PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - It's an annual tradition for thousands of people to escape from the snow and cold weather and enter a flower wonderland inside the Portland Company Complex.
The building is blossoming with 16 displays from the most creative landscapers, florists and designers in Maine. This year's challenge was to interpret the theme, "timeless gardens," into their display. Many of the landscapers say it's amazing to see how their fellow artists incorporated the theme. We were amazed too. One landscaper was inspired by the Roman Empire, using red and gold flowers, in addition to two live golden pheasants in a lavish cage. Next to the pheasants were miniature trains running on tracks, as part of the neighboring landscaper's idea that trains in New England are timeless. Trains may have changed over time, but the AMTRAK is just as important for many travelers as the original railways were hundreds of years ago.
The winner of this year's "Best of Show" award went to Skillins Greenhouses and Prays Hardscape for their "Gone Fishin'" interpretation of the theme. Chad Skills says he thought of that concept while they were packing up last year's display.
Upon entering the flower show, spectators will be greeted by the sights, sounds and aromas of the display by Coastal, Incorporated. That company won the John Skillin First-Timers Award for its attention to detail.
Of course, there is still one more award that any landscaper could still win. That's the People's Choice Award and it's given out on Sunday at the end of the 4-day show. The organizers tally up the votes that everyone submitted throughout the show, and the display with the most votes, wins!
As quickly as the designers had to set up their hardscapes and floral arrangements, they have to take everything down. Not all the flowers will go to waste, though. On Sunday, there will be a silent and live auction for people to take home some of the plants. Proceeds will go to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Demonstration Garden at Tidewater Farm and the Maine Harvest for Hunger Gardens in Cumberland County.