..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Southern Spring House & Garden Show, Charlotte, NC

Mom, Dad and I went to Charlotte, NC to the Southern Spring House & Garden Show. We love to go and we make it most of the time. We had a great time and here are some of my photos:

Of course, the first thing we did when we got there was get me something to eat. It was 11:00am and that's sugar-drop time. It was good timing anyway because we got our food straight away with no lines. At noon, there are lines at the food booths and cafeteria. I've had a real sore throat the past couple of days so this hot dog was the first "hard" food I've had. Despite being good, I was choking it down because of the sore throat.


It was right after our lunch break (and with my throat hurting) that we started in the booths. One of the first ones we came up to was Gano Excel. They gave me a couple of sample sizes of their various coffees. It helped my throat and picked me up. For their website, see the end of this post.



For those of you who have never before been to the Charlotte Home & Garden Show, it's broken up into 3 buildings. Two of the buildings have booths of vendors selling anything "home and garden". Landscaping services, landscaping equipment, potted flowers, orchids, seeds, different kinds of mulches, etc. Then there are the "house" items like flower arrangements, pictures (originals and prints), furniture, mattresses, porch swings, pots & pans, herb mixtures, etc. There are also home building products such as kitchen appliances, cabinetry, outbuildings, shingles, gutters, sun rooms, screened porches, central vacuum systems, ladders, tools, basement systems, flooring, etc. The vendors have examples and have created showrooms of their wares. You get to sample dips made with the herb mixtures, bread and soup mixes, etc. You get to try out mattresses and chairs. You get to see the latest ideas in landscaping and home building or home remodeling. It gives you ideas and you can get their cards and brochures. They do the cooking demonstrations and cleaner demonstrations. We love this kind of thing. But there were two things we didn't like...first, this year, there was no coffee shop or coffee booths (other than the one I told you about - Gano Excel). Other than the Gano coffee samples, I didn't get to have any coffee. With my coffee (decaf) addiction and my sore throat, I sorely needed some coffee (pun intended). And the other thing, which is the same every year, is the crowds. We try to go Wednesday or Thursday morning to avoid as much of the crowds as possible. By afternoon, it's crowded and then there is the weekend and I know it's probably unbearable. When I was a teenager, my Mother had a gift shop and a wholesale business and we did many a show. My feet would hurt, my voice was hoarse and I hated people by the time the day was over. So I feel so sorry for the salesmen and saleswomen. And I don't know who I feel sorrier for...those that are ignored, losing money by the minute and are bored out of their mind or, those that are so busy they can't think and will be exhausted within hours. I try to be polite, smiling, patient when I'm interested in their product and not waste their time if I'm not interested in their product.



The third building has mini rooms and mini gardens set up to show off interior decorators and landscaping designers. It also has the orchid and bonsai competitions. I love to see the landscaping ideas. A few years ago the fire and water theme really became popular and now, every mini garden has something like that. Of course, inside the building, they can't have a real fire so they show fire places and fire pits but no open flames. The waterfalls and handmade streams are very popular. I wonder if they may be easier to keep clean than the koi ponds and still pools that were so popular before? There is usually one designer that does something that grabs the attention of the crowds and everyone hovers around... this year, I think it was the birds. One designer room was a sun porch with beautiful, colorful little birds in a large, ornate bird cage and one garden had some wild birds (the owls and hawk). It certainly grabbed my attention.








This was another show stopper. A reading nook complete with table. I loved it until I began to think about it being outside. You know, bugs, snakes, fire ants... all those creepy crawly things that can sneak through the crevices between the rocks. Yep, that might discourage me from snuggling up with a book here.









This beaitiful arrangement was expensive. I notice a lot of these pheasant feathers in flower arrangements this year.



A wobble board machine. I liked it a lot!



Bathfitters









Of course, Dad found the one and only John Deere in the house!


A retro kitchen display!







Ikea had a large showroom set up. It's the first time I remember them being represented here but they now have the huge Ikea store in Charlotte.




I loved this kitchen example. Except for the porous yellow tile on the backslpash (you want something glazed and glossy for easy clean up because porous tiles will get pretty grimy over time with grease). I loved the different colors in cabinetry and the architectural details which makes the cabinetry look more like furniture.


This sewing room table is great. It can act like a chest of drawers up against the wall or can be slid out and the table raised to give you an ample cutting space.


I want another central vacuum system.



A stove top smokeless grill being demonstrated.


I tried some various settings on my camera to catch this garden vignette.












Paper lanterns seem to be popular for parties and weddings.






















Butterflies!



Snow and Ice






I just love the bright and exotic orchids!






















Bonsai Trees










A fire pit with copper flames and a lamp glowing below. Notice how the fire pit is in the middle of the still pond? Nice look and the water would reflect real flames. But also a little difficult to get to when you need to start a fire or clean out the fire pit. So be sure you put stepping stones in the pool like this designer did so you can get to the fire pit easily.




This railroad track through one of the mini gardens was unique. Unfortunately it wasn't running when we came through and so it might not catch everyone's attention.


Now here is something you can do with old hosepipes (garden hose furniture).










Mom and I ordered some instant coffee by Gano Excel which is a coffee that features Ganoderma Lucidum (a Chinese medicinal herb). It was good and it's good for you. I'm a big coffee drinker so I think this is a good way to get some vitamins and stuff in me! Anyway, check out their website: http://myganocafe.com/ultracoffee

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