Vancouver Garden Show highlights

While my participation in the disembowelment of a display garden was certainly memorable, I scored more than just discount perennials at the Vancouver Garden Show.

I was very pleased to discover that, although some of the feature gardens kind of sucked (it’s no Chelsea, that’s for sure), the “urban deck showcase” had some really great patios on display. And, I managed to meet the designers behind my favourite three. Can I just say that my generation is rocking? I hear all this stuff about younger people not being interested in gardening, but the best designs were by young’uns.


First up, Aloe Designs and their sleek and sexy patio (above). Um, drool. Owners Owen and Caitlin seem like my kind of people. They have a wicked sense of style and are interested in sustainability and food security issues. Owen even graduated from the same garden design program as me.

Then there’s Steve from Urban Escapes (whose gorgeous deck I posted a couple days ago). I’m coveting his mad skills in carpentry and construction – if only I could build a screen like that! I love the minimalist water feature he built into that little space.

Finally, there’s Lalieth from Outside Contemporary Garden Design, whose luscious plant combinations are truly inspired. Her deck display demonstrated that you can have a functional, beautiful garden in the space the size of a Mini Cooper.

It’s always fun to meet the people behind one of your favourite products. So it was great to meet Rick from SeaSoil, a family-run, Vancouver Island-based business producing the organic soil I’ve been using in my garden for years. It’s created from a mixture of fish and forest fines composted for two years (so there’s no smell). Rick is now the General Manager in charge of sales and promotions, but he used mix the fish, drive the dump-truck and all kinds of stinky stuff, so he’s got a great insight into the workings of the industry.

I’ve talked about the evils of peat moss before, but until recently, there didn’t seem to be an easy substitute for the bog-draining stuff. Enter Paul from Grotek, another BC company, with Coco Earth, a coconut coir-based medium. I’m excited to try this one out.


On the inspiration side of things, I loved the way this garden integrated edible mushrooms. I am so nicking this idea for my shade garden.


And while I won’t be using this idea in my garden, I loved the detail behind artist Nicole Dextras’ floral armchair.

How long ’til next years?

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