The International Garden Show 2013 was the first garden show I’ve been to. Therefore I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was imagining fields bursting with flowers in every shape and color. I was picturing gardens from far away countries, exotic and strange plants. But reality is indeed a strange place.
At the International Garden Show I saw gardens from odd places like Mars and Atlantis. Bizarre art installations like giant pencils arranged in a Mikado game. I was deeply disappointed. But there were few thing I enjoyed. My favorite places were the Rosenboulevard, where you were led through fields and fields of all kinds of roses, and the Blumenschauhallen, a big hall where new exhibits were held each week.
I went to three of those shows. The first one didn’t impress me at all. It was called Expedition ins Wohnzimmer, so it was all about house plants. You’d know them from Ikea and other stores, nothing exciting there.
The second one fared much better. It was the Gala der Königin, Königin means queen in German. The hall was filled with dozens and dozens of cut and potted roses! I was like a little child there, in awe in front of those beauties. Some roses had rare colorings I’ve never seen in real life before, lavender petals or even a deep rich purple. I went there in July and the roses outside were in bloom, too! It was a wonderful experience, wandering through those fields of roses. Stopping here and there to admire one particular flower or to take in the great scent. There was one rose I was drawn to, Elbjuwel, with its deep red velvet petals and its heady fragrance that smelled like red wine. The weather was just perfect, the evening sun cast a golden glow on everything and I was walking among those roses in a light chiffon dress, that was bellowing in a soft breeze.
The third and last show I went to was titled Silberne Rose. It was a competition where florists from Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ran against each other for the title of the best florist in their state. There were different categories like table decoration and bouquets. I was intrigued by the entries for the category table decoration. Most of them were overcrowded with flowers leaving little space for tableware. Others had huge arrangements in the middle of the table so that dinner with someone might become awkward. One entry caught my eye. It was done by the only male participant and featured a set table in black with white flowers. A white parasol was mounted above and the insides were decorated with dark red flowers like vandas. A very interesting concept.
All in all, the trip to the International Garden Show was worth it even though it wasn’t quite what I expected. Speaking of expectations: Last week the official numbers of the show were announced. 2.5 million visitors were expected but only 1.25 million actually came. And it brought in -37 million euros. Mind you, the minus is not a typing error.