Saturday, April 21, 2001

Ault Park adorned

Cincinnati Flower Show blossoms Wednesday with largest centerpiece exhibit in its history

By Shauna Scott Rhone
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        One of the hallmarks of spring in the Tristate returns next week. The 12th annual Cincinnati Flower Show — “2001 Gardening Odyssey” — will be Wednesday through April 29 at Ault Park in Mount Lookout.

        This year's centerpiece exhibit, The Gardens of Marly Court, will be the largest the show has presented, says Jeane Elliott, administration and marketing director for the Cincinnati Horticultural Society, the show's producer. The 4,400-square-foot exhibit begins outside the main display tent and continues inside, Ms. Elliott says.

[photo] Rhonda Mindrum of Abbotswood Ltd. in Milford, designed The Gardens of Marly Court, part of which is behind her, for this year's flower show.
(Gary Landers photo)
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        Thirteen firms came together to present the exhibit, which was inspired by the Marly Gardens built in the 1700s for France's Louis XIV, says the garden's designer, Rhonda Mindrum of Abbotswood Ltd. in Milford.

        “The gardens have a historic French and English courtyard theme,” she says.

        The featured exhibit will be among more than 30 gardens and plant collections on display during the show. Others will include container gardens, planted window boxes and single-genus exhibits featuring plants from Asiatic lilies to hostas to geraniums. There will be a Professional Floristry Pavilion and Art in Bloom, an exhibit where floral displays will interpret paintings by regional artists.

    What: 12th annual Cincinnati Flower Show, sponsored by Provident Bank.
    Where: Ault Park, Mount Lookout.
    When: 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Wednesday-next Saturday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 29.
    Tickets: Adult $15, children 3-12 $3. Advance tickets (adult only) $11 at Kroger and Provident Bank locations and by phone (872-5194) through Sunday.
    Information: 872-5194;
    Parking: $6 for five hours at Ault Park.
    Parking with complimentary shuttle service ($3) will be available at Oakley Drive-In on Madison Road, near Red Bank Road.
    Next Saturday and April 29, parking with complimentary shuttle service ($5) will be available from Kilgour School, 1339 Herschel Ave., Mount Lookout.
    Miscellaneous: Many items from Flower Show exhibits will be sold when the show closes 6 p.m. April 29. No admission at that time.

    • Map of Flower Show

    While Greater Cincinnati sends a representative to the Chelsea Flower Show in Great Britain, several foreign vendors will have wares in the Gardener's and Plant markets at the Cincinnati Flower Show:
    • Volmars Creations/Tropical Expressions of Dundas, Ontario, Canada: Bonsai trees, cacti, etc.
    • Gladstone & Elwyn-Jones of Wales: Botanical prints.
    • Hugo Quattrocchi Designs of Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Hand-painted earthenware bowls, pitchers and plates.
    • English Garden Solutions of Northampton, England: Wall-mounted flower containers.
    • Coastal Garden Hats of West Vancouver, British Columbia: Garden hats.
        Returning this year will be the popular Dramatic Table Settings Pavilion, the Plant Market and the Gardener's Market, with vendors from more than 25 states and several countries.

        Ms. Mindrum received word that her plan for The Gardens of Marly Court had been accepted for this year's show in January 2000. Planning began in November.

        The exhibit features six gardens: an entry garden; a formal garden with boxwood and roses; a lily pond garden with white and green plantings; a culinary garden with herbs, sweet pea edging and an espalliered fruit tree orchard; a shaded garden terrace with a fireplace and seating, and a fruit and vegetable garden with a cold frame and raised strawberry mound.

        Do the cobblestones look familiar? They were salvaged when Pete Rose Way, downtown, was reconstructed.

        Although her proposal was huge, Ms. Mindrum knew she could accomplish it with a little help from some friends she had worked with over the year.

        Abbotswood created the dream. Others brought the dream to life. Reading Rock in West Chester, Wholesale Stone in Madisonville and Nisbet Lumber and Hardware in Loveland provided the paving, stone and construction materials.

        Lawnscapers of Fairfax installed the paving, pathways and cobblestones. Architectural Landscape Lighting of Miamitown handled the garden lighting. The decorative painting on the buildings and walls in the exhibit were done by Elaine Fening Designs in Terrace Park. Marion Lee Masonry in Fort Wright contributed expertise, as did Smith's Camargo Landscape of Clermont County, which installed the landscape materials.

        French Country Road of Madeira made several trips to France to bring back authentic touches for the garden, including ornaments, statues and antique furnishings.

        About 30 pink English cabbage roses from Delhi Flower and Garden Centers in Delhi Township will grace the rose garden part of the exhibit.

