Gen Xers Go to Market and Buy, Buy, Buy!

Gen Xers Go to Market and Buy, Buy, Buy!

Fisher Blacksmithing Tools, Photo Courtesy of Aaron Barr By Aaron Barr
Guest Columnist

My girlfriend, Anner, and I met downtown at 1:30 p.m. today and grabbed a quick bite at the crepe store just outside of the Convention Center. One needs to be fortified before taking on the Flower & Garden Show, y’know! Then, with our water bottles filled and a chocolate snack in the backpack, we made our way up to the festivities.

Seeing as this blog entry is supposed to be about the Marketplace, I’m going to try not to gush about all the amazing people, gardens, or specific plants. Still, Anner and I did make a few general observations:

  1. Everyone at the F&G Show is UNBELIEVABLY nice! Folks just made time to talk to us new gardeners and answer our unending questions, “…and how do I plant this in a container?”
  2. We may be the youngest people to ever go to the F&G Show. We can’t prove this scientifically and we’re not counting the little children there. We don’t know where their parents were. All we know is we felt as though perhaps our peer group was somewhere else, say: work.
  3. There are so many amazing things to buy at the F&G Show! How do you pick???

Anyway, on to some of the Marketplace highlights! One of our favorites was the hand-crafted garden tools at Iron & Wood (Fisher Blacksmithing, Booth #2533). Blacksmith Tuli Fisher forges each hoe, spade, trowel, and other hand tools AND he lathes the handles himself out of hickory. They looked and felt awesome. We regret having not bought a set and may end up looking for these next year.

Aaron Barr & Anner Charrier with their Titan Telescoping FlagpolesOne thing we did purchase from Anner’s favorite booth: The Titan Telescoping Flagpole! Last year we checked it out and it looked like a good flagpole, but what did we know? We decided we’d check out flagpoles over the next year and buy one or buy one at the next F&G show. Of course we never did any real research; Anner just started the countdown to the 2008 F&G Show: 364, 363…

Well, count us as now having ordered a 16’ pole w/ flag and ball on top (for the record, Anner wanted a majestic, yet menacing-looking eagle on top—but I wasn’t quite ready). What’s really amazing about these flagpoles, besides David, the nice guy who sold it to us, is that they don’t have ropes and the flag never wraps around the pole. Glorious! We can’t wait to plant it because a flagpole is one thing we can’t kill and for sure it’ll be okay in the shade.

A few other highlights included the metal garden art of Rosebar (booth #501), the hand-made glass vases at Stems (booth #1010) and the concrete “bon-bons” (letters) of Eden & Rose (booth #815).

There’s also a whole lot of things you might not expect at a F&G Show: jewelry, pottery, paintings…socks. We can’t be judgmental though, because we bought not one but two boxes of scone mix from Iveta Gourmet (booth #2539). What can we say? Doughy goodness on a Sunday morning? That’s one of the simple pleasures and the samples were so warm and lemony…

On the plant side, last year we tried out the Seed Ballz (Booths #312, 319) which turned out quite successfully, so we had to try three more packets! Seed Ballz are mud-colored balls about the size of a big marble. They’re made by people with disabilities and have a zillion little seeds in each ball. You just place them on top of soil, water and eventually they sport into a crazy conglomerate of more or less random flowers. It’s fun because you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get. They make great gifts but we plan to horde them for ourselves this year. Definitely check them out.

Aaron Barr browsing the MarketplaceBefore the show we had made a pact that we’d stay away from bulbs. We kill things very efficiently and many bulbs, perhaps fearing for their futures, don’t even bother to sprout in our garden. Still, hope springs eternal and making our way around all the lily and dahlia booths… we succumbed. The pictures are just so beautiful; how can anyone pass them up? Certainly if we could buy scone mix we could buy dahlias, right? With that logic we bought several Peruvian daffodils and three new kinds of dahlias. We can’t wait to see them grow (hopefully).

I had seen winter heaths on the Great Plant Picks website last week and was instantly smitten. So, coming across Heaths and Heathers (booth #2428), I couldn’t pass it by. They spent an inordinate amount of time nicely answering our questions and now we have five plants ready to make up a new container planting! And I guarantee it’ll be our own fault if they don’t combine spectacularly!

Suddenly, four hours after we walked through the doors into the most amazing cornucopia of colors, we were exhausted. We adjourned to Bambuza for a post-show dinner and reliving all the highlights. What a great way to spend the afternoon! Can’t wait for next year! 364, 363…

About the columnists: Aaron Barr and his girlfriend, Anner Charrier, attended their second Flower and Garden Show today. Aaron bought a house, his first, in north Seattle two years ago and he and Anner have been slowly testing out different plants to see what might grow (or at least not instantly die!) in his yard.

Aaron says, “It’s been an amazing learning experience and I humbly apologize to all the plants that I didn’t help make it to their full, glorious potential. We’ll keep trying!”

  • Flora
    Posted at 11:32h, 22 February Reply

    That’s funny. I felt the same way sitting in the seminars. And I wondered where all the gardeners my age were…we were few and far between. Perhaps retirees have more time to put into their gardens? Or perhaps at one time they were the younger ones seated in the audience.

  • Deborah Burns
    Posted at 11:32h, 24 February Reply

    HaHaHa….another good thing about a “telescoping” flag pole is that it *GROWS* so this year you are gauranteed great results for something in your garden!

    I have similar problem with bulbs not growing well in my garden…although mine is because the poor bulbs that I was inspired to buy were never planted…they just struggled in the dark, in bags in my shed!

    Buying is fun, but it’s often hard to actually get the plants, bulbs and seeds into the soil!

    Good luck with your garden this year…I am sure you will have some wonderful results!

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