Bzzzz March 17th, 2008

After viewing the exuberant displays of flowers, plants, containers and hardscaping…

…the visitors to the Philadelphia Flower Show were practically foaming at the mouth in the vendor area. I have never seen so many women carrying around bunches of pussy willow in my whole life. They looked like some sort of bizarre religious procession with the waiving branches and the ecstatic looks on their faces.

Well, since I have actually planted my very own pussy willow bush, I shopped for other things. Here are some of Robin’s Fabulous Flower Show Finds.

 

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A couple of days ago I talked about how I am just mad for Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. Don’t call the Ikebana police on me, because I’m quite sure I have broken some Ikebana rules, but I bought an Ikebana vase and gave it a try here at home.The trick with this nifty little vase is a built-in “frog” at the bottom and an enclosed water well. I don’t have the source for you, but you can search for Ikebana supplies on the Internet and find many similar vessels for your own Ikebana creations.

 

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I have always found that my plants are much happier (ergo I am a better gardener) when they are in clay pots. Unfortunately, it is exceedingly difficult to find a stylish clay pot. They are all so mass-produced looking and utilitarian. So I was just tickled pink to discover Goff Creek Pottery. These pots are about 10″ high and cost $40 each. Goff Creek has many larger pots, including huge and decorative urns that go for up to $800. Sadly, there was only so much my husband was willing to carry for the sake of my gardening habits.

 

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I also met a wonderfully charming couple with a tiny little booth of pottery vases. Paula L. Brown-Steedly, at Virginia Clay, is the potter and seems to specialize in organic-looking, hand-built clay vessels, although she also had a number of thrown and thrown and manipulated vessels. I purchased these two vases, about 11″ high each, at about $85 and $70. They look fabulous with a simple arrangement on my farmhouse table.

 

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Do you love African Violets like I do? Well, let me introduce you to the Violet Gallery. They only had about 20 of their violets on display and for sale. But their catalog is 16 pages of mouse type with HUNDREDS of different types of violets. I was just crazy about the variegated varieties, but managed to restrain myself and only brought home four at $4.95 each. In the catalog, the cost is $6 each. Specimens are extremely robust. Highly recommended!

I love fashion. Unfortunately, fashion and gardening don’t mix so very well. I mostly wear jeans or shorts, a tank top and sneakers. I love the look of those British knee-high boots, but frankly, there is just no need for them here. So I get my jollies with gardening gloves and justify the purchases by telling myself how useful they are.

But don’t you hate gloves? I would much rather dig my fingers into the dirt and rip out those wretched weeds with my own bare fingernails. Unfortunately, it’s not quite right to traipse into a focus group room or conference room with raggedy and dirty nails. So I have (mostly) learned to use gloves. I prefer gloves that don’t feel like gloves–I want them snug, but not tight. Thin, but not flimsy. I don’t like rubbery barriers. I want to be able to FEEL what I’m doing. (Ahem.)

 

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Well anyway. I adore these Atlas Gloves. They are, indeed, soft and supple. I can hardly wait to give them a test drive. At $7 they are a bargain. I may have to order in bulk.

BTW, you may notice that these are a size small. Since I am 5’10, I do not have small hands. So if you cannot find these gloves locally and decide to order them, know that they run VERY LARGE.

Isn’t shopping so much fun?!?!

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