        “We all got together for planning meetings, sometimes till 1 a.m.,” says Bill Drackett of Terrace Park-based Drackett-Harth Construction, who built the exhibit's dovecote (a kind of English gazebo) and matching gate houses. The structures were designed by Architects Plus of Blue Ash.

        After the flower show closes April 29, several parts of The Gardens at Marly Court will be used elsewhere in the community.

        The dovecote will be part of a live auction during the Cincinnati Flower Show gala Tuesday. Auction proceeds will benefit the Children's Hospital Respite Garden Fund.

        The exhibit's stucco walls will be donated to the Wildwood Christian Education Center in Clermont County.

Lecture series

        • 11 a.m. Thursday, “Guilded Age Floral Design” by Cathy Lyda Barnhardt, floral supervisor at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.

        • 11 a.m. Friday, “Fabrics in Bloom” by Murray Bartlett Douglas, senior vice president of Brunschwig & Fils, the century-old firm noted for decorative fabrics, wallpapers, upholstered furniture, tables and lamps.

        • 11 a.m. next Saturday, “Organic Gardening FUNdamentals” by Maria Rodale, third-generation member of one of America's most venerated gardening families, vice chairman of the Rodale Institute board and president of its Organic Living Division.

        Cost: $40 per lecture (includes show admission.

        Tickets and information: 872-5194.

Afternoon teas

        • 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, “Afternoon Tea with Marie Galvin,” voted “Most Stylish Millinery Designer in Boston.”

        • 2:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, traditional English tea.

        • 2:30 p.m. next Saturday, “Daughter-Mother Afternoon Tea.”

        Cost: “ Afternoon Tea with Marie Galvin” $40. All other teas $30.

        Tickets and information: 872-5194.

Ask the experts

       These free presentations, held outside the main tent, will be sponsored by Country Living Gardener magazine. The format: question-and-answer panel followed by a demonstration.


        10 a.m.: Mike Benken, H.J. Benken Florists; John Elsley, director of horticulture for Klehm Companies, and Chuck Schramm, retired from Cincinnati Parks Department.

        11 a.m. demonstration: Building a trellis, by craftsman Ed Ball. 2 p.m.: Margi Jacobs, garden expert; Dave Roberts, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, and Judy Lewis, Lewis Mountain Herbs.

        3 p.m. demonstration: Container water gardens by Dan Bokeno, Allison Landscaping.


        10 a.m.: Sue Brungs, the Old Greenhouse; Marlene Kromer, Ohio Nature Conservancy; Gary Gao, OSU Extension Service, and Mike Klahr, UK Extension Service.

        11 a.m. demonstration: Living centerpieces by Ms. Brungs.

        2 p.m.: Tim Young, Delhi Garden Center; Tom Smith, Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum; Ron Zielinski, In Your Garden Landscape Consultation & Design, and Mr. Klahr.

        3 p.m. demonstration: Mosaic stepping stones by artist Jane Pompilio, Kaleidoscope Stained Glass Studios.


        10 a.m.: Steve Foltz, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden; David Koester, UK Extension Service; Claire Ehrlinger, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and Mr. Schramm.

        11 a.m. demonstration: Hypertufa (trough) planters by garden consultant Susan Elsbrock.

        2 p.m.: Mr. Foltz; Warren Klink, Urban Thickets Landscapes, and Mr. Schramm.

        3 p.m. demonstration: Garden pavers, speaker to be announced.

Next Saturday         10 a.m.: Chris Trautman, Mowbray Gardens; Geoff Egbers, Egbers Land Design Inc.; Alex Pearl, Warren Correctional Institution, and Tim Morehouse, The Cincinnati Enquirer garden columnist.

        11 a.m. demonstration: Easy cold frame, speaker to be announced.

        2 p.m.: Mr. Trautman; Tim Young, Delhi Flower and Garden Centers, and Doug Young, Live Oaks Career Development Campus.

        3 p.m. demonstration: Hypertufa planter by Ms. Elsbrock.

April 29

        10 a.m.: Mr. Pearl; Joe Boggs, OSU Extension Service, and Mr. Schramm.

        11 a.m. demonstration: Tree ring/circular bed, speaker to be announced.

        2 p.m.: Mr. Klink; Kevin O'Dell, Kendrick and O'Dell Landscaping, and Bill Lee, Southwestern Ohio Daffodil Society.

        3 p.m. demonstration: Espalier and topiary by Chris Dager of Rowe Arboretum.

After-show sale

        Many exhibitors will sell plants, garden accessories and other parts of their Flower Show displays at the end of the show, 6 p.m. April 29.

        Some tips for post-show buying:

        • Know what you want and where it is; sales are first come, first served.

        • Wear old clothes and shoes; it can get dirty.

        • Bring a wagon or plan another way to get purchases out of the show to your vehicle.


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