2008 BC Home and Garden Show report
Andrea Bellamy |

So, I didn’t make it to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Although I knew it would be a disappointing alternative, I hauled my pregnant self to the BC Home and Garden Show as a sort of consolation prize.

It’s taken me a while to be able to write about the experience. I’ve needed time to gain some perspective. I’ve needed to simmer down.

When I got back from the show, I tossed a roll of toilet paper to my husband.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“The best thing about the show,” I replied. A free toilet paper sample.

Four days later, I think perhaps I was being a little harsh. But just a little. It was that bad. There’s really no excuse for it, either. A lot of money was put into marketing and executing the event. The show home featured “the latest in sustainable, modular-style architecture.” The display gardens featured a series of “urban decks.”

Then why did I find myself wandering through aisle after aisle of uninspired booths hawking vinyl siding, closet organization systems and gutters? How come so few of the booths were interactive? Why didn’t they offer anything back to the consumer? So many booths were promoting a service – why does that seem to mean their booths don’t have to engage the consumer? Why would I want to learn about a new credit card offering, chiropractic treatment, or newspaper subscription? And why on earth were there four booths selling massage chairs?

So I guess my gripe is both with the vendors’ lack of creativity and effort, and the event organizers for being indiscriminate in their vendor acceptance process.

Now I’ll say something nice.

Juliet Lin patio.jpgJuliet Lin did a nice little patio display using ELT green wall panels. It’s great to see how green walls can be adapted to a small space. Juliet even used edibles in her panels.

gsky.jpgContinuing the green wall trend, gsky Anne Talbot-Kelly Garden Design went for drama with this simple panel featuring black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’). See Anne’s comment on the thought process behind her design as well as a description of all the suppliers involved.

fire bowl living arbour.jpgThis display, by The Great Canadian Landscaping Company and Cedar Rim Nurseries, merged two of the top trends – the living wall, or, in this case, a living arbour – and the fire bowl.

Worth the price of admission? I’d say no. But I’m sure I’ll be back in a few years – if only to see if the show has improved!

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