I should for my writing. Otherwise, I’d blow it off. I wonder if the Indy show is any better.
Thanks, I love Mr. Rooster.
Gardener on Sherlock Street
I’ve noticed a similar change at smaller ‘Home and “Garden”‘ Shows. It seems like the organizers aren’t promoting the garden part anymore.
I like your little rooster!
Thanks GSS. I guess they make more from roofing and Pella windows. 🙂
I have found the same problem at the Tulsa Home and Garden Show. If you are going to have Garden in your name the least you could do is have some gardening stuff! What they do have is not for people who love to dig in the dirt, it for those people who see their yard as extension of decorating there house. The put in the latest thing, do the boring cookie cutter landscaping that you see in most neighborhoods and then there done. My husband and I usually go and we are always disappointed.
Annie, thanks for the heads up. I won’t be driving the 90 minutes the Tulsa Garden Show either. I feel your pain about most landscapers, although I know a few who have wonderful signature styles.
too bad but love the garden art…our Garden Show has been lacking for years but maybe I will venture to it one more time
Thank you so much Donna. I just wonder about it all. It seems there are lots of gardeners out there. Surely we want to attract them to the show?
I love the garden art but I’m sorry the show was such a bust otherwise. From what I’ve seen of the vendor lists at Houston area shows, the same thing holds true. True garden vendors are few and far between. What they call gardening is actually landscaping services.
Isn’t the garden art fun Cindy? She had lots of other pieces, and I loved the peacock, but I wasn’t sure where to put it. The rooster seemed the best choice for our house.
Yes, lots of landscapers out and about. I knew most of them, and I know they’re trying to make a living with house market going bust.
That magazine guy missed his chance to have a worthwhile conversation with you. His loss but, really, he should find a job he likes. At times like this it is good to realize that it is him, not you.
Thanks Layanee. It really wasn’t a big deal, and honestly, it didn’t hurt my feelings at all. I thought it was funny.