Spring Countdown: 11 days

By Abby Fullen

Mini fountains, horizontal planks of peace, rock formations, wood blocks.  A little taste of Italy, a touch of whimsy, and a leap into the world of pure imagination. What do these things have in common? They are some of our “Spring Countdown” trends spotted at the Columbus Dispatch Home and Garden Show, earlier this month at the Ohio Expo Center.

Gardeners, architects, and landscapers alike definitely showed off their longing for spring with creative and clever ways to welcome the warmth with fresh ideas.

On my insider tour with Heartland Gardening blogger and Garden Stage Program Coordinator Michael Leach, I was enveloped by the scent of sweet flowers and the steady rush of water from all different areas.  The immediate word to come to mind was: peaceful. Every exhibit presented different ways to embrace a contented and peaceful way to experience the outdoors.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Go Horizontal. An unconventional, but DSC_1094refreshing way of constructing a gazebo uses horizontal boards versus a conventional vertically planked one.

  • Honor the Past. Momentos of childhood and years past in the garden provides whimsical, happy ways to showcase a favorite pair of high heels, the sneakers worn in the winning basketball game, or the baby shoes with which we’re not easily parted. What a perfect example of upcycling, too.DSC_1102
  • Start Small. Smaller-scale fountains may feed into watery habitats of potted plants, from spouts in thin, descending layers, and even stream from the lips of a fantasy animal from Avatar towards a cradle of branches accented with the fantastical ‘“Woodsprites” from James Cameron’s imagined “Holy Tree”.

  • Work the Rock. Rock formations lend an asymmetrical aspect to clean-cut presentations. Whether large and simple, or small and more complex, these creations exude an earthy, raw presence.DSC_1101

  • Piece Together a Puzzle. As another example of upcycling, wood beams can be cut into pieces suitable for a 3-D puzzle made to let in the light, store a variety of plants, or be painted in purple color redolent of the Pantone Color of the Year.

  • Bring Italy to You. As if a bow wrapping a gift, Italian lights are strewn not only within exhibits, but to lead the way to the best part of the Home and Garden Show: the gardens, naturally. An ambiance to fall in love with, the soft lights shed calm and soothing on all fortunate enough to pass beneath.

Other notable features included: a bottle tree, the Avatar tree of souls that illuminated the radiant red of the tulips below, moss that grew from the cracks in stone and within rocks, a hanging garden (perfect for keeping bunnies from eating lettuce), and fountains that poured onto stones. Did you know that bees need water for their hives, but they can’t swim? Help your bees out by adding this feature to your garden so that they may safely get the water they need.

May you bless your gardens and your guests with renewed creativity.

Abby Fullen is a Senior at Hilliard Davidson High School. She tends a square-foot vegetable garden with her mother. This piece was written to serve in conjunction with her Career Mentorship class at the Dale McVey Innovative Learning Center.

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