Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A fair share 2008

Photo taken at the boot of Swedish Allotment Association.

I spent last thursday and last sunday at Nordic Gardens Fair, and yesterday in a comfy coach trying to digest everything I've seen. Gracious goodness me - there are a lot to gardening, ain't it?

If you ask media reporting from the fair then geraniums are the big trend now. I didn't notice at all. Maybe because I'm not into trends, or perhaps because I spent the last years stumbling upon geranium enthusiasts whereever I went. What I did notice was a raise in the level of environmental friendlyness. Eventhough recycling was the theme of the fair I have a feeling this would have occured anyhow. Another trend is less garden and more furniture, for some reason.

I took particular interest in the balcony competition which is held anually at the fair. I'm looking for ideas for my own concrete shelf. This year the competition was called "balconies and terraces". My theory is they wanted an excuse for those competitors who had made boots too heavy to work on an ordinary balcony. A zengarden is nice, but if you have a limit of 100kg per square meter ( 220.5 pound per 10.8 square feet) you're not able to cover your balcony with a thick layer of gravel and add a waterfall over a slab.

Many of the "balconies" were bigger than ordinary ones. My own is 8 square meter (86 square feet), which is big, and my neighbour at ground level has a terrace that is slightly bigger. Many of the boots where twice this size or bigger. You can find balconies this big at some of the modern houses built, but they are a minority in their kind. I can't help wondering if there are any value to a competition where almost half of the entries don't follow the limitations of a real balcony.

Among the balconies I liked was a small herbgarden planted in ordinary balconyboxes, a shelf for replanting and a lounging chair with a footbath - the company competing is a swedish herb and feelgood retailer. Rosie, one of our gardening magazines had built a big one, but it was charmingly romantic and everything in it was lightweight and you could use parts of it for your own balcony without making it a lost solitaire. Then we have "OS 2008" which wasnt beautiful, but fun. The Swedish Flower Association had used old football shoes as well as old footballs as pots for tulips. Ten points for creativity - I wish people would use that more often.

The coolest instalation was the water fountain from Garden Aquaticas - I want one when I grow up.

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