Shadows at the Portland Flower Show?

Liz DeSimone at the beginning of set-up

Lea Wait, here. One of the first signs of spring in Maine is the Portland Flower Show, held last week. Given the exigencies of life, however, I’d always wanted to go, but had never been until this year.   

So when Liz DeSimone, a member of the Maine Antiques Dealers Board of Directors (a board I’d also served my time on a few years back) called and said MADA was going to take a booth there this year, I immediately agreed to help out.

(One of the hats I wear, although not as often as in the past, is that of a 4th generation antiques dealer. I specialize in antique prints, just as my sleuth, Maggie Summer, does in my Shadows mysteries.)                  

MADA Booth Ready for Customers

           The idea was simple: MADA members would contribute antiques from their businesses that fit the theme of “gardens” or “flowers”, we’d display them for sale in one booth, remind people about our statewide organization of dealers, ( and give out directories with information about members’ shops.

For those of you who’ve never experienced the joy of setting up a vendor’s booth at a large trade show, I took a picture before we’d set up. We had one space, 10 feet by 10 feet, in which to display antiques donated by about thirty dealers. (Luckily, we had a corner space and no one stopped us from overflowing.)

Lea, with some of her botanicals

I brought botanical prints, both framed and unframed, wire walls to hang the framed prints on, and a free-standing print bin. Other dealers brought stenciled tin watering cans, wicker furniture, botanical china, garden tools, a quilt appliquéd with flowers, hooked rugs with floral designs, a magnificent bird house … an amazingly varied collection.

But if our booth was varied, it was nothing compared to what was in the rest of the Flower Show. From the other 80+ vendors you could, yes, buy flowers. But you could also buy nuts, hand lotion, hooks to organize tools in your barn, jewelry, modern bird houses, stuffed iguanas, top soil, teak furniture, pottery, stoves, bulbs, awnings, mud mats, mosquito repellant, poison ivy cures, porch swings, herbal remedies, and canvas bags in which to carry all those treasures (well, maybe not the top soil) home.

Bird Condo, in MADA Booth

And, yes, there were gardens. And, since it was Maine, rock gardens. And stone walls. And rocky landscaped paths. And waterfalls. Altogether, the gathering of vendors was rather amazing and fun.

How did the Maine Antique Dealers do? We sold a few things. We made a few friends. Enough so we’d consider doing it all again next year. Right now we’re too weary to decide.

But, who knows? Maybe Maggie Summer could take a booth at a garden show sometime. Lots of people admired her botanical prints. I wonder how deep those pools

One of Landscaping Exhibits

near the waterfalls were.  Just deep enough, I suspect. Especially if someone were to be hit on the head with a rock. Certainly there were  enough rocks in the landscaping areas. No one would miss one or two. And the exhibit buildings are locked all night ….                                                 

Shadows at the Flower Show. That just might work.

Stay tuned.

Flamingos For Sale! (Not in MADA Booth)


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6 Responses to Shadows at the Portland Flower Show?

  1. Working a show is alot of work, Lea. Hopefully it was worth it for you and the other dealers. At least you got a great shot of SPRING! and, as you point, out a few ideas for future mysteries!

  2. Wow, what a transformation! beautiful pics!

  3. I was there yesterday, after church! I actually thought of you when I saw the prints at the MADA booth (well situated as the first on you see entering the building!) It was a good, albeit smaller, show this year, but my friend said, as we exited, “It just doesn’t seem like as much of a getaway as it used to. When you enter the Flower Show through storm and slush and ice, it’s like a mini-vacation. But when you come out and it’s 64 degrees in early March…?”

    Stuff Mainers Like: complaining about the weather being TOO sunny and warm. 🙂

  4. lil Gluckstern says:

    Lovely pics. Is the weather the most talked about thing ever?

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