Sunday @ the Spring Garden Fair *

Sunday dawned with blue skies and the promise of a much warmer day!  We did have a short scare when some fog blew over the Fairgrounds, but fortunately it left almost as quickly as it arrived.

Walking around on Sunday morning before the Fair opens is relaxing, one of the things I love about this volunteer gig.  Took care of some clean up with my signs and then started snapping photos!  The low sun shining thru the big tree on the Main Lawn is a favorite view thru my lens.  The empty rows rolling past the vendor booths whisper for foot and wagon traffic; the sign of a successful event.

Gates open, the crowd is smaller on Sunday.  It’s a peaceful day, for a moment.  Wheels roll past on the pavement as the chatter of excited shoppers begins to rise.  My goal for the day was to walk the rows in order, not zig zag the way I did it Saturday;  of course the plan was to wait for buying until later in the day, but I ended my walk with a small flat in one arm and my camera in the other!

Artwork sparkles in the sunshine, and the plants are plentiful.  Conversations are easy early in the day.  I checked in with a grower that brought in some plants for me, and talked to a few artists, calling out comments to some in passing about some of the photos I have taken. My thoughts were “Sunday is going to be a good day!”

Cheerful shoppers, friends and family walk around us. Parents and kids walk together, I saw several families chatting away, and my family came by too.  For Hubby’s mom we chose a beautiful fuchsia basket for her patio, and my granddaughter was walking around with a big grin, holding a pepper plant she had talked her dad into buying.

As the day grew later, the air was warm enough to shed the coats I had been wearing every day since the set-up began.  What a pleasure the sun is!  Vendors and volunteers look a bit bedraggled by mid-afternoon, and we all start to think about the tasks ahead; putting it all away for another year.  Putting on this event is a much bigger job than I had ever realized as a shopper.

I usually had Hubby drive me over with my wagon. I would walk the rows, choosing my plants for the year then walk the few blocks home.  It seemed like Sunday was a better day to go, less crowds if I got there early enough.  But it would really depend on the weather which day I chose to attend.  I don’t believe I ever had to shop in the rain.  The real work for me then was planting my new purchases when I got home.  I never dreamed that many of the people I walked past all those years would later become friends.

Around 3:15 it’s obvious that things are winding down.  Rumors of a vendor selling all their hanging baskets for $20.00 circulate among the Master Gardeners.  The vendors begin to line up their trucks in anticipation of loading up and leaving.  My job is to collect all the signs that I put up around the grounds. I have a helper for this task, which was really nice after two long days of walking around.  We drive the cart around the late shoppers. Each sign we take down makes the grounds look less like ours; for two days now it has been home to the Clackamas County Master Gardeners.  I enjoy staying busy, and pitching in when there is work to be done.  I think that is why I like taking care of the signs.  I do take most the photos for the group, and help with the webpage and more … but when it comes to hands-on projects, I am usually just taking pics.  On Sunday afternoon I feel like I am really part of the group, not just a recorder in the wings, and doing my share of what needs to be done.

By 6:00 most of the vendors are gone, and its just us left to tie up loose ends.  We smile tired smiles at one another, because we know the job we have done really makes a difference; to the vendors that offer their wares, to the shoppers looking for that special plant, or just the begonia that they get every year from that vendor in row A.  In a world of changes and fast pace living, our “little” Spring Fair is an event our shoppers have come to count on for a relaxing time; from buying plants to learning more about gardening, to the simple fellowship with like minded people.  Remember, we are all friends here!

Now there is more to the story, as there always is. Let the pictures tell their tale …. as we close the gates on the 28th Annual Spring Garden Fair.  We have the memories, and the plants to prove we were here!

(if you click the first photo a carousel will open to view the images larger) 

I want to thank my family and my friends for all the support you give me, allowing me to give so much to this event.  I will see you all next year, May 4 and 5, 2013

other posts in this series: 

Saturday @ the Fair*  

Setting it all up* Spring Garden Fair  

Pre post * Spring Garden Fair  

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Saturday @ the Fair *

The big day has finally arrived! The sky is white with cloud cover, and it’s a bit chilly out. But neither rain nor sleet nor the gloom of an Oregon day will deter the dedicated plant shopper from their task!

