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On the Road with Mill Creek Garden Club – An Encounter with Spring

Looking for hints of spring, early arrivers wait for the bus to take them to the Show.  Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Garden Club.
Looking for hints of spring, early arrivers wait for the bus to take them to the Show. Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Garden Club.

By Lila Johnson, Mill Creek Garden Club Publicity.

With all the wet, windy and gloomy days we’ve experienced this winter, the search for any hint of spring was even more urgent for Mill Creek Garden Club members and guests who boarded a bus for the jaunt down I-5 to the NW Flower and Garden Show.

When you get a group of gardeners together, there’s always chatter, but the atmosphere on the bus bubbled with enthusiasm and our driver’s thorough but humorous “safety presentation” was a perfect way to start the journey. It’s always nice to have an uneventful road trip, and indeed ours was just that.

On a mission and with heightened anticipation, we strode into the Convention Center with tickets, shopping bags and cameras in hand.

Imagine it, riding up three flights of escalators, walking 100 feet and without warning your senses are awakened by the intoxicating fragrance of in-full-bloom Hyacinths—Pink ones! Sorry if you have allergy issues, but I put my nose close to the blossoms and breathed deeply to take in the aroma of spring. The eye didn’t know where to look—the tulips, the hellebores, the daffodils or the gorgeous floral arrangements across the way. It was sensory overload!

With the heady floral scent lingering, Garden Club members stepped towards the Display Gardens. Overwhelmed at first, the members moved in all directions as the encounter with spring began.

The Display Gardens, which are beautiful and staged to appear “lived in,” are noted for their use of living trees and flowering plants, inspired landscaping, creative hardscape and outdoor accessories. Yep, “lived in,” but no weeds in sight! (Garden Club’s November guest speaker, Susan Browne, let us in on the secret— in the wee hours before the Show opens each day, volunteers weed and deadhead every garden!)

As is typical for Garden Club events, part of the fun was meeting up with one another for lunch, standing together ogling a gorgeous red Camellia, marveling at an outdoor kitchen and sharing treasures purchased from the Marketplace vendors. It is not unusual, by the way, to have a blooming Hellebores peeking out of a shopping bag—after all this was a gardeners’ paradise!

It was a five-hour day spent on our feet and a trusty iPhone app recorded us meandering 2.1 miles or 5,119 steps while at the show.

Tired but thankful for comfy shoes, our group boarded the bus for the return trip to Mill Creek. Yes, the bus was weighed down with our shopping spree purchases: plants, bulbs, yard art, garden pots, garden books, garden gloves, tools and even jewelry.

Another Garden Club excursion ended with smiles, hugs and the knowledge that planting and weeding season will be here soon—ahhh Spring!

Sculpture and Japanese Maple, peace and harmony in a Display Garden created by Elandan Gardens, LTD.  Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Garden Club.

Sculpture and Japanese Maple, peace and harmony in a Display Garden created by Elandan Gardens, LTD. Photo courtesy of Mill Creek Garden Club.


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