Here in Vero Beach, the first weekend in February is devoted to Gardenfest, and what an amazing event it is! Hosted by the Garden Club of Indian River County, over 75 vendors are chosen by invitation to display native plants, orchids, herbs, succulents, roses, ferns, shrubs, bamboo, palms, fruit trees, you name it!!! .If it grows in Florida, you can buy it at Gardenfest along with accessories like pottery, fountains, furniture and lighting; this truly is nature’s marketplace!
But here’s the part I liked best about this year’s event:
I’m sure I’ve told you ad nauseum about my classes for Master Gardener Certification? Today was the first day I got to utilize some of the info I’ve learned thus far. To quote the sage Dr. Spock (not Nimoy…the other one!) “you know more than you think you do!” I was so surprised at how many questions I felt confident to answer! In addition to supplying festival goers with printed horticultural matter, our booth also functioned as a plant clinic: diseased looking copper plant leaf? sooty mold; unknown leaves/branches from a new homeowner’s yard? Codiaeum Varieata aka Picasso’s Paintbrush. Granted this isn’t rocket science, and there were some complicated soil issues I wasn’t comfortable answering sans backup, but overall I felt good about my “advice.”
Lest you think the day was all work and no play,I strolled and shopped for quite awhile before (and after) my shift. Here’s a shot of one of the prettiest vendor areas I saw:
My goal today was to purchase plants I didn’t already have, but I definitely wanted something “lily-like;” so I chose this Blackberry Lily
Although it looks and acts like a lily, this plant is really an Iris, and a very beautiful one at that. If you haven’t seen one in bloom before, click here for a treat! I’ve also been wanting a few new ferns because my shade garden is sorely lacking! So at the fern vendor I got this beauty of a staghorn;
and to befriend a larger one already on my screened porch, this cute bird’s nest variety:
Overall, Gardenfest 2012 was a great success despite somewhat unco-operative weather. Even though it rained 50% of the time, it was Sunday fun-day under the oaks in Riverside Park!
Until next time…