Monday, June 28, 2010

closing time

When I say "closing time," I'm referring to the Flower Show, not the bar scene, although I could talk about the bar scene. Maybe tomorrow ....

Okay, so Mr. Betty and I ran into a friend walking up the street yesterday (Sunday) afternoon at nearly 4 pm. She asked, with all manner of excitement and expectation, "Did you get to the Flower Show??" Stunned silence. We forgot!! Not that we're gardeners — we're very minor-league gardeners — but the Flower Show is cool. Honestly, it's feast or famine around here. Once summer starts, there's so much stuff going on simultaneously that unless one really tracks it, writes down what's happening and makes a plan to somehow take it all in, it's just ...... over.

So, needless to say, after the friend-ly reminder, I jumped on my bike and headed out Bellevue Avenue toward Rosecliff, where the annual Flower Show is held. It's also where The Great Gatsby was filmed. That's old news (as in 1974); just thought I'd throw it out there. And once there — once past the traffic cop and all the people waiting for the shuttle bus back to their cars, as it was closing time at the Flower Show at this point on Sunday afternoon — I did a bad thing: I didn't pay to go in. I didn't even go in, to state it more accurately (and lest you think I'm a bad person), as I got so absorbed by the displays outside on the front lawn, beside what I guess you'd call Rosecliff's driveway. In the traffic circle.

The bouquet in the fountain (where a cherub was wrestling a fish??) was one thing. The cherubs in the eaves playing peek-a-boo were another. But then I spied the display designed by Chaves that included an iguana (unless it was an alligator) made of hens & chicks — I'm partial to hens & chicks — and thought, "What could be better than this??"

The giraffe could be better than this. I've never see anything like the giraffe made of straw flowers. At least, I think they were straw flowers. The mane. The tail. The very pattern of the fur/flesh/whatever. The color coordination of the surrounding plantings. It was a three-part scene — complete with camp site, scary native (actually just a mask), right down to the green Land Rover, all with with Rosecliff in the background. All so Newport ... and not Newport at the same time.

The garden center responsible for the display — The Farmer's Daughter — was identified under the windshield wipers by a fluorescent green placard the same color as a parking ticket. The designer's name stood humbly beside the blue ribbon. And without having seen the rest of the Flower Show, i.e, having no basis for comparison other than the hens & chicks iguana (which I loved), I'd go way out on a limb and call that blue ribbon well-deserved ...