4 a.m. is awfully early in the morning to be getting up for an event, especially when the local coffee shop isn’t even open. Then try walking into the Colorado Garden & Home Show’s Enchanted Garden and running into fairies, goblins and trolls when the lights aren’t all the way up…oh my! These life-like creatures, in addition to a 10-foot-tall moving tree, bursting bridge and rolling sod were created by LaFondFX Special Effects. Lou LaFond and Town & Country Landscaping created a spectacular visual display for the media and lots of fun for our team to pitch. Our early mornings meeting up with news crews were only the icing on the cake.
Alexandre and I walked the show floor the day before opening to check out more than 16 inspiring landscaped gardens with rich colors, fragrances and textures. The gardens contain more than 15,000 blooming flowers comprised of 75 varieties of annuals, perennials and bulbs, and hundreds of flowering trees and shrubs. More than 100 tons of boulders and rocks, 2,000 truckloads of fresh recycled mulch, waterfalls, ponds and streams, paths and elevated walkways and bridges all add to the gardens’ living nature. The gardens that impressed me the most were the student gardens and Cowpolk’s Hangout themed garden. It is nice to see a bit of Texas in Colorado now and then. All the while I kept thinking, please, please come over and dig up my pathetic backyard. If they can move in and create these gardens in less than 72 hours, just think of what my yard could look like in one weekend!
On a serious note, the ladies from the Flower Competition mean business. We hung out and watched the Colorado Federation of Garden Club members create their designs around the theme of “It’s About Time” with creative displays, floral arrangements with titles such as “Light Years Away,” “Time Marches On,” “Time in a Bottle,” “The Minute Waltz,” and “Frozen in Time.” The competition is so fierce that Avalonne Kosanke (that’s her in the picture on the right) wouldn’t even stop more than 60 seconds to tell us about her design. Eye on the prize, baby. We learned it is all about the ribbon and gloating rights.
The show transforms 400,000 square feet of the Convention Center into a virtual marketplace of ideas. It’s a one-stop shopping and learning event on all things related to plants, gardens, gracious outdoor living, and the hottest new gardening and home improvement products and services. More than 600 companies from 25 states and Canada will introduce new technologies in energy-efficient heating and cooling products, window treatments, siding, flooring, lighting, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, patio furniture, gutters, sound systems, storage systems, greenhouses, decks, spas and more.
And if I ever won the Lotto? I’d have my kitchen remodeled by Homestead Cabinet & Furniture. The company specializes in creating custom cabinetry out of lumber recovered from old barns, buildings, & bridges. This green product is unique, creative and second to none in originality–although the armoire on display came with a hefty price tag of $20,000.Yes, 20 Gs.