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Went yesterday… What did I score at the vendors’ booths?

Orchid plants: I suggest perusing each booth, comparing selection and prices and then returning to buy. Having such a wide selection in one area is a bit overwhelming, but there is quite a bit of difference in vendor pricing, so that’s a good way to narrow your choices. I ended up buying from Valley Orchids, Inc. from Morgan Hill.

Cool metal stakes: I’m a sucker for rusted metal garden art and this time I scored two butterflies on wavy stakes attached at the base. They came from Susan Regert’s company, “Z” Garden Party. Love ’em. Also got a single butterfly to stick in my herb box from the same vendor… and a copper star stake with marbles on the points from Jardinage Copper and Cedar Garden Art.

Words of warning: pack a nice lunch (last year’s passable teriyaki vendor is gone and the alternatives are awful and expensive unless you want 2 soggy, underheated chicken tacos and a coke for $11!) and plan on getting out of there early enough or late enough to skip the afternoon commute (good luck on that one).

This year’s garden vignettes left me a little flat. I saw several wilting plants, the few designs that stood out only did so because of shock value, and none of them made me say, “Wow, that’s beautiful!” Last year’s were much better in my opinion. I’d like to see something a little more reality-based next year. None of my favorite bay area landscape designers did the show this year. Hmmm… maybe there’s a story there. The Cow Palace still needs a lighting makeover.

If you have a chance, attend one of the many interesting seminars! Matter o’fact, I’d say the seminars and shopping options are the show’s strengths.

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