Though the Chicago Botanic Garden calls its annual event an "Antiques and GARDEN Fair" there were not as many items which could actually find a home outside in the garden as I would have liked. On the other hand, there were some wonderful indoor flower and garden displays that we greatly enjoyed. The theme of the show was “Color in the Garden: An Artist’s View.”
As you can see from the picture below almost all the vendors also had some kind of flowers or plants included in their displays. I thought this was a particularly charming idea with its row of matched pots in ascending and descending sizes.
The artist below actually used dried flowers to create flat patterns that reminded me of Indian textiles with their bright colors and repeated motifs. The yellow one uses cosmos and the pink one at the right uses straw flowers. They are pressed paper thin in a hydraulic press.
At the entrance to one of the tents were a pair of charming potager-style vegetable gardens by The Organic Gardner.
Craig Bergmann Landscape Design had one of their usual tour de force floral creations on display in the center of the tent. Can't you just fantasize doing this instead of the typical Christmas tree?
Maria Smithburg with Manfredini Landscape and Design created a dramatic tulip walkway with glossy red cylindrical planters.
Depending on where you stood, the effect of the display constantly changed.
The containers made me think of those painted red trunks in the garden of Jack Lenor Larsen's Long House (below). They both have that same element of scale and drama.
The space down the center of this gallery has been home to many incredible displays over the years, including this one by William Heffernan Landscapes.
I liked the combination of fantasy with the mirrored reflections and practicality with decorative squares of edible plants. I noticed that someone had added a small square of pink paper on the sign at the beginning of this garden with the hand-written notation "cherry trees." Clearly they'd been getting a lot of questions about the pink branches!
Since there were vendors in the hallways outside the conservatories we took advantage of the location and strolled through three different growing environments.
I've been reading a lot of interior design and decor books lately and the plants above and below both suggested color and texture combinations for paint and fabrics to my eye.
My other posts on this event: