Friday, February 22, 2019

The Northwest Flower and Garden Festival, Part 1: The Display Gardens

This show at the Convention Center in Seattle is a much anticipated event for gardeners and garden lovers in the northwest. Tom and I attended on Thursday, rising early in order to get parking at the light rail station near our home.  Arriving in the city about 7:00 AM, we spent the next hour and a half at a Starbucks, enjoying coffee and breakfast, while reading the newspaper. 

At 8:30 it was time to walk over to the Convention Center to pick up my media pass, which allowed free entry for me. Since I am a blogger who often features gardens and gardening, I qualify as "Media", so I am fulfilling my duties with the series of posts. Thanks for being my "subscribers". 

Then we met up with my cousin Kris, who decided to join us this year, and entered the display hall shortly after the first rush at 9:00.

There are many aspects of this show, including huge sections of market displays of arts and crafts, gardening tools and products, plants, and even a vintage market. However the highlight of the show is always the large professionally produced display gardens. It's here where we always start, beginning with the plunge into spring in the entry hall.

Inside the main display area, you are immediately immersed in a wonderland of color. 

 The theme this year is Gardens Around the World, and this garden, with its wonderful use of stone, represents Ireland. 

 Really, I should be reporting on which landscape designers and nurseries build each garden display, but since I was also visiting with my cousin while trying to take in every plant and feature, I didn't keep track. You'll have to blame Kris. :-)
I do know that this is the garden of Dan Robinson, bonsai guru and plant collector extraordinaire. 

I think we're still in Ireland.

This Asian garden was a favorite, especially because of the dragon.

 Yes, that is natural and carved wood. 
 The Orchid Society display is always lovely. Orchids are so photogenic. 

 I believe this was Switzerland. 

 I liked the stone daisies in the lawn, but I don't think the lawn mower would. 

 This garden is definitely tropical, and a lovely display of what would be house plants here. 
 I liked the little details, like the edging of small Sansevieria and black stones above the African design covered retaining wall. 

  Bromeliads and fritillaria. An unusual and wonderful combination. 
 This small island bed had cool patterns of succulents surrounding a great stone sculpture. 

I loved the big, shiny orbs in this green and white garden. 
 We are somewhere in the Middle East now. 

 Tom has decided he needs a citrus tree now, to grow in his green house. He will be shopping for a Meyer lemon. 
 He got up close to study the tortured trees on the bonsai display.

 I think this may be my favorite garden, because of the use of color, texture, and form.

Solar camping!

 This English style greenhouse is too pretty for dirt and plants. I would want it for a summer house with cushiony wicker furniture, and staff to bring me tea and crumpets. 
 These wonderful mossy screens surrounded the wine bar, 

 One of the repeated features in several gardens was the use of beautiful wood slab furniture, with what is referred to as "live edge". 
 I would certainly do alfresco lunch here. 
That is just a quick tour of what we spent nearly two hours admiring in the display garden hall. 

Look for more posts as I get to them.


  1. I like the way you zoomed in on some of the details. I love the bonsai trees. They always fascinate me.

  2. WOW! What a massive and beautiful post. A person could get a complete education in there.

  3. Just what I needed to see on this snowy day!!

  4. I loved the Asian one too, the dual windows/perspective to draw you in was really amazing

  5. I liked the combo of Fritillaria and Bromeliads too. That Ghanaian garden was my favorite. I liked those mossy screens around the wine bar too. I have so many bits and bobs of lichenous and mossy branches, I could probably make something similar. Thanks for sharing your photos. Looking forward to seeing more. It was fun to say hi to you at the show.

  6. I haven't been there for some years, but since I went at least three times, I can put myself there alongside you. They are very beautiful this year, and I always look forward to your wonderful pictures of the displays. :-)

  7. thx for sharing, what a wonderful varied display for those of us enjoying snow now and longing for spring!

  8. Wow! What an impressive display of various gardens. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Neither my husband nor I have construction skills, but I really would like a wall of sedums or a small bridge or a fountain!!

  10. Wow, what stunning displays with such color and mixed media. I do believe you earned your press pass.

  11. It is always fun to see this Garden Show! Thanks for going:)

  12. Thank you for letting us accompany you on a marvelous tour. Your descriptions make everything easier to understand when one is looking at a photo. I look forward to the rest of your posts.

  13. What a delight for the eyes! I would love to see this sometime.

  14. So much to love about the show. It's always fun to see these fantasy gardens.


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