PlantTherapy: At The Gramercy Garden & Antiques Show

PlantTherapy: At The Gramercy Garden & Antiques Show

Maxwell Ryan
Mar 3, 2006

Because I am always on the lookout for furniture that goes well with plants, I was curious to see how the antique dealers at the Gramercy Show would think about choosing objects to go with plants and flowers.

At this show they have done all the work, with expert eyes. And by observing what the pros have done, it can change how one perceives a trip to the local, or rural, antique store when looking to have a more organic décor.

My first impression was that there were many large objects, mostly fit for someone who has a backyard or roof garden – not so applicable to the average apartment dweller. But as I circulated I saw that there was a variety in size, shape – and price - that showed what could fit into an assortment of spaces.

Some vendors had a literal connection to plants, like the botanical prints and topiaries. Others were more playful, like antique gramophone bells that looked like huge morning glories. Coral peeked out of a few displays, a nice plant complement. Gotham Gardens, a great florist on the UWS, has a display of beautiful indoor plants. Jon Carloftis displayed white art deco vases (I forget the name, but Martha Stewart is a big collector – anyone?) that look great with or without flowers.

One of the most enjoyable observations for me was seeing how moss and patinas from exposure to the elements played a part in the character of objects. The nice part of objects interacting with plants and the garden environment is this gentle decay. Oxidation in various forms, worn wood, moss and lichen growth. These elements can safely, even if just in small amounts, have a home indoors.

The show goes until Sunday. If you plan to go, try to arrive so that you can benefit from the lectures. If you are looking for a rare look into New York's urban gardens and listen to an infectious speaker, then plan on Jon's lecture on Saturday. - Matt N.

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