A friend from home and I went to the Portland Flower Show in Portland, Maine yesterday. (Thanks, friend!) Even though it was the first day of Sommerzeit, it was the last day of the show, so I managed to arrive on time and enjoy every minute of it in spite of my lost sleep.
The Portland Flower Show is an annual event that provides an opportunity for local landscape designers, hardscape artisans, and garden centers to highlight their skills, talents, and value. I was impressed with the hardscapes and stonework displays, including one by a company, Jaiden Landscaping, Inc., from Durham, Maine (“across the river” from home). The display included a stonework fireplace and a pizza oven. It would make staying home a very attractive option; coincidentally, Jaiden won “Best In Show” for their hard work.
My two favorite vendors, though, were a neat little hoop house company and a greenhouse builder. I can’t quite decide which structure I would prefer. The Eden House is flexible and affordable, while Ken’s Grow Houses are well made, sturdy, and attractive for the longer term proposition. I coveted both structures. How I long to extend the growing season. I’ll do the best I can by planting peas on Palm Sunday and growing greens and kale until the snow flies, but it’s not the same thing. Living here at the coop with a tiny patio limits me to pots and window boxes. The Hampton Victory Garden has potential, but it’s a community garden, not my own personal garden. I’ll bring it up at the next Hampton Conservation Commission meeting, though, and see what the Commission thinks.
As I was wistfully daydreaming about potting up tomatoes in a green house, my friend nudged me and said,
“Do you think your Uncle Bob would let you have one of those in his backyard?
“Maybe if I suggest he get a few chickens first” I said. “Then the greenhouse will seem mild in comparison.”
Going to Maine on a sunny not-quite-spring day before the Rusticators get there is almost heaven. No need to speed and the living is easy; the way life should be. It has been a long time since I lived and worked in Portland and many things have changed. But a lot of things were the same; we got burgers at The Dry Dock and it was almost like I remembered it ten years ago. Of course, since every person in Maine knows everyone else through six degrees of AYUH, I did see two people I knew. (And NO, we’re not all related and we have all of our teeth.) Stepping back into the bright sunshine and sea breeze of Commercial Street, I decided it had been a perfect day to play tourist. I even got off the interstate in Kennebunk and stopped at a few antique shops on Route 1. Look at this crazy linen tablecloth I bought for Uncle Bob (sweetening up the green house proposition):
How did you spend the first 23 hour day of 2012?