By Carol McCracken (Pos # 732)
If you need a dose of spring now and you can’t fly away somewhere south, do the next best thing and visit the annual Portland Flower Show this weekend. The show which started with an opening reception last night from 6 to 9 pm runs through Sunday afternoon and is located at the Portland Co. Complex on the waterfront.
Jan Love, show director and Cindy Williams, WCSH-television anchor, presented eleven awards to show participants. The Best of Show award went to Skillins Greenhouse & Pray’s Masonry & Landscaping companies for their exhibit – “Once Upon A Time.” Tim Bates, nursery manager at Skillins, said last fall they began putting plants aside and placing them into winter storage. In January, they put them in greenhouses. It also won the Pierson Nurseries Award for the garden that best utililzes woody plans native to North America. At least 50 different plants were used in this exhibit, said Bates, who is also a singer/actor with the Good Theatre on the Hill.
The Palette Award was won by Jaiden Landscaping Inc. (www.jaidenlandscaping.com) for its skillful use of color. The exhibit featured a stunning Japanese Maple behind water running over stones. John Snell, owner, said he buys all his plants from Estabrooks Nursery. Jaiden has been in business for 10 years and this is his third year at the Flower Show. Spring Tonic is the name of his exhibit; well named it is.
To Bee or Not to Be, the entry by O’Donal’s Nursery and Landmarc’s Inc. won four awards; the Beatrix Farrand Design Award, the Roger Luce Award, the Cary Award and the People’s Choice. This exhibit features a Japanese Fan Tail Willow and a Melissa Garden – which according to Matt Herrick, one of Landmarc’s owners, is a great place for honey bees. Herrick said that honey bees are in desparate straits, because 40% of their population dies off every year. There are a number of reasons for this population decline, he said. Herrick studied the subject thoroughly in preparation for this exhibit.
MHN.com left spring fortified with a bouquet of lilies from the vendor’s booth of Maplecrest Lilies: maplecrestlilies.com