Thursday, February 11, 2010

Music, Movies, Awards and Her Grace

It has been a banner week at the Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville.  As I reported a few days ago, we began early last Sunday morning setting up and preparing for this year's show.  The installation of this year's garden went along quite smoothly and I think we all felt we were pretty well ahead of the game most of the time.  The final piece of the puzzle happened on Wednesday morning, with the installation of our "color" (tulips, hydrangeas, witchhazels and exquisitely fragrant hyacinths), and the creation of an enormous floral arrangement for the center of the garden.

I started with 1 urn, 36 blocks of oasis (floral foam for those of you who don't speak "flowers") and 9 five-gallon buckets full of fresh cut flowers, including 300 roses.  Three hours later the garden's centerpiece came to life in a rainbow-colored centerpiece that stood over 9 feet tall (including pedestal and urn) and more than 6 feet across!

While I was working on the floral display, a couple of notable Nashvillians strolled through during the show's "early shopping" event--an informal opening of the show to a few key benefactors and special guests--and two even stopped to comment on the flowers and say hello.  After living in Nashville for 17 years, I don't get terribly starstruck anymore, but when Faith Hill and Gwyneth Paltrow pass through, even I take notice.  I've met Faith on several occasions and she's always as sweet as she can be--and Ms. Paltrow was stunning!

Later Wednesday evening we arrived for the official opening of the show, the annual Antiques & Garden Show Preview Party, to find that we had taken home the award for "Best Use of Color" in this year's garden displays.  Last year we won for "Best Interpretation of the Theme."  I have to say, I like winning, and I like the fact that we're winning in different categories.  I hate to be stuck in a rut!

I got an even greater surprise today when, after her lecture (the opening lecture of three in this year's series) Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland, Jane Percy strolled through the garden and was kind enough to stop and chat for a moment.  She is absolutely charming and has turned the British gardening world on its ear by creating a divine spectacle of a modern garden--The Alnwick Garden.  Please visit their website at  and revel in the garden that she, along with a number of very hardworking people, have created for the world to enjoy!  While I have rarely used the blog as a forum for solicitations, if you were going to support a garden outside of our own country, I would suggest that this would be a great one to support.  What the duchess has done is truly astounding, and the number of people's lives she has touched by doing it is what makes me particularly proud to have shared even a few moments with her.  She and her team are truly remarkable.

Thanks again to everyone for reading along and I'll try to post some more Antiques & Garden Show photos in a few days!  As always, Happy Gardening!

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