The noise of the hammers is quieting, the clutter and confusion that filled the aisles is fast disappearing, the tired and excited voices of scurrying exhibitors is softening and every last flower and plant has been put in its proper place. With fragrance and stillness pervading the great halls, the signal is given! Without further delay officialdom is greeted, the ribbon is cut and the big Show is on!
It’s the grand opening of the Spring Flower Show in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and any one of a host of great cities sponsoring these shows.
Throngs of people, young and old, rich and poor, some in wheelchairs, cheerfully make an annual pilgrimage to see the work of nature modified and molded by man into a make-believe world – a great floral pageant of Spring and early Summer – that thrills us as deeply as great music or drama.
Within a few minutes after the show opens, the place is resounding with whispered exclamations of enthusiasm, awe and delight. A connoisseur of orchids has spotted a new variety; a city dweller sees acacias for the first time, and wonders why they are not grown in the public parks. Youngsters beam, and their eyes enlarge almost to the point of popping out of their sockets, as they glance about at the riotous color and inhale the mingled fragrance of thousands of blossoms. Dignified elderly women stand in silent rapture before a Spring garden or a vast planting of rhododendrons and azaleas.
No one seems to hurry at the flower show. Each and every visitor has unconsciously turned his back on the mundane work-a-day world. There is no turbulence or confusion or talk of war here – only peace and tranquility and beauty in its myriad forms. Here is a floral wonderland strangely unlike anything found in nature. Into a comparatively small area have been gathered together the choicest flowers and plant treasures from around the world.
Some of the plantings are arranged in formal fashion; others are true replicas of familiar spots in our native woodlands. Then there are the new varieties of roses, carnations, flowering bulbs, annuals and a host of other things. Vegetables, the compost pile, gardens of yesterday, today, and tomorrow – all these are assembled for the enjoyment of those who love to garden and to look at gardens.