As you can see, most of the displays contain plants that are very common -- daffodils, tulips, irises, hyacinths -- the typical bulb or flowers that one sees in NJ home-gardens. It also had some other flowers and plants, on display, that are not commonly found in gardens here.
The pink flower is a Ranunculus. There were varieties of Ranunculus in different colors, though they are not hardy to NJ. They grow best in milder climates of Western or South-Western USA, as the root can tolerate temperature only as low as ten degree Fahrenheit and the growing plant can handle temperature as low as only twenty degree Fahrenheit. They are grown from bulbs. The blue flowers are that of Blue BaronRhododendron. These are small (only three feet by two feet in maturity) evergreen shrubs. The picture is not doing justice to the plant as it was looking spectacular covered with tiny blue flowers and glossy evergreen leaves. The third picture is that of a winterberry plant. Apparently, these plants are native to swampy areas of Eastern USA. This is a Red Sprite or Ilex Verticillata. The red berries attract birds. However, to get these red berries, which appears only on the female plants, one need a male plant for pollination. These are also small shrubs.
This year, I have already gone overboard with the number of plants, bulbs, herb-seeds, flower-seeds and vegetable-seeds that I have ordered, and collected, details of which will come later in another post. So, I promised myself that I was just going to see and admire and not buy anything. But, promises are to be broken, right? If you tell me otherwise, then perhaps I need to join Obsessed Gardeners Support Group (NO! I didn't make it up; check it out here -- https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/3307-obsessed-gardener-s-support-group).
I ended up buying garden-related furniture, Deck-Planters, hanging-pots, a big sweet-bay plant, campanula (if I heard the name correctly though the flowers do not look like bell-flowers at at all. Rather they look like tiny roses. The plant is supposed to be a ground-cover), and two Blue-Zebra perennial Primula. But my prized possession has been the three roots of Foxtail Lily (Eremurus). They are supposed to be exotic plants and hardy to zone 5. They indeed looked exotic to me; even their fleshy roots look like a big blackish spider. These plants are supposed to attract butterflies.
The plant looks like a clump of showy-grass with slender bright-green foliage. The size of the foliage-plant is maximum one to one-and-a-half feet. But, from the midst of such a small plant, spikes of flowers, some even seven feet tall and looking like bushy-tails of squirrels, emerge. In the first year, there might not be any such spikes or perhaps just one or two. But with time, more and more spikes will emerge from just a single plant. Unlike any other lilies, these plants are not that invasive as they usually do not spread. And, if they spread, they take many, many years to do so. The plant cannot be grown in pots, and have to be grown in rich soil, in a sunny area. The soil needs to be well-drained and once-established, the plant does not need that much watering -- rains will be enough. The roots do not like to be disturbed. So, once planted, you have to make sure that that planting spot is their permanent home. Garden designers recommend that the flowers of this plant are so bright and showy that need to have a background of evergreen dark-greenish plants (like pines, I guess) to really create a contrast and bring out the beauty of the flowers. The above picture is not doing justice to the flowers that I saw in the show.
I know that none of the plants that I bought are native plants. I hope that native-plant proponents will not be angry with me and start judging me. I have immense number of native plants in my garden -- at least twenty or more varieties -- and I am going to buy and plant more this year. But, I also like non-native flower plants. One of my main reasons for gardening is to help nature and all the bees, butterflies, birds and wild-life. The non-native plants also help my feather and pollinator friends, tremendously, in that sense. Case in hands -- lavender, dill, parsley, coriander, mint, lemon-balm-herb, vegetables and pear-tree -- all non-native plants. The lavender plants, mint and lemon-balm herbs are buzzing with bees and butterflies, from spring till late frost. The parsley and coriander all the time hosts some kind of big (yellow and black striped, but I don't know they belong to what species of butterflies) caterpillars. Vegetables (corn, tomato, peas, etc) and pears are eaten by birds, squirrels and other wild-lives (raccoon, deer, ground-hog, Opossum and skunks). So, you see, the non-native plants also help our wild friends.
To all my Non-American readers, I have to tell you that NJ is known as the Garden State in the US because of the tremendous number of greeneries, woods, state-protected parks and forests, farms and public-gardens it has. So, the show provided me with the opportunity to connect with many of the local farms around here. All these farms are family-owned businesses who advocates natural, organic methods of growing plants and carry all the various kinds of plants that are available in any garden-catalogs from anywhere. So, I hope to visit, one-by-one, each of these farms this year.