St. Louis 2012 Home and Garden Show

Last weekend I visited the St. Louis Home and Garden Show. I had been to this show only once before back in 2006, so I had an idea what to expect: lots of "Home" and very little "Garden".

I hoped that had changed after six years, but sadly, it had not.


I'd estimate that the percentage of show floor area dedicated to garden-related displays was 10% (maybe 15%), and much of that was taken up by two large displays. The focus even in those areas was more on landscaping than on plants themselves -- it almost seemed like the plants were an afterthought.

For example, this was the first display we stopped at:

Quite elaborate, has some color, and actually uses bamboo prominently! Must be one of my favorite displays, right? Well, no. I didn't like it very much, as it seemed like a bunch of plants just stuck together. Not harmonious at all. Here's a wider shot:

Maybe it's the unflattering lighting in the convention center, but this just doesn't work for me. To take the poor lighting out of the equation (which may be giving everything a false color) I converted to black and white:

That's a bit better better, so maybe it was just the lighting.

Don't get me wrong -- I didn't hate these displays. I just didn't love them.

There were some nice touches here and there:

There were some interesting ones too:

(I think maybe a Cabela's closed somewhere and this vendor got a deal on decor.)

Unfortunately there was just too much of this sort of thing at the show:

I soaked it all in though. Never know when I might need to build another patio or water feature. It's no Garden Design Magazine, but I was getting some inspiration.

There were a few displays I enjoyed more than others. I love vintage machinery and tools and this small booth had three great pieces:

Despite all of the landscaping block everywhere, there were some companies displaying a much more natural look:

If they give out awards at this show, they'd get my vote for "best use of lichen" without a doubt.

I saw this specimen from a distance:

I thought "Wow! What a great coral bark maple!". Then I got a closer look and saw the sister tree:

Oh. They painted the trees. One pink, one fluorescent green. That better be washable paint.

At this point I put away the camera and started looking for more "home-related" stuff that I have a bit of interest in and may be applicable this coming summer: sheds, concrete repair, awnings, decks, deck furniture.

I had no trouble finding any of those, but what I really wanted to see was a garden.


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (March 1, 2012 at 11:06 AM)  

The Sacramento Home and Garden Show, which is this weekend I believe, is no different. I stopped going. Fortunately, I have the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show to look forward to.

Painted trees? What abomination will they think of next?

danger garden  – (March 1, 2012 at 2:11 PM)  

Get out! They actually painted the trees? Why!!??

Alan  – (March 1, 2012 at 2:19 PM)  

I do not know.

To keep up with you west coast garden designers? (In my mind they used special washable paint, not normal spray paint. I don't think I want to know the truth.)

So would you rather have the beaver (shown above) in your yard or a pink spray-painted tree?

Andrea  – (March 1, 2012 at 8:14 PM)  

It seems many countries are having garden shows this time, I have already been to 2 since January, but the latest was the orchid show. I have been posting a few posts already from these shows. At least here, we don't see any "fake" displays, everything natural and beautiful. haha

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (March 2, 2012 at 1:07 PM)  

We also have a few Home & Garden shows on at the moment. I've never been.

That old machinery is wonderful. I'd love to find something like that one day ...

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