Now that summer is almost in full swing, we all want to enjoy the great outdoors. The 18th annual Newport Flower Show is a great place to do just that. Held on the grounds of the historic Rosecliff mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, June 21 through June 23, the show will have an exotic Eastern flair with opulent colors, Asian gardening techniques, and expressive landscape design all lend themselves to this year’s theme — “Jade: Eastern Obsessions.”
General admission is $18 and guests can tour the various Asian specimen trees and shrubs on exhibit and attend lectures and demonstrations. Paul Miller, Newport County’s Preservation Society curator, will speak of the unique and harmonizing energy associated with jade, an ornamental gemstone of Eastern Asia that inspires design aesthetics from the garden, to the home, to jewelry.
The popular luncheon lecture series is $80 for lunch and lecture or $40 for the lecture alone. Friday’s speaker is Hitomi Gilliam is an internationally renowned floral artist, educator and lecturer who will discuss Ikibana and Zen appreciation of nature. On the Saturday, landscape architect Harriet Henderson will speak on East meets West gardening, a topic she has developed through years of study in Kyoto, Japan and travels in Korea, China and Taiwan.
Other lectures throughout the show include garden consultant Kerry Ann Mendez, who will speak on how to create a low-maintenance but impressive perennial garden with tips on choosing the right plants, incorporating focal points, and utilizing landscaping techniques to create a visually stunning garden.
There will be several classes on floral arrangement, but for something a little different, Bettie J. Sarantos, a Newport artist who occasionally teaches workshops at the Rhode Island School of Design, will discuss Chinese brush painting and calligraphy, focusing on flowers such as plum, orchid, and chrysanthemum, and their symbolism in Asian culture.
The Newport Flower Show promises to be an inspirational outdoor Zen experience and proceeds benefit the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the Newport Preservation Society’s grounds. Tickets and a full schedule of events are available at the Newport Mansions website.