Comfy benches warm up a cold stone wall. A beehive gets circus-colorful. A wiry orange table makes friends perk up, and rusty steel grounds a garden scene.
These were many of the ideas I found when wandering through Portland’s Yard, Garden & Patio Show with my camera last weekend. I always like this show for its I-can-do-that vibe, and this year did not disappoint.
Here are some shots from my tour.
Thanks to everyone who helped make the Portland show another rousing success, including Lucy Hardiman and Nancy Goldman, who do great work presenting a wide variety of seminars.
Crowds will pack the convention center in downtown Seattle this weekend for the final two days of the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
I spent the day there yesterday, and was inspired by reuse of old stuff, some interesting new ways to grow plants, a “steampunk” inspired show garden, and seeing old friends.
Here are some images from my visit.
It was loud when we arrived with our ladders and buckets. Back-up beeping echoed through the cavernous concrete hall. They let us drop off our painting supplies inside, so I drove our old Subaru right up onto the show floor, among the giant trucks and front-end loaders.
My wife and I were at the Washington State Convention Center to help build the Arboretum Foundation’s display garden for the big Northwest Flower & Garden Show, which opened Wednesday and runs through Sunday. I’d never really helped before, but this year they asked Susie to design and paint the backdrop for the plantings, so I signed on to assist.
The build started on Saturday, and as soon as the raw plywood wall was up, we popped the lids on the paint. Through Saturday and Sunday, we rolled and brushed, standing back and eyeing the results, fending off the garden creators who wanted to get those ladders out of the way so they could shovel in the sawdust and move in the plants. I didn’t blame them. But our part needed its time.
A Seattle Times videographer, Lauren Frohne, “embedded” herself with the team who was designing and building the garden. See her results in the linked video.
Led by Bob Lilly and Phil Wood, the team was building platforms and bringing in plants large and small, from cedar and cherry trees to trays of tiny succulents. They placed the potted treasures carefully, fussing over the angles, teasing the blooms out of the leaves, poking tiny flowers up through rolled-out sod.
I love the design for its realness. Titled “Picture Yourself on Azalea Way,” it evokes the Washington Park Arboretum’s most famous strolling path. Although it’s clearly a fantasy, put together and bloom-forced for a five-day show, it is a showcase of many of the plants that you would see if you actually took that stroll.
As they always do, the Arboretum Foundation designers have inserted a subtle teaching message into their beautiful creation: here’s a garden you could have at home. Kudos, Bob and Phil.
You won’t see us in that video, because the garden is all about the plants, as it should be. But look beyond the plants to the backdrop, a green-and-black canvas upon which the flowering palette is spread. I’m proud of the effect, which is especially effective if you see it in person, under the dramatic, subdued lighting.
The garden has been awarded a bronze medal, but I’m still seeing green. And scraping a little of it from under my fingertips.
Got some old stuff sitting around? How about repurposing! The toolbox could be a planter, and the old door might make a great chair back. Much more at the ReStore booth.
Rustic garden archway with Ginny Ruffner’s organic glass sculptures.
Look out for zombies!
Darwin’s muse, on a grand scale.
Vertical gardens, framed.
On “rusty lane,” handmade
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In the small space atrium, a jungle aquarium…
and a nod to the Impressionist painters.
A metalwork flower and hummingbird.
Had a quick look at the display gardens at this year’s Northwest Flower & Garden Show, which opens today, and here is an instant star, and an award-winner.
I love the tower of mushrooms being cultured in logs, and the bench filled with preserved veggies. In the foreground, asparagus spears poke through compost, surrounded by salad greens.
Called Nature’s Studio, this garden was created by the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals – King
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Congratulations on a great creation.