New Jersey Flower Show

ourbackyard(South Jersey)February 13, 2006

Anyone ever been to the New Jersey FLower Show in Edison? Is it worth the trip? We're from Southern NJ, so we would need a place to stay if someone from the area has any suggestions for a nice place.

Thanks!

http://www.macevents.com/njflower.cfm?serial=136&catname=flower

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steve_nj(7-a)

Go to the Phila Flower show in March. Nothing on the East Coast compares to it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 2:00PM
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Odie99(z7a NJ)

The New Jersey show is an excellent venue. It is smaller than the Philadelphia show, which happens to be the largest indoor flower show in the world, but the NJ show is put on by folks from NJ. It takes about 1.5 hours from exit 3 on the turnpike and is relatively simple to get to. The display gardens have a much more intimate feel and you can even see a garden created by students from Cook College and get information on all the programs they offer to professionals and home gardeneres alike. There are quite a few vendors, over 150 and most are local. It is an a wonderful oppurtunity to see what the local designers and installers in the great state of NJ are up to.

Kirk

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 6:33AM
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woodnative(6)

If you will only go to one, go to the Philadelphia flower show. The NJ show is nice, especially to escape this snowy February weather, and there are also some good vendors. You will get much more for your money (entrance fee) at the Philadelphia show.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 8:32AM
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ourbackyard(South Jersey)

Thanks for the info! Much too crowded at Philly Show. Will be too cold to do anything else t'morw anyway.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 9:32PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

It is a lot nicer than the last time I went. They have new show-runners in the past 3 years. Some of the displays are very nice, I've been enjoying the Garden Club entries. Still too much emphasis on the commercial vendors, but it does have "Outdoor Living" in the title. I don't know what jewelry has to do with "Outdoor Living", but so it goes. Has been crowded in the mornings, due to the bus trips. Don't know what to expect tomorrow or Sunday.

You shouldn't need a hotel, it is an easy day trip.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 10:11PM
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ourbackyard(South Jersey)

Well, just got back from the NJ Flower Show. First and last trip. Some of the "gardens" were rows of potted plants on the cement floor covered by a pile of mulch. A few very nice displays and yes, jewelry and Marriot vacation vendors? Hosta org, staffed with helpful folks and good information was buried in the back corner. A guy hawking newspaper subscriptions bout chased you down with his free credit card offer. A table with free beet seeds? Landreth Seed Co had a booth about the size of a two-seater outhouse with less seeds that the local CVS, staffed by a gal who knew little about the seeds. Overall, very little about FLOWERS. But it was better than being home, painting.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 5:57PM
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sugar_magnolia(z6 Hamilton, NJ)

I plan to go to the show today. I think "Flower Show" is a misnomer -- it seems more about landscape design rather than a focus on flowers. I think the entrance fee of $14 is a little steep. There is a $1 off coupon on the website.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 8:36AM
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sugar_magnolia(z6 Hamilton, NJ)

OK. I am back now. The show was OK. Not great. Not a bad way to spend a chilly afternnon in Feb. I probably won't go back next year because the admission price wasn't worth what I saw. There was one very beautiful weeping alaskan cedar that the landscaper was selling for 1300 at the end of the show!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 5:45PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Well, it is the "NJ Flower, Garden and Outdoor Living" show, so I did expect more than just flowers. I didn't expcet the nice exhibits and arrangements from members of the Garden Clubs of NJ. They were very nice, especially the children's exhibits. They did provide free seeds, if you got there at the end of the day, then there were slim pickins. There isn't much you can do with tryng to create a landscape on a concrete floor, but most of the larger displays were well done. I really liked the Zen and Tuscan gardens. We spent a lot of time kidding the guy at the "Vertical Gardens" booth across from us. We did give out a lot of information, a lot of people with rose pruning and blackspot issues. As an exhibitor, it it interesting to see how people interact with people at information booths, some people just look past you, some will at least smile and say "Hi", some stop and just collect all of the stuff on your table and won't even speak, some just grumble that "I can't grow roses" or "You can't grow roses in NJ" (DUH!!!) without stopping to see if we can help. Most people are very nice, and we made some nice contacts. There are discount coupons available for the show, at the web site and in various newspapers.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 10:48AM
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miss_rumphius_rules(z6 NJ)

Let's remember that we are talking about NJ--not Philadelphia. This show is in its 4th year and has steadily improved each year. The show producers are sincerely trying to create a good show and like anything else it just takes time.

The display gardens are also improving--at least there is less mulch and more flowers. As a display garden creator for the show, I know that my team and I (as well as others)put in a tremedous effort to produce a garden that will engage the public.

Don't expect to see something on the par of the Philadelphia show, expect to see regional companies doing a better job each year.

