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VOL. 39 | NO. 5 | Friday, January 30, 2015

It’s a hands-on experience at Antiques & Garden Show

By Ellen Margulies

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25th annual Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville

When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, and Saturday, Jan. 31. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1

Where: Music City Center, 201 5th Ave. S.
Parking: A covered parking garage at the Center has 1,800 spaces. (More parking information at the website below).

Tickets: $20. For seniors 65 and older, active military and students: $12. Children 12 and under attend free.

Information: antiquesandgardenshow.com

Don’t just look; touch. Come in. Sit down. Marvel at the off-seasonal flora and run your hands along the mossy bench. Please, do.

That’s not necessarily what you’d expect to hear from the designer of a garden installation created just for the 25th annual Antiques & Garden Show, running Friday through Sunday at the Music City Center. But that is the message Phillipe Chadwick wants his garden exhibit to convey.

“I want people to feel comfortably in gardens that are created,” Chadwick says. “I want them to feel invited, and I want them to be interactive. I want people to experience them. I want them to come in and sit on the couches I’m creating out of moss; I want them to come in and sit and be a part of the space.”

Chadwick is one of five garden experts — some landscape architects, some garden designers, and some who would describe themselves somewhere in between — who will be creating interactive garden spaces for the show, whose proceeds benefit the nonprofits Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art and ECON (the Economic Club of Nashville), which raises money for more than 20 family- and children-focused charities.

Fittingly, Cheekwood, where Chadwick honed his gardening skills after working for a landscape architecture firm following college. “I was always more interested in the gardening and horticulture side than the landscape architecture side,” he says. “I was always more hands-on.”

About the show

Since the first Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville was held in 1990, more than $6 million has been raised for Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum, which was recently named one of the Top 10 Best Public Gardens nationwide, and charities supported by ECON, the Economic Club of Nashville (formerly known as the Exchange Club).

ECON raises money for more than 20 area family- and children-focused nonprofit groups, including Big Brothers of Nashville, Fannie Mae Battle Home for Children, Martha O’Bryan Center, the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School and the YWCA of Nashville.

The show is produced in partnership with ECON and relies on the help of more than 200 volunteers. Prizes are awarded to the best garden installation, although Cheekwood’s design is not eligible.

Both Cheekwood and ECON are 501(c)3 organizations.

Working as a full-time gardener at Cheekwood was wonderful, and it “kind of opened up my world I’m in now,” says Chadwick, a Nashville native who started his own firm in 2012. “I still love Cheekwood; I still work there all the time.”

For last year’s Antiques & Garden Show, Chadwick created a garden with an elegantly crumbling Victorian greenhouse theme. This year, he’s borrowing some of that same sensibility, with an overarching theme of “style.”

The show’s organizers chose fashion icon Oscar de la Renta and his wife, Annette, as honorary chairs, and they wanted to keep those plans in place even after the clothing designer’s death last fall.

The de la Rentas tie to Nashville? They were both clients and friends of the late Albert Hadley, the renowned interior designer who was a Springfield native and Peabody College graduate.

“They collaborated on some design things,” show co-chair Julie Fleming says of Hadley and Oscar. “It was a natural fit. He (Oscar) was excited to be a part of something Albert had loved so much.”

Fleming and co-chair Kae Gallagher say the show typically draws 10,000-15,000, and they have big things in store for attendees, including music from Suzy Bogguss and a keynote session headed by actor Diane Keaton, known for her iconic style and love of architecture and design.

The three-day show will feature more than 150 booths, lectures on design and gardening and book signings, in addition to the five interactive gardens.

Gardener Kathi Gilleland, half of the husband-and-wife team that makes up Poise & Ivy, says her inspiration for the 2015 show was Oscar’s well-documented love of color and his style influences that ranged from his own Latino background to gypsy cultures and a European sensibility. People will be able to see that in both her blooms as well as her hardscape, Gilleland says. She and her husband, Brian, have been working on their concept since August.

“Our design shows that you can mix a number of styles and that there are different ways of bringing color into your garden other than just through blooms, whether through foliage or a garden folly like our gypsy caravan,” says Gilleland, who’s been running her own garden design firm in Nashville since 1998. “The most important thing is to have fun when you design a garden.”

Everything from their garden exhibit — including that gypsy caravan — will be for sale, Gilleland says, and available when the show ends. She admits she’s particularly excited about this year’s show, from its recognition of Oscar de la Renta’s contributions to the world of style to the “bit of Hollywood” that Diane Keaton’s appearance will bring.

The show is considered the first and largest in the U.S. and has inspired similar shows across the country. “It should appeal to every lifestyle,” Gilleland says.

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