Archive for March, 2010

The Best Lavender Honey

March 19, 2010

MODA Botanica Display

L. stoechas WV Eaton PT

As mentioned in my last entry, I went to the Philidelphia Flower Show at the beginning of the month. I traveled with a friend who liked to try good local restaurants and we had 3 wonderful dinners. Our final dinner was at Amada. It is located in the older section of the city. I had never been to a restaurant specialising in Tapas so had no idea what to expect.

Any time I’m at a restaurant and lavender is on the menu, of course, I have to try it! The first dish we ordered had a hard cheese, thinly sliced, a Granny Smith apple, sliced and stacked in a pretty arrangement and some slices of a french loaf. In a small bowl was THE most exquisite lavender honey, with a mild earthy truffle flavor. When I asked our waitress about the honey she assured me it was from bees making honey from lavender fields. Not honey flavored with lavender flowers.

It was THE best lavender honey I have ever had.

I regret not taking a photo of the plate as the presentation was lovely, but the camera battery had died by this point. I can’t even remember what else we tried because the honey was so amazing. So, if you love lavender and are ever in Philadelphia you MUST find AMADA and if you don’t have anything else, order this starter.

Back at the show –
A booth by a company called Terrain had beautiful L. stoechas plants. The tag said the name was WVN Eaton PT. I would have loved a few of these but I can’t bring them across the border.

Finally, I wanted to share one of the displays that blew us away. The photo is above. The table is in a room of glass, so it is reflected on and on. It was done by a company called MODA botanica.

There were sweet peas, roses and vanda orchids in beautiful hues. How they found so many roses in those pale mauve colors I have no idea. Every detail of this ‘arrangement’ was co-ordinated. Trust me when I tell you the photo does not do it justice, but does show the effect of the reflections.

I’m off to Canada Blooms this afternoon to help at the Greater Toronto Rose and Garden Society Booth from 3-8pm! I’m going a little early to look around. The good thing is, I can bring plants home from there!!

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Philadelphia Flower Show

March 13, 2010

L. multifida foliage

Lavandula multifida flower

Michelle Masters holding her cards

Last week I had the pleasure of going to the Philidelphia Flower Show. I love traveling in the United States, but had never been to Philidelphia before. I was fortunate to go with a good gardening buddy and what a travel companion she was! Not only did she find us a lovely B and B, but she insisted we track down a TV so we could watch the final Olympic hockey game. In the lobby of the Marriot Hotel next door to the Convention Centre we cheered the Canadian Hockey team to Olympic victory and ate at three wonderful restarants. It was great fun and some people came up to us and said it was fitting Canada won at their home Olympics! I could blog for weeks just about the trip!

We really enjoyed the flower show and attended 2 full days. I heard 5 different speakers, getting good ideas from each. We are both fans of David Austin Roses and they were one of the sponsors of the event. I was surprised that other large rose growers were not there and had hoped to see companies like Jackson and Perkins and Weeks Roses represented at this large show.

However the highlight really was the garden area. The theme of the show was “Passport to the World”. There were gardens representing South Africa, India, the Arctic, New Zealand, Singapore and the Netherlands. The gardens were very imaginative and we thought they were worth the trip.

There were few lavender plants at the show, but the Temple University (Ambler School of Environmental Design) display had beautiful L. multifida plants in their gardens. This is often called ‘Fernleaf Lavender’ because of the pretty foliage. Unfortunately it is not frost hardy, but a nice container plant and I seem to remember growing it in the house without any trouble.

We had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Masters. She is shown here holding a package of her note cards; a topiary hat, with lavender growing from the top. I must admit I bought a few packages of her note cards as I really liked her fresh, cheery designs. Her website is: www.michellemasters.com

My lavender seedlings survived my absence much better than I expected them to. I put them in generous sized plastic bags, hoping they would not find it too humid and die. I was afraid to look at them when I got home but found, although a couple of seedlings died, they were growing quite nicely. There are only a couple of ‘French Perfume’ seedlings, so I think I’ll start a few more. I have not been able to find any more of those seeds yet, so I only started some of the package. I’m going to start tomatoes and delphiniums as well in the next couple of weeks.

My final lavender encounter and the best was at the last restaraunt we went to, but more about that next week!!