Let’s just say the hills (or at least the grounds) of the Cleveland Botanical Garden will be alive with the sounds of music May 24 through 28. Whether inspired by the rhythms of Latin America or the blues of Robert Lockwood Jr., the gardens and grounds of the Botanical Garden will be abuzz with almost 20 new gardens and other horticultural exhibits, demonstrations and a bustling garden marketplace. So we asked a few of the participants how the Cleveland Botanical Garden Flower Show theme “Rhythm and Hues” plays into their work. Listen up, and you just may be inspired yourself.
Name: Terry Ries The History: Ries used to work in the city’s biggest backyard — the Cleveland Metroparks — then got into residential landscape design with The Ohio Valley Group. The Medium: Using water as a symbol for tears and sweat — the core of blues music — the feature garden will include a 7-foot-high wall and waterfall to depict BB Kings’ “The Thrill is Gone.” The Inspiration: Blues as a human emotion. Three art pieces represent love, loneliness and loss. “It is something physical that you can feel and be inside of.”
Name: Nick DiGiorgio
The History: The arts and technology director for the Cleveland School of the Arts, DiGiorgio works with teachers to put on musical performances and visual arts exhibits.
The Medium: The Cleveland School of the Arts jazz and string students will perform throughout the garden and will collaborate with Oberlin’s jazz band.
The Inspiration: To prepare for their Caribbean theme, students were influenced by Latin American music, especially Putumayo World Music’s “Congo to Cuba.”
Name: Heidi O’Neill
The History: Exposed to gardening at an early age by her mother, O’Neill took classes on how to decorate with live greens at The Holden Arboretum and had her own vegetable garden at age 7.
The Medium: Her show garden will use wrought iron and old bricks to suggest the building facades of New Orleans. Look for textural plants, a raised fountain and sculptures that can be found in the French Quarter.
The Inspiration: The late Robert Lockwood Jr., who died last November. “I wanted him to come play in my garden.“
Name: Tasha Tobin
The History: A professional floral designer for seven years, Tobin was an artistic judge for The Garden Club of America.
The Medium: In the floral arranging category, each person is given a theme to interpret using flowers and other materials. In the past, Tobin has used yellow calla lilies, oncidium orchids and lily grass woven with branches.
The Inspiration: Accelerando — gradually quickening tempo in music. Since it’s a competition, she can’t reveal her plans yet, but says, “I am trying to visually express acceleration.”
Name: Catherine Miller
The History: Miller, a member of the Cleveland Botanical Garden and a floral/jewelry designer, became interested in jewelry design after Dottie Elliot, the founder of the Cleveland Botanical Garden Flower Show, set up a class to teach the techniques.
The Medium: She will use botanical materials such as nuts, seeds, dried flowers and leaves in the jewelry design competition.
The Inspiration: Miller, who will be entering three categories, will make a pin and earring set inspired by the pastel colors of the CBG gardens or a necklace with fiery and hot colors also found in the gardens.