I like going to the show because it’s a reminder to get going on my own garden. I also get to hear about all the challenges that in-ground gardeners face that container gardeners don’t. That reminds me that despite the limitations of growing in containers, the grass may be greener on the other side, but it likely has slugs.
It’s also an opportunity to try out a new lens. Last year, I shot the show exclusively with my 50mm F1.4 on my Pentax K10d. This year, I used my Pentax DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED (IF) Fish-Eye Lens.
The lens is great at capturing wide angles and perfect for cramped locations. It’s not as fast at the 50mm, but even though my exposures are more challenging (for some shots I cranked the ISO to 1600), I don’t have the same depth of field issues I had last year. At the same time, the Fish Eye presents its own distortion challenges and opportunities.
Here are some things I found interesting at the show.
It seems like those reusable grocery store shopping bags are multiplying as quickly as my now close to three pallets of Target plastic shopping bags. Why not use them as planters?
I’m pretty disappointed with the cold frames I bought last year. They felt cheap. The installation was complicated and flimsy. One of them fell apart over the winter and the other is barely hanging on. Plus, because they are big, light-weight plastic boxes, I have to come up with ways to tie them down so they don’t blow off my roof in the middle of a storm. Or light breeze.
Sow why not reuse some old windows and and bricks instead? This is a stunningly simple set up and one I will have too investigate further this fall.
I had to stare at this picture for a little while until I figured out what was going on in it. It’s Matchbox (or similar) truck and bull dozer.
I have not idea what a metal dragon is doing at the Garden Show, but I’m glad it was there.
Concrete is a pretty amazing material. This is an over-sized red chair made from it.
This was one of the first displays. They build a shack or studio house in the lobby and had stairs on the side. When you got to the top, you saw a lovely rooftop garden (as though you were on top of the Kwik-E-Mart) with solar cells. It’s a nice example of the potential of urban gardening ad microgrid technology.
People crowded the exhibit hall, making it difficult to move. But there were lots of shiny, colorful things to see.
How much does a boulder weigh? Here’s and interesting guide.
I don’t know why I keep looking at green houses. One isn’t in my future anytime soon. What I like about this photos is that you see how the fisheye lens distorts the straight lines.
The display gardens are a highlight of the show. They had live chickens in this one. Can you spot one?
I took these next two shots from the same spot – one shot with the lens zoomed all the way out and another with it zoomed all the way in.
Here is another example of the different focal lengths. There are a few other things I like about the image of this garden (which is a tribute to the Wizard of Oz). First, I love the colors of the pots and building. The subtle lighting really enhanced that. The other thing i noticed is just how well the lens worked with the available light. You can see the fountains in the second image look remarkably clear considering the available light and the fact that I was zoomed in pretty tight (f/8, 1/90 second, ISO 1600).
These two images are another example of zooming in and out. You can also get a sense of the crowd in the second image.
These next three images show how you can convert an old truck into a garden. While this might not be something one would do, it does illustrate some possibilities and may inspire other ideas. And there’s more livestock in this garden.
In the days before digital photography, every frame you shot cost money. Between film costs and processing costs, you had to think more before you pulled the trigger. And those habits became ingrained over time. If you wanted to remember a sign, you took notes.
Digital photography is different. When you want to remember the name of an exhibit, don’t write it down. Take a picture of the sign instead.
The Gnome-American community made its presence felt. Every garden needs gnomes.
The wide angle lens made these next two shots possible.
The atrium over Pike St held some other artistic gardens. I like the playful and creative use of plants and planters here.
These images are from the atrium over Pike St. They again illustrate the difference between using the lens at 17mm and using it at 10mm.
It was a fun show. I’ll guess I’ll have to find a new lens if the show comes back again next year.