Two gates opened at 9 am, and in they came, pulling their wagons of all colors (mostly red).  Spirits are high as everyone makes their way to a favorite nursery or activity.  I think the thing that I like the most is all the chit chat and talking that goes one. We are all friends here, after all.

My job on this day is really much more like play than work as I walk around visiting with Fair-goers and snapping shots of what I see.  In sorting thru the photos I took today I am struck by the look of this years Fair.  There is most certainly a lot of red; red wagons and red plants.  And the green that we earn after months of rain, and a few warm days that make the trees and grasses at the fairgrounds so bright and fresh.  The cloud cover made the shadows soft, tho I would have preferred to see more sun brakes; I like the way the sunshine makes things sparkle.

And as I walked around today I found myself thinking about the past years I had spent, walking the same ground and buying from the same vendors.  Then I was just another shopper in the crowd.  My point of view has changed. After years of shopping this event I can now see both sides of the window, looking out and looking in. I walked down the aisle and into the booth where every year for countless years I have bought the coleus and impatiens for my deck pots.  This year I added a cool sage green colored fern to the flat of plants I bought.  Later in the afternoon I had a conversation with a vendor about how sales were going and if he liked his new booth space.  This was the conversation of an insider, and I enjoy that viewpoint.

Walking over to the Main Lawn vendor area, I am pleased to see so many shoppers have followed the signs and announcements to  find the booths located there.  And of course the food court!  The scent of that kettle korn was tempting me all day long, and I finally gave in late in the afternoon and bought a small bag to much on while sorting pics for this post.  Talking with shoppers is always fun, and I always seem to pick one wagon that I keep seeing as we both make our way around.

Saturday was a good day at the Fair. No rain, no wind, and plants galore.  I brought home a few too many today, and I am sure that there will be more tomorrow.

Enjoy the photos as they take you thru my walk, and don’t forget to read the captions that tell the rest of the story.

My next post will be about Sunday at the Fair.  Its usually a quieter day.  The weather man is promising some sunshine, I sure hope he is right!  After a full day at the fair, on Sunday night we take everything down and visit for a while.  It will be a long day and a late night, so the next post will be on Monday for you.

Thank you for walking thru Saturday at the Fair with me and my camera.

*Sharon

 

other posts in this series: 

Sunday @ the Spring Garden Fair*  

Setting it all up* Spring Garden Fair  

Pre post * Spring Garden Fair  

 

setting it all up * Spring Garden Fair

I think I like Friday the best of the Fair days.  It’s the day we begin to see the results of all our work, and its the day the plants arrive!!  Now I don’t know a single gardener that wont be excited seeing all those perfect little plants ready to find a permanent home.

My day began at 8 am in a drizzly rain. It was cold, in fact I am still pretty chilled.  I had to complete my job placing signs around the grounds, and see what other details needed my attention.  The sun came and went, it got hot then cold, wet then dry.  But we all went about our work, undaunted by the weather.  At 11 am the vendors begin to pull on to the tarmac and unload their wares.  It gets pretty crazy out there, all those trucks and trailers.  I was cruising around in one of the golf carts, finishing up most of the afternoon.  (and I have to say, my poor feet were grateful for the cart to drive around)

By  mid-afternoon the signs were all taken care of; it was time to get the camera out and take a look at the place thru my lens.  This is something I never tire of.  Each time I walk those aisles I see something different, and each year my focus changes.   Last year I remember being struck by how fresh and new everything looked. This year the textures of the leaves and the play of the light in the colors of the blooms really got my attention.  The light was constantly shifting thanks to the clouds that never stood still all day long.  And the wind was moving things around, tossing the potted trees on the ground and rustling the leaves of the perennials.  You would think that with all that wind, it would have been a loud day. But this year everyone seemed quieter, more focused on the task at hand. And just like that, the long day was coming to an end.  I was talking to some friends and tweaking some of the signs just a bit, and I noticed that most the vendors were done, and gone until the morning.  Just as the light was dropping below the rooftops, we closed the gate with everyone (mostly) ready for opening day; Saturday at 9 am.

Here are just a few of the things that me and my lens saw this afternoon. Click the first image to open the carousel of larger images.

