Monday, February 23, 2015

Northwest Flower and Garden Show: Monumental Garden Displays

It's the 2015 Northwest Flower and Garden Show. You've finally arrived. After winding your way past the gorgeous display of Spring flowering bulbs presented by the "Flower Growers of Puget Sound", you buy your ticket and in you go.
I had never been to the NWFGS garden show before and it took me a moment to get my bearings among the crowds and enormous displays.  I did not know that there was a garden design competition, let alone on such a grand scale. 

The South Hall of the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle had 20 life size representations of that design company's style or aesthetic. What a wonderful way to bring your vision to life.

There were boulders as big as a Fiat, full-size trees, real grass, giant water features, small buildings, glass greenhouses - all telling a story in keeping with the theme: Romance Blossoms.  

You know that I love dollhouses and the attention to detail in teeny-tiny scale.  I enjoyed these full-size vignettes for the same reason. They were like dollhouse presentations, but in 12:12 scale. Each display was to look as if it were being actively used. Look closely and I'm sure you'll see a garden magazine on a tabletop or candles lit on a table. From my pictures, you can see a picnic in the display "Romantic Folly" (last image) that has a piece of cake that I've been eyeing all day. Let me show you some of the displays that spoke to me:

Love the Space You're In by Susan Browne was a favorite display of mine because it was so crisp and pretty, it looked like a cover from HGTV magazine. I feel certain that Susan has inspired a lot of people to paint their front door cobalt blue this Spring. The plentiful groupings of orange tulips proves that the color wheel does indeed work. Blue and its opposite orange are perfect together. I love Susan's design pattern from plant to porch. I've seen several photos of her display, but none from this angle. So pretty!
A Moment to Remember by Nature Perfect Landscaping and the Nature Perfect Design Team (above). This landscape had a open gate at the end of this water hovering walkway and the scene begged show goers to pose for a photograph. If ever there was a perfect backdrop for a "I'm at the Garden Show" selfie, this is it. 

I loved this display garden for its movie set quality - it reminded me of where Robin Hood might propose to Maid Marian. Can't you just hear Bryan Adams singing his ballad?
Thank you, Bryan.
Birds Do It...Bees Do It (above) by the West Seattle Nursery. Did you notice the tower of boxes? Those are artistic and colorful bee boxes underscoring the important role bees play in our garden-loving lives. I think of this as "pollination station" and I am so glad that the West Seattle Nursery reminded us all to plant the flowers and herbs that are so important to sustaining the birds and the bees.
Knotty and Nice...Here's to We Time (above) by Karen Stefonick Design. There was a sense of peace and grace in this backyard oasis.  A cozy seating area for a couple to talk and drink up coffee, wine and the quiet. This space was dedicated to human connection and it was all I could do not to sit up there with Dan and tell him all about what I was seeing at the show. Bravo.
"Romantic Folly" by Pamela Richards and Falling Water Gardens (above). I had a chance to speak with Pamela and she told me that she loves the website Pinterest and the endless inspiration it can bring to gardeners and creatives alike. 

When I told her that my name was Anne, she mentioned her love of Anne of Green Gables and I said, "I knew it!" Earlier I had asked her if Downton Abbey had influenced her designs, but no. There was a romantic sensibility in her work that I couldn't put my finger on. Then she told me herself. This woman knows Anne Shirley. Nice job, Pamela. So many of us would like to spend an afternoon picnicking in your outdoor landscape. #NWFGS

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