There’s always so much to take in at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, and this year’s – possibly the last ever – was no exception. But where to focus your energy? Here’s what stood out for me.
1. Japanese fusion. There’s something so very Pacific Northwest about modern minimalism-meets-Japanese tradition. One could almost say it’s a cliche. But it’s not to the point of being overdone, so let’s refrain from dismissing it just yet. And personally, I love this look. Click, the display garden by Shapiro Ryan Design is a gorgeous example of this garden style done right. Not only are the physical structures of this garden beautifully constructed but the colour echoes in the plantings are stunning yet subtle. In the top photo, Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ stands out against a backdrop of Anemanthele lessoniana (New Zealand wind grass).
Love the cedar boardwalk. So Pacific Northwest!
2. NYC rooftop lust. Rebecca Cole’s Sky’s the Limit gave me serious garden envy (I wasn’t the only one lusting, apparently; this garden won Best in Show.) I love the innovative seating – both the structure, created of wireframe-enclosed logs – and the bold modern fabric of the cushions. She’s also created “area rugs” of hardy succulents – under the coffee table, for example. What a great concept. They’re permeable water-holding areas, slowing down rain water runoff and looking great in the process.
Sky’s the Limit makes a big impact with a limited colour palette. Love the Mondrian-esque greenwall.
3. Fab Prefab. Modern Shed has been making waves in the design community for its minimalist prefabricated sheds. Their Studio Shed was featured in this display garden by Serene Scapes Seattle.
4. 200 square feet of cool, clean modernism. The unofficial award for best sales booth goes to Smith & Hawken. Green wall panels (modified from the ones they sell, perhaps?) framed the area, while succulents and orchids spilled from oversized containers. The flooring was an attractive – if a bit unstable – mix of wooden decking and faux sod.
5. Fresh water. This waterfall (by Mark the Pond Guy) is fed by rainwater harvested from the metal roof and stored in a cistern under the patio. Neat.
6. More succulents than you could shake a stick at. Poly Pots had a lovely display of cool-toned pots, along with a fantastic selection of rare succulents and other plant oddities. I only wished I could bring a few back over the border.
7. Doing shrooms. Fungi is hot this year. Fungi Perfecti was there, of course, but mushrooms were also popping up as garden art. Could we be seeing some cross-pollination from the popularity of the woodland theme in fashion and interior decor?
8. Citrus reign. Splashes of citrus dominated many of the display gardens. Here’s lemon yellow in a display by Pots2Go in the container garden gallery.
9. Compact greenhouses. Okay, so it’s not the sexiest thing in the world, but it’s seed starting time and I’m liking the compact nature of this “space-saver greenhouse” by Sunglo. Still too big for my space, but we’re getting there.
10. Going live. Seattle local Willi Galloway from Diggin Food met up with me and my family at Vios, a hopping Greek deli in Capitol Hill. It was great to meet in person after so many virtual exchanges. And as other Seattle garden bloggers have suggested, next time (and I have a feeling there will be a 2010 show) we’ll have to set up a garden blogger’s meet up.
So interesting to see your take. I’m envious that you got to shoot photos while the hordes were away! Buttcracks aside, you got to see everything from a bit more of a contemplative viewpoint. Fun that you met up with Willi! I think there will be a next time, or something in its place. I am game to propose/organize a bloggers’ round-table or other event. Vios is yummy, we have a new outpost of it near us. Very kid-friendly, didn’t you find?
Andrea Bellamy says
Karen – I agree: there will be a next time – or some version of it. And we should definitely do a blogger event. Yay! That’s exciting. I don’t want to wait until 2010, though. What else is coming up that we can use an excuse to get together? Yes, Vios was great. And very kid-friendly for sure!
I wish we had something like that here. Our “garden” show involves every non-gardening business in town peddling their goods and services.
Love the greenhouse. I think I’ll add it to dh’s to build list!
I love the greenhouse. I hope to replace my rusty shed with one of those… One day…
Thank you for these highlights. Great selection. Although I’d love to have the space and resources to create a Sky’s the Limit outdoor space, I’d be thrilled with enough room for the compact greenhouse.
Andrea! Love your blog! It’s beautiful and your photos from the show are fabulous. I’m so thrilled you included my container display in your posting. Being in the show this year was a fun, fabulous, creative and exhausting experience. I tried to demonstrate that we can’t all live in penthouses, but we can have some fun and be inventive with the space we have. And you’re right — yellow is so in. Michelle wore it!
rebecca cole says
Andrea, great round up about the show. So much to admire and really fun to see all the pictures now that I am back in New York with only memories. Thanks for the kind words about my garden it was great fun to design a garden without a client in mind…I could put all my favorites things under (or in this case over) the space. Designing fabrics, furniture, tiles etc was a real thrill but seeing them all together fun, fun, fun.
I wish I could live in the penthouse too. Oh well, a girl can dream.
Andrea Bellamy says
Jen – Hey, do you live in Vancouver? Our “garden” show sounds just like yours! Magic Mops galore.
Adriana – I’d love to have space for one! Even the “condo-sized” greenhouse is too big for my condo.
Elaine – Indeed! You and me both.
Kelli – thanks so much for your comment. I can only imagine what it’d be like to participate in such an event.
Rebecca – thanks! It was great meeting you. And I truly loved your display. I’m totally nicking some of your ideas!
Great photos and coverage. I’m having garden show envy. Our show in Boston is not happening this year. Looks like you went away with lots of cool ideas, including creative ways to use small spaces.
Thanks for the show report. A garden blogger meet up would be good. Would love to see you in Chicago for the Spring Fling. I am going, and a lot of other garden bloggers are too.~~Dee
Mark The Pond Guy says
I just stumbled across this blog, and lo and behold, there is a display I created at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show! Thanks for listing it. Great blog post!
Mark The Pond Guy
The Pond Store