Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The 2011 NWFG Show

Starting with the display gardens… I had a couple of favorites, and there were many things to like about others. But this one (above and below) called Garden in Verse “setting the stage for an ethereal and dream-like garden experience” … I just didn’t like it. Not even a little bit. Plenty of other people seemed too though, or they just wanted get the full experience, there was a long line to walk through it. And that actually is one of my complaints most of the other gardens, you couldn’t walk through them. Those that had a path or hardscape had signs asking you to not do so. It would have been so nice to be able to feel like you were part of the gardens rather than at the zoo looking at them.

This one was one of my favorites “Wish ‘Shoe’ Were Here” (done by the Washington Chapter of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers), they really ran with the “once upon a time theme”… That is a giant metal shoe, and it was impossible to get a good picture of! Here is the toe: And the heel: There were signs like this one all around the outside of the garden. They read: “There once was a woman who lived in a shoe…with so many children what else could she do?…but when her children grew up and all left the shoe…the woman declared “out with the old, in with the new!”…so she bought a new slipper, now this one did fit her!”

The plant material was gorgeous; if the show lighting hadn’t been so difficult to work around I would have taken more pictures. This bouquet was one of several around the garden, and it was just the type of thing I would go out and buy myself if I was celebrating getting rid of the kids! (if I had any to get rid of) The gardens in general used a lot of non-reliably hardy plants (The Dicksonia Antarctica I mentioned yesterday, Acacia pravissima, Melianthus major, