Today we went to the Kansas City version of the Flower, Lawn and Garden show, and the Home Show. These two shows in the past were huge affairs... I worked part time evenings and weekends, as did my sons, taking tickets and selling tickets at the convention buildings in downtown KCMO, and I regularly saw all the big shows. The Flower show, even to a nascent gardener as I was in those days, was a big deal. I would go to church very early on Sunday, because we literally would sell 10,000 tickets to the show for that day. At the end of the show, the event staff was allowed to go upstairs and buy things from the vendors who did not want to carry out everything they brought in. Last year we went on a day Keith was not feeling well, and we did not stay long, but there was no "Flower" in the Flower, Lawn and Garden show. This year, the show was halved again, and we won't be going back.
That said.... we did get some good ideas!
Here is something Keith has put on the list for late summer, after garden beds, chicken house, etc. etc. etc.
In a Mother Earth News from earlier this year, we had read an article about outdoor ovens, and Keith had vowed then that he was going to build one, just off the deck, where he is planning a small patio.
Here he is studying it.
A few minutes later, he peeled off from where we had walked. I found out later he went back and talked to the man with the display. He got the specs on it's building. If the company were to build it, it would have been 5500.00 (may not have been THIS one, but there were several vendors there). When we got home, I went to church, and Keith researched the ovens and found out how to construct them. The thing I like about Keith is he has a rudimentary knowledge of a lot of things, and is not afraid to try! He has put the outdoor oven back on the list, after reading about their construction. What fun it would be to have a place to fix a pizza with ingredients straight from the garden, and eat on the deck! And to sit around in the cool fall evenings!
While he was looking at pizza ovens, I looked at this:
It is an above-ground garden pond, and featured a bubbling rock and koi swimming in it. The train was for decoration.
We have often talked of having a pond in the garden, but Lilly Ann would be in in constantly, tearing the rubber liner, so we have not done it (yet).
I could see Lilly going after these guys!
But here were the really neat things that gave me LOTS of good ideas
This, my friends, is not just a potting bench, it's a POTTED UP bench!
It was in the booth run by the Kansas City Master Gardeners. It was the SOLE real gardening resource in the whole show. Just this bench alone, which is going to be for sale at their April plant sale, was worth going to the show, as I am going to BEG that it be put on THE LIST for 2011. If you click on it and enlarge it, you will see that there are cut-outs in the top of the table (which has wheels on one side) and planter boxes set down in the cut-outs, planted gaily, of course.
Their theme, this year, was gardening for the disabled and older people, and featured these raised beds, full of veggies and flowers. I definitely took note of those because my time is (rapidly) approaching.
The overall show, though, was very disappointing, and not worth the ten dollar admission for each of us, plus the ten dollar parking. We did walk around the greatly-changed downtown, and had lunch in the Power and Light district after the show, and that walk was taken in light blowing snow and very cold wind. There were many events going on in the public buildings, so quite a lot of people downtown. As we left, we drove past this:
Here is the Lyric Theater. I worked in this building in the evenings and on weekends for almost 30 years, ushering and ticket-taking. Finally, I became Performance House Manager for the Opera, and worked Symphony and Kansas City Ballet performances here. At the end of this season, the theater will go dark, and the arts presenters will now perform in the new Kaufman Arts Center which is going up as I write this. It is a beautiful, impressive building, but my heart will be here in the old theater, with it's ghosts, it's spooky upstairs hallways, and dusty corners. I had many exciting experiences in this building, and it holds wonderful fond memories for me, for my kids, and for my oldest grandson. I heard wonderful operas, great symphonic music, and saw exciting dance performances here along with all the mundane things a house manager also does. The building has been sold... I'll hate to see it go out of use as a theater, as it was opened in 1927.
We were glad to get home to Calamity Acres after our cold day. Though the show was overall a disappointment, we got enough new ideas to add to the list of things we would like to do here on our dear home place this year.