There's a link below to the garden we created. This garden was the result of thousands of dollars, hundreds of work hours, and the coordination of more than a dozen different specialty growers, contractors and designers.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 5:48PM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Ah, another nice one! Did you only have one day to erect the structure and put in the plants? I'm totally amazed and in awe of the work put in! Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 6:07PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Thanks for the picture! That looks really nice. I always wondered about all the preparation and money some of these companies do for these shows. It seems a lot of work above and beyond day to day deadlines and responsibilities. I didn't get to go as I had my nephew for the weekend. By the picture, it was nicer than I thought it would be and will try to make it next year.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 7:27PM
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miss_rumphius_rules(z6 NJ)

The gardens are given three days to install, four days to exist and 6 hours to break down and cart away. In order to work with that schedule you have to prefabricate as much as possible.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 7:27PM
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hunt4carl

This was my first, tentative visit, to the NJ Garden Show
after visiting an earlier incarnation 6 or 7 years back that was a total horror; so I can easily say that this was
vastly superior to that first debacle, but. . .if you are
genuinely serious about gardening (on any level), there is just no substitute for the Philadelphia Flower Show, crowds
or no crowds, especially when the price is as close as $14
(New Jersey) as opposed to $20 (Phila.), given what you get
for your buck.

Some examples to explain my preference: the NJ Show (with
the exception of some charming exhibits tucked off to the side by Jersey Garden Clubs and students) was woefully UNeduca-tional. Far too few of the garden exhibits were labeled,and requests for the names of interesting plants
were either met with blank stares ("Dunno..." was one response!) or blatantly incorrect information; at one point, when my friend and I began to suspect the general
dearth of knowledgable plantsmen, we would ask basic
questions about obvious plants that we both knew about -
the degree of misinformation we were fed was alarming.
Lest folks accuse us of being total snobs, I hasten to add we never corrected anyone or complained - but somehow, I
would think that whatever the show's focus, the trade
representatives should know their stuff, or at least pass
you onn to someone else who does.

But, after a few of these exchanges, we started looking at
this show a little differently - almost every exhibit, on
closer examination, was really about paving blocks or some
other strutural product, and the "gardens" were almost
peripheral. The show was really about exposing NON-gardeners to a lot of product, NOT garden information,
enlightenment, or inspiration. And THAT'S where the Phila.
Flower Show fulfills one of its greatest functions: neo-phyte gardeners, just starting out on that phenominal
journey of "discovering" gardening, can learn so much,
complete with reams of free materials, helpful and know-
ledable plantsmen, and virtually acres of inspiration. Take
one look at the "Philadelphia Green" displays and most
others, and you'll see what I mean.

And, yes, as someone noted, apparently ANY vendor is
allowed to jump on the NJ Garden Show bandwagon - what a
wacky collection of "off-topic" products. At least at the
Philadelphia Show, you will never be heckled and hit-on
the way we were in NJ (strict rules prohibit it). . .and
the Phila. Show usually has a mind-boggling 400-500 vendors!

Yes, the Philadelphia Show is HUGE and it can be exhausting; but you have from 10:00am to 9:00pm most days
to see it all, so why rush? Plus the added bonus of getting your hand stamped, so you can leave the Show mid-day for a relaxing lunch break or just time-off to stroll through the adjoining Reading Terminal Market or visit the
great Wanamaker (now Lord & Taylor) organ concerts nearby.

Well, this turned into a pitch for the Philadelphia Flower Show (which I have attended almost yearly for over 40 years) as much as a critique of the New Jersey Flower Show. In closing, here's two positive reactions to the this years NJ Flower Show: we thought the Subaru display was the most striking of any thanks to the simplicity of their piles of stone, clustered floral display and the rakish angle of the vehicles (one was tipped partially on its side!) - and our favorite vendor, Barlow's Nurser (from Seagirt), with a nice selection of healthy plants for sale. We loaded up on bright, chunky primulas (4-for-$10) and instantly felt better about our day - and scurried off home, looking forward to the Philadelphia Flower Show, March 5-12, more than ever. . .

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 7:18PM
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miss_rumphius_rules(z6 NJ)

There is no question that a 4 year old small regional show can compare with the 177 year old internationally recognized Philadelphia Flower Show. So let's stop.

The NJ Flower & Garden Show hasn't totally found it's identity yet. The display gardens have no corporate sponsors and even the smallest of them cost thousands of dollars to mount. The three day set-up window followed by a 4 day show is grueling, particularly since the gardens are supposed to be manned. There is no volunteer army like that at Phillie to help on any level. The NJ Garden Club is an active participant, this year Cook College Landscape Architecture students created a display garden as did the NJ Conservation Corps.

NJ as a state doesn't have a cohesive horticultural community on the amateur or professional level. This leaves NJ, with its incredible wealth of talent and nurseries at a disadvantage for any event. We would all rather go to Philadelphia, Delaware or even Boston or London than to try and build a statewide horticultural consensus that might, just might enable NJ to truly be the Garden State.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 3:18PM
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hunt4carl

Miss Rumphius Rules:

My sincerest apologies for seeming to disparage your
herculean efforts in the context of the NJ Garden Show;
I was my usual super-analytical self, completely failing to
appreciate the sensitivities of some of the personally-
invested respondents to this post. And I should know better: having been an arts producer in years past, I
passionately believed in my artists and was occassionally
non-plussed (no, stunned!) when arts consumers and/or
the critical establishment didn't share my passion. To
reach your enviable goal, we both realize you have a tough
struggle ahead - but at least YOU are making the effort,
while I just express not necessarily helpful opinions...

