Thursday, February 17, 2011

2011 Yard, Garden & Patio Show…"Bring Life Outside"

Last night I had the opportunity to tour the Yard, Garden & Patio Show before it opens on Friday. The vendors were busy setting up, and the display gardens were being built, it was a behind the scenes “sneak peak.” It’s no secret to anyone who knows me (or read my blog last February) that I love this show. I look forward to its officially kicking off another season of gardening. Last night I enjoyed the opportunity to see it from another perspective, that of the ones who create the magic. I’m afraid I would never make it as a reporter, they are supposed to capture the facts right? This is where I should be sharing the names of all the hard-working, talented and excited people I met. But the cold hard truth is I was blinded by the plants (and overwhelmed by the smell of bark dust…all 412 yards of it!) So my apologies (and sincere thanks) to those who will remain nameless. I also want to say a special thank you to all of the volunteers that make the show possible. I naively had no idea that so many people are there volunteering their creative skills and energy, thank you for making it happen!

So on with the tour!

New features in the show this year include a special section of “Curiously Cool” plants, the ones that people would stop and ask about in a display garden. Like the blazing golden Chief Joseph Pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia ‘Chief Joseph’)… And my personal favorite the Flying Dragon (Poncirus trifoliata var. montrosa ‘Flying Dragon’)… They are all gathered together and labeled, and as a bonus there is this handy little booklet that you can take with you which lists them all! Next door is another new themed display, “The Incredible Edible Garden” showcasing several methods for growing edibles in your landscape…of course my favorite was the galvanized stock tank. But I also thought this little trough on wheels was a great idea. Over in the display garden area I spotted this container, which looks like it was planted just for me! Can you spot the hidden man working in the garden? Hard to photograph but there were two large containers at the entrance to the garden with gorgeous Acacia pravissima (Oven’s Wattle) in them. I took one look at them and felt my resolve slipping away. I will be going to Garden Fever today to purchase the one I’ve been lusting after. More images of the gardens in process… On a personal note I was thrilled to see the Bauman’s Farm & Garden booth complete. Why? Because every year they have a great selection of small unique agaves at great prices, here is this year’s assortment. I’m already thinking about which one I’ll be adding to my collection. They also have a couple of not so small agaves. And this nice big Arctostaphylos Manzanita ‘Dr. Hurd’…only $89.99 to start off with a sizeable Manzanita…not bad! We finished up our tour in the area where the outdoor cooking classes will take place. The garden corner is anchored by this 100-yr old olive tree on loan from Burl Mostul of Rare Plant Research (who will be selling plants in the Remarkable Green Market section of the show, go there!) Here are a couple of my fellow sneak-peakers enjoying a glass of wine on the inventive benches while discussing those fabulous ginger plants in front of them (okay I don’t know that for sure but that’s what I wanted to talk about). If you are still on the fence about attending the show click here and take a look at this list of fabulous (FREE) seminars, there are so many talented people sharing their knowledge. Amy Stewart (author and Garden Ranter), Paul Bonine (Xera Wholesale Nursery), Maurice Horn (Joy Creek Nursery) and so many more. If you need another little push click here and you can print a coupon to save $2 off admission.

So there you have it…go to the show, you won’t regret it! It opens Friday morning and runs all weekend, heck, go all three days! I might...


  1. What a wonderful vent...I bet your eyes were about to pop out of your head! I love the Joseph's Pine! Do you have photos of the show after everything is all set up?

  2. Darla, not yet! They were still working when I left and will be working all day today I'm sure. I'll take lots of pictures when I'm there over the weekend and share them next week.

  3. Ah, the Acacia pravissima - I saw those at GF as well, and was sorely tempted. But I'm trying to be good and save my cash for the garden shows first, so it's good to know Bauman's will have small agaves!

    Thanks for this delicious taste of the show: I'm so ready for tomorrow!

  4. Thanks for the sneak peek behind the scenes. Can't wait!

  5. Yeah!!!! Thank you for the sneak peak! See you at the show!

  6. Loree, Every time you mention the Acacia I get this sick feeling in my stomach--grief over my plant now residing in plant heaven. Boo, hoo, poor me. ... Thanks for the sneak peak of the show. It looks like it will be fabulous. Tempting for sure. I look forward to your next "report." [I think your readers are equally interested in the plant names over the people names.] Great job!

  7. Ooo fun!
    We are saving ourselves(and pocketbooks),for the Seattle show!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

  8. How fortunate you are to have a garden show that actually has plants and gardens in it. Most of the local ones have had to cede control to building trade interests. Now we see more hot tubs, non-stick cookware and patio enclosures than unusual plants and innovative design work.

  9. MulchMaid, glad I got to see you yesterday...did you end up buying anything?

    ricki, I looked for you...

    Lauren, glad we got to chat!

    Grace, I'm sorry...perhaps there is another one out there (cheap) waiting for you!

    W&S, really? You're making the trip to the Seattle show!? I'd say maybe I'll see you there but since I don't know what you look like...

    Les, oh we have that show too, it's next weekend. I've never gone although they say they have gardens and plants. And actually this show...they REAL garden show had an alarming number of non-garden vendors this year. I blame the economy. Still, it's a good one...I'm not complaining.


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