Design New England

It’s always spring at the flower show


A round moon gate with chrysanthemum decked dragon and bamboo bridge designed by Jim Donahue, horticulturist for Rhode Island’s Preservation Society of Newport County, is a show stopper at the Boston Flower & Garden Show.

Carol Stocker, garden writer for Design New England and The Boston Globe, is presenting a special lecture, “A Rogue’s Gallery of Invasive Weeds: How to Recognize Them and Send Them Packing,” at the Boston Flower & Garden Show Thursday March 14 at 3:30 p.m.

The threat of snow is never too far here in New England, but an early spring is guaranteed at the 2013 Boston Flower & Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Blvd, Boston, through Sunday March 17. The show’s unofficial mascot has to be the jaunty topiary Chinese dragon festooned with white chrysanthemums perched atop a traditional round moon gate. This Asian inspired display was designed by Jim Donahue, horticulturist for the Preservation Society of Newport County and created by the Preservation Society’s staff. The display promotes the Society’s 18th annual Newport Flower Show held at the magnificent Rosecliff mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, June 21 to 23.


Along with the topiary dragon, Jim Donahue and his crew working for the Preservation Society of Newport County produced a dramatic Asian fusion garden called “Jade: Eastern Obsessions” to promote the 2013 Newport Flower Show to be held at Rosecliff mansion and grounds June 21 to 23. Using only Asian plants, the exhibit combined Chinese design elements with those from Japan, including this miniature Zen garden of moss, rock, and raked sand.



Miskovsky Landscaping of Falmouth, Massachusetts, features a colorful chicken coop with a green roof of edible topiary to reflect the growing interest among gardeners in keeping backyard fowl.

Paul Miskovsky of Miskovsky Landscaping in Falmouth, Massachusetts, has mounted a diverse and colorful exhibit featuring a playful bocce court and chickens in a decorative coop. Like Miskovsky, Peter Sadeck of Peter R. Sadeck Inc. in Lakeville, Massachusetts, is a perennial favorite at the show and his displays are notable for the bird life he always brings. This year his graceful garden has live cranes, geese, and parrots.


A sublimely natural looking fountain of local mica schist rock is created by Earthworks of Leverett, Massachusetts.


New England Land Artisans of Stratham, New Hampshire, use rocks, moss, water, sculpture, and bamboo to create a serene and minimalist landscape.

Minimalist landscapes of rock, moss, and water by Earthworks of Leverett, Massachusetts, and New England Land Artisan of Stratham, New Hampshire, add the natural calm of outdoor woodlands. There are also back-to-back daily lectures, including mine this Thursday at 3:30 p.m. representing Design New England on the topic of how to win in hand-to-hand combat against invasive plants.


New England Nurseries of Bedford, Massachusetts, won “Best Garden Structure” for their whimsical display that is built around a hobbit-like children’s playhouse.


Painted dried seeds, pods, and flowers are arranged to create faux jewelry in the “For Love of Bling” category of the show’s floral arranging competition run by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society with The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts. Maureen Marshall of the Holliston Garden Club submitted this winning entry.


The Boston Flower & Garden Show is run by the Paragon Group of Needham, Massachusetts, under the direction of Carolyn Weston. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society manages the amateur exhibits, which includes floral arrangements and botanical photography displayed in the rear rooms of the hall, plus a charming series of vignettes tracing the society’s history from 1829. Tickets are $20, $17 seniors, $10 ages 6-17.

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