Lights, Camera…Garden?

Yesterday I attended the latest Minneapolis Home & Garden spring show at the Minneapolis Convention Center. While you can see lots of spas, windows, dip mixes and closet organizers, the show also includes plenty of ideas and inspiration for gardeners.

The theme of this year’s garden displays was the movies with gardens evoking Camelot, Rocky 2 and my favorite, the Lord of the Rings. This display by Natural Landscape Minnesota includes a hobbit hole, stone work and lots of interesting evergreens for texture. The display is just across the 1200 aisle from the Minnesota State Horticulture Society booth, where you can find an array of books, tools and garden gadgets. The hort society also has its usual fantastic selection of bulbs for sale in a room just outside the main hall. Be sure to check it out as well as the garden talks being given throughout the day.

I spotted two trends that seem to be growing. The first is the use of succulents in mixed displays for texture. I’m seeing more and more gardeners growing succulents on walls and in vertical displays, like this one from Wagners Greenhouse.

The other trend I’m watching is the idea of grafting multiple varieties of plants on a single stem. Grafting is not new, of course, but this apple tree from Bailey Nurseries includes three Minnesota varieties: ‘Honeycrisp’ on the bottom, ‘Sweet Sixteen’ in the middle, and ZestarĀ® on the top. It’s grown as an espalier and because the varieties are different, they pollinate each other. Genius! Given its Minnesota heritage, it’s called ‘Hattrick’. The apple tree can be seen at the Linder’s display — well worth a visit for those who are interested in growing fruit in tight spaces.

The home show runs through Sunday and is a fun diversion for gardeners, DIYers and anyone planning a big garden or home project.