Until tomorrow …. when I will bring you the opening day of our Fair!

 

 

other posts in this series: 

Sunday @ the Spring Garden Fair*  

Saturday @ the Fair*  

Pre post * Spring Garden Fair  

pre-post * Spring Garden Fair

Its that time of year, when every gardeners fancy turns to new plants, new artwork , a new project for the yard and garden.  Just in time for the annual Clackamas County Master Gardeners Spring Garden Fair.

And here I am, just 3 years after joining the group, working on the Spring Fair committee.  Did I ever mention that the reason that I wanted to become a Master Gardener™ was due to this annual event?  We have lived here for 20 years now, and every year I would take my wagon the few blocks to the fairgrounds and buy my little heart out; annuals, perennials, artwork to enhance my garden.  I can still look at the plants and things in my yard and know which ones came from the Spring Garden Fair.

The Fair takes a lot of planning, the committee numbers more than 25 volunteers that start planning in September.  It’s a great group, we are really committed to our event. A few members of this group have been volunteering at the Fair for over 10 years.   The set-up process takes about 4 days.  Today I was at the Fairgrounds where the set-up committee was measuring out the spaces for the 202 vendors, in the wind and rain.  The pots for the Potting Station were delivered, the sound guy was out there as I was leaving, setting up the speakers on the grounds.  And I was there sorting thru all the signs that we have made to direct vendor traffic, advertise our 10-Minute University™, and point out some of the great features we have at this years fair.

I love having a behind the scenes view.  And tomorrow I will share a glimpse of that with you, as we walk around and see how it all comes together, and I will begin my story of our 28th Annual Spring Garden Fair.

*Sharon

 

other posts in this series: 

Sunday @ the Spring Garden Fair*  

Saturday @ the Fair*  

Setting it all up* Spring Garden Fair  

 

11.11.11 * epilogue

Veterans Day: A U.S. holiday celebrated on November 11, honouring veterans of the U.S. armed forces and those killed in battle. Originally called Armistice Day, it began as a commemoration of the ending of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. After World War II it was recognized as a day to pay tribute to all service members, and in 1954 it was designated as Veterans Day.  The holiday is called Remembrance Day in Canada and Remembrance Sunday (on the Sunday nearest to November 11) in Britain.

The truth is, I never really gave much thought to Veterans Day, even though I was clearly involved.  But lately, maybe its my age, or the times, I find myself understanding more what it all means.  The past few days I have been blogging for you about just that.

My father never had the chance to serve in the military, though he was in the Michigan Guard for a time.  It was me that took that step for our immediate family. Two of my cousins also served in the U.S.A.F.  Husband’s Dad was in the Air Force as a young man, and served in the Oregon Guard as well. He also has an Uncle that flew in the Berlin Airlift.  His cousin is a retired U.S.A.F. Colonel.  He flew F-16’s when he was active duty.  Even though we both had family in the service, I wouldn’t say that we came from a military background ourselves.  In peacetime, enlisting is a very different mindset, I think.  If we were to enlist today, it would be pretty certain that we would serve some time in a conflict zone.

We hear it all the time now, and especially on these special days (Veterans Day, 4th of July) how we owe our freedoms to the people that take that oath, and the families that support them.  Its quite fashionable now to have family in the service, and if we don’t, to do something ourselves to support the military in some way.  Last night Hubby and I found ourselves at Applebees, along with many other Vets from various terms of enlistment.  They were offering meals as a Thank You to those who have served. The staff was very attentive and seemed to genuinely care that we were there.  We met a young woman who works for a non-profit creating care packages to send overseas.  What a great cause for our youth to be involved in!  It takes courage to serve, even if your service is here at home.  And its refreshing to have that part of our lives (as Vets) validated.  I was always proud of being in the military, it’s great now to be recognized for that service.

My service, and my husband’s and cousins and Uncle’s service didn’t directly effect your life, your freedoms. But if had been required to, we would have done exactly what we promised in that oath we took; I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  The voices and raised hands behind this oath are just one of the things that keeps  our Constitution alive.

The photos I have posted below are of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Canby, Oregon.  I went there yesterday to take photos of the new bronze soldier that was added this year. *click the photos to view full size images ~