Sunday, February 15, 2015

Knox Home and Garden Show

We had the pleasure of attending the Knoxville Home and Garden Show on Saturday, courtesy of Stanley's Greenhouses, the sponsor of the "Garden Talk" radio broadcast. While we were blown away by the creative and beautiful exhibits presented by local landscapers and garden centers, more booths featured vendors of home improvement products than of garden products, based on my casual assessment. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Merely a caution to those who might attend seeking the latest in herb plants or vegetable seeds. More likely, you can learn about hardscape, replacement windows, and outdoor kitchens.

Two exhibits stood out in particular. The model railroad exhibit by Mark W. Fuhrman Complete Landscape Services, Inc., and the exhibit by Earthadelic, Inc., featuring dramatic lighting effects.

Fuhrman's model railroad is remarkably detailed, and depicts Smoky Mountain scenes with great accuracy. In the photo, a steam engine bearing the "Smoky Mountain RR" name passes a diesel engine from the Southern Railway System. The chimney on the mountain cabin in the background was created from river pebbles. The attention to details, right down to the Tremont Motel sign on a tiny replica building, is amazing.

Earthadelic, Inc. captured the beauty of a dormant coral bark maple (Acer palmatum cultivar) with uplighting using LEDs tuned to enhance the maple's outstanding winter coloration. Paired with forced tulips and blue hydrangeas, the effect was dramatic, as you can see from the image.

One highlight of the show, alone worth the reasonable price of admission, is the exhibit of fine woodworking from the Appalachian Center for Craft at Smithville. Both furniture and art works are on display, with several of the master cabinetmakers on hand to talk about their work. We saw some truly fine examples of inlaid decoration, and both modern and classical furniture, flawlessly executed in woods ranging from exotic ebony and zebra-wood to regional hickory, sugar maple and oak. Only some of the pieces are for sale.

The show runs through today, and is a fundraiser for the Dogwood Arts Festival. Take the family, and enjoy a taste of spring, as you wander through the exhibits featuring forced blooms and fresh green leaves. A good way to prepare yourself for the snowy cold coming this week.