Home and Garden Show

We went to the Home and Garden show at Southern Maine University today. It was a nice Maine scale event, a fraction (maybe as much as a quarter, maybe more like a tenth) as big as the Boston Home Show. Just exploring another town past Portland was interesting. We’ve tried to get to Casco from exit 47 on the Maine Turnpike instead of our regular exit 48 a couple of times, and managed to get here after stopping for directions, but I can’t say I know the route. This trip helped me put my schema of that part of the world together a little better so maybe I’ll not get lost next time I try that route.

It was farther to the show than it is from Newton to the big expo centers in Boston, but less hassle driving and parking. Some neighbors of ours who have a window treatment business, Budget Blinds (I think it’s a franchise), had a booth at the show, so we stopped and said hi and they asked us if their dogs were coming by our property these days. That’s an example of the small town-ness of Maine; we’d be unlikely to know anyone running a booth at the Boston home show.

We were hoping to learn something about what plants are reasonable to try to grow here. There were only a couple of garden exhibits at the show. Most of the outdoor type booths were more masonry, “hardscapes” it seems to be called these days, brick and stone patios and firepits and pergolas. There was one nursery booth with a young woman who seemed very knowledgable. Arlene asked about a witch hazel bush in the display and the woman at the booth told us what the cultivar was and that it would grow at that particular location, which is in zone five, but that if we lived a couple of towns north, like Raymond (which is one town south of us yet) we would be hardiness zone four and that variety wouldn’t make it.

So here are a couple of pictures from the show —

We had witch hazel on the mind because this bush was blooming on the campus between where we parked and the field house where the show was:

I loved the “no gasoline!” notice on what you would think was the filler cap door of this electric car. The top speed of 25 mph was a turn-off, though. I guess it’s OK if you’re really only driving in city traffic.

When we looked on the web for information about the show yesterday, we saw that one of the exhibitors was Mainely Ticks. We couldn’t really figure out what they would be selling. I mean, we picked enough ticks off ourselves and Dozer last summer that I wasn’t interested in buying any. We did end up buying two little tick removal tools. I hope we find the ticks before we have to pry them off, but these looked like well designed, durable little gizmos.

Two things we were definitely interested in were on-demand water heaters and standby emergency electric generators. There were people selling those items, so we got some useful information. And in a slightly related exhibit, how about this nice vintage oil truck?

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