Creativity Rules at Annual Portland Flower Show with “Story Book” Theme

Two Geese From "Jack and the Beanstalk"

Two African Geese From “Jack is Our Hero” Exhibit

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,726)

For many the annual Portland Flower Show is a needed break from the hum drum winter weather Mainers  experience; that break is even more needed this year as this winter has been one of the coldest and snowiest anyone can remember.  For some exhibitors in the show, the theme “Story Book” is one of the best they can remember as well.

This morning exhibitors were in various stages of completion of this year’s 14 elaborate

Straw House from "The Three Little Pigs" Story Book

Straw House from “The Three Little Pigs” Story Book

exhibits;  some much further along than their competition. One well on its way to completion is the exhibit  by O’Donal Nurseries and his three partners.   It features a train set provided by Richard Young who maintains a train set year round in his Portland backyard.  There are over 100 ft. of track in this exhibit.  The imaginary train ride will give visitors an opportunity to see fabled characters such as Paul Bunyan on their train ride said Jeff O’Donal.

“Jack Is Our Hero,” said Jeff Martstaller, of Cozy Acres Greenhouses, an exhibit that features a green house, a tall bean stalk and two African Geese residing in an enclosed house.  The two Geese were captured yesterday from the yard of a women in Auburn where they visit all winter.  The two Geese will be released following the show Sunday night.  “I love this theme,” said Martstaller.  “It’s been easy to work with.  It still takes a lot of time, but I love story books, especially Jack,” he said grinning. “When the theme was poetry a few years back. that was harder for me because I’m not a poetry reader.”

New to this year’s show is Campbell’s Landscape & Design, a     newly formed company as well.  Zachary Campbell, owner, and Katey Coulling, an employee are recent graduates of the University of Maine, Orono’s Horticulture School. The theme of their exhibit is “The Three Little Pigs.”  The couple thought about getting a couple of pigs, but what if they escaped?  “It could be a mess,” said Campbell. ” A pig or pigs running through the Flower Show.  Not good.” The young couple has exhibited in the Bangor Flower Show.  But Coulling said they like the atmosphere in this show and it’s larger than the Bangor show.  “We like this opportunity to be creative,” Coulling said.

The 17th annual show starts Wednesday evening with the gala opening and runs through Sunday afternoon.  For more information, please visit

By contract, the Flower Show will appear at this space until 2015.  Following next year, the Flower Show will have to find a space at 58 Fore and lease it from Jim Brady and his group of investors who bought the property last year for $15 M dollars from Sprague.