Ahh, spring. A season where gardeners breathe a sigh of relief that winter is ending and a new growing season is beginning. We are rested, revived, and ready to get back among our plants. But, as spring weather can be fickle, I’ve learned to look to Mother Nature for signs that spring is most definitely on its way. The call of the red-winged blackbird, the sight of an American robin, the sound of peeper frogs singing, and spotting the emergence of crocus, daffodils, and tulips; these are all harbingers of spring. And so is the Adams Garden Show.
I have been attending this garden show for years, and it always comes when I need it the most- a time when I am desperate for flowers and longing for color in the landscape. Adams Fairacre Farms has been a staple in the Hudson Valley in New York for over a hundred years, and this year marks their 39th Garden Show. Each year, I arrive at the show with anticipation and excitement, thinking that they can’t possibly top the previous year’s display. Yet, they prove me wrong every single year.
It’s been a long time since we’ve been on a field trip, so let’s get started!
The Adams Landscape Team constructs the garden displays inside their 6,000 square foot greenhouses. The show provides work for the team in the winter months and runs for just one short week before being disassembled to make room for potted plants and seedlings. As I entered the greenhouse this year, I was immediately met by a prominent water feature that took center stage in the display. A bubbling stream ran from the top of a flower-laden hill down into a small pond. It was amazing and set the mood for the entire show. I can’t even begin to imagine the team’s work to construct this towering water feature.
As I meandered along the path among the many blooms, I could feel all the tension dissipate as a peaceful calm washed over me. The bright colors, warm air, and smells of spring were all like an elixir.
Tulips in every shade stood tall and proud, daffodils with their cheery dispositions waved as I passed, crocus, lilacs, rhododendrons, and violas all waited patiently to have their turn to say hello. As I passed each one, I offered a smile.
Around another corner, I discovered two additional water features. First, another babbling brook ran through a fairy village planted with ferns, hostas, and daffodils. Mini figurines of woodland creatures added to the feeling that you were a special guest stepping into a secret fairy world.
The second water feature consisted of three large stone fountains facing one another in conversation, bubbling over with water as if sharing the local woodland gossip. I chuckled and left them to continue their chat by the water cooler.
I was delighted by all the whimsical details throughout the show: birdhouses hanging among flowering branches, statues of woodland creatures hidden among blooms, and the witty placement of comical figurines. Each year, the landscape team creates a scavenger hunt with their figures for the children attending the show. In years past, you would find kids, scavenger list in hand, excitedly parading around the beds searching for creatures. Shouts of “I found it!” filled the air as they delightedly crossed the item off their list. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the scavenger hunt has spread throughout the store to discourage crowding in the greenhouse, but it is still a charming part of the show.
I always enjoy attending the Adams Garden Show; it helps prepare my mindset for spring. I leave feeling refreshed and uplifted and even more eager to get back into my garden. The displays give me the flower fix I so desperately need after a long, cold winter. I can now only hope that Mother Nature gets the memo that spring needs to make its appearance. Although, March’s fickle weather seems to be in disagreement, as it is currently snowing outside my window. Perhaps I’ll head back to the Adams Garden Show so that I can get another dose of spring.