As one gardener to another, more power to you...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 9:18PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Who is MAC that sponsors these shows?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 2:05PM
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miss_rumphius_rules(z6 NJ)

They are an exhibition production company much like Stella Shows who produces the Chicago Flower Show and the Gramercy Garden & Antiques show among others.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 5:22PM
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alisonn

I hemmed and hawed about the Edison show. I was particularly interested in the Cook College Bamboo garden display I read about. I, too, was turned off by the unrelated vendors they had when I went several years ago. I wound up not going, especially due to the fact that it's over an hour's drive.

Up here in Sussex County, we have a small (I mean SMALL!) flower and garden show. Even though neither show is like Philly, it's nice to be able to think spring in the cold weather.
Lecture & Event Schedule for Springfest 2006

Friday, March 10th
10AM to 5PM Admission $8
Children under 12 FREE
Seniors (65 Plus) Â Admission $6
Lecture Schedule (Auditorium)
Noon Five English Lady Gardeners by Marty Carson of Marty Carson Garden Designs
1:00pm Birds of New Jersey by Donna Traylor of Sussex County Farmland Preservation
2:00pm How To Choose the Right Landscaper by Eric Bailey of Bailey Green

Saturday, March 11th
10AM to 5PM Â Admission $8
Children under 12 FREE
Seniors (65 Plus) Â Admission $6
Lecture Schedule (Auditorium)
11:30am Building a Backyard Paradise: Ponds & Waterfalls by Tom Smith of Garden State Koi and Aquatic Center
1:00pm The "ABC"s of Lawn Care - Start to Finish by Tom Castronovo of "The Backyard Gardener" & "Gardener News"

A Celebration of Horticulture
5:00pm -
9:30pm Includes:
Private Tour and Presentation by Ken Druse andÂ
10th Anniversary Scholarship Gala
Tour, Presentation and Gala Package - $60
5:00pm -
7:00pm Private Tour (5:00pm) of Springfest Garden Displays with Ken Druse
Special Presentation (6:00pm) - A Decade On An Island Gardenby Ken Druse
Preview Tour and Lecture - $25
7:00pm Book Signing by Ken Druse - proceeds benefit Scholarship Fund
7:00pm -
9:30pm 10th Annual Agricultural Scholarship Fund Gala
Hors dÂoeuvres ÂCatered Dinner  Music - Beverages
Live music featuring the Skyland's Youth Symphony
Scholarship Gala only - $40 Donation per person
Information & Reservations  973-948-9448
Tour, Presentation, and Gala Ticket Order Form (PDF)

Sunday, March 12th
10AM to 5PM Â Admission $8
Children under 12 FREE
Seniors (65 Plus) Â Admission $6
Lecture Schedule (Auditorium)
Noon Tropical Plants: Bold Visions in Gardens of Any Size by John Beirne, Horticultural Therapist of New Bridge Services
1:00pm Perennials: The Backbone of Your Summer Garden by Debbie Korwan of Mountain Pine Nursery
2:00pm The Buffet is Closed - Deer Resistant Planting by Dyana Robenalt of DyanaÂs Planting Service

Monday, March 13th
10AM to 5PM Â Admission $8
Children under 12 FREE
Senior Day
Seniors (65 Plus) Â Admission $5
Lecture Schedule (Auditorium)
Noon Flowering Trees and Shrubs of Northern New Jersey by Brian Oleksak, Horticultural Program Associate of Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension Service of Sussex County
1:00pm King SolomonÂs Garden by Maya Bloom of Arts Unbound
2:00pm The Art of Pruning by Jeff Picher of Bartlett Tree Services

Tuesday, March 14th
10AM to 5PM Â DISCOUNT DAY Â Admission $6
Children under 12 FREE
Lecture Schedule (Auditorium)
Noon The Penny Pinching Gardener - Propagate Your Own Roses by Nancy Kolacz, Master Gardener of Sussex County
1:00pm The Victorian Art of Pressed Flowers by Linda Villa of G. A. L. S. Flowers

Thursday, March 16th
7:00PM to 9:30PM Â Wine And Roses Social
Benefits Newton Memorial Hospital Heart Center
Tickets $100 per person
or $125 after March 9th
Information & Tickets  973-579-8309

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 6:54PM
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sugar_magnolia(z6 Hamilton, NJ)

miss_rumphius_rules -- I have to compliment you on your exhibit; it was one of my favorites (along with the Tuscan Garden). I especially enjoyed what you did with the colored glass.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 10:29PM
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