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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Portland, Maine Flower Show 2014

This Past Sunday we headed to the Portland, Maine Flower Show. It was a nice break at the end of this Winter to have a small hope of Spring. I cannot even come close to telling you how over I am over this Winter. This evening I went to open the trunk of my car and it was frozen shut. The only problem is it unlatched and won't latch back and my car thinks the trunk is open. So yes I was ready for a hint of Spring.

We were able to find a parking spot on Commercial Street and took advantage of the free shuttle. I think this may have been Gabrian's favorite part of the day. He dreams of the day when he can start taking the school bus.

There was quite a line to get into the show but we quickly parted with my money and we were on the way in. It cost $15 for anyone over the age of 6 and Gabrian was free. I know you can get the tickets online for $13 but there was a service fee of $1.72 so it just didn't seem worth the hassle of printing the tickets to save $.28. I am not sure if there were other locations to purchase the tickets before the show.

On the way in you have to get through two rooms of vendors. I like to save my shopping for after my flower viewing so I hustled Gabrian through that room as quickly as possible. Which was no easy feat since it seemed like most people in Portland were looking to see a glimpse of Spring.

After making our way through all the tempting purchases we finally made it to the actual show. The theme this year was Storybook Gardens. It was really beautiful and Gabrian and I really enjoyed trying to see if we could recognize the Story in the Garden setting.

They had some really neat ones. We saw the Golden Egg, The 3 Little Pigs, and Grandma's House. One of my favorite ones because it created a great experience for  us was the Stone Soup Garden. They had a fire with a pot and stones over it. There was a bench in front of the fire. Gabrian and I were able to sit in front of the fire and tell him the story. It certainly brought the story to life.

After viewing all the gardens we had the opportunity to vote for our favorites. My vote went to the 3 Little Pigs and Gabrian voted for Grandma's House. I think he really enjoyed going to into the House and see where Grandma lived.

After submitting our votes we headed up the very steep stairs. They were seriously steep. I thought at one point I had reached the top of Mount Everest. We finally reached the top and found mostly vendors. They had a food court that we didn't go into (we had yummy lunch plans for after) and there was a children's area.

They had tables set up for the kids to work on crafts. Gabrian had lots of fun coloring and making bookmarks. He really got into the stamping craft.

It was fun and gave us about 20 minutes of entertainment before he was ready to move on.

One vendor I was excited about was Garbage to Garden. They are a great service that gives you a bucket to put your food waste into each week. On your normal garbage pick up day, you place your bucket out curbside and it is picked up and a new bucket is left. You are able to request free compost during the gardening season. This service costs $11 a month but there are opportunities to volunteer and get it for free. In our first week with the service it amazes me how much food waste we have to put into it. It is nice that it is not just going to waste in the landfill.

We headed back downstairs to check out the vendors. We made sure to stop at any booth that had any free food sample. I am sure they loved us. Sampling all of their food with no intentions of buying their products.

We finished off our shopping tour by eating ice cream to tide us over until lunch. This ice cream is out of this world. Gabrian chose blueberry and I went with Ginger. It was so delicious, I wish I was eating some right now!

Overall we were at the show just shy of 2 hours. It doesn't come even close to comparing to the Boston Flower Show but was still a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon. I say if you are in town next year you should definitely check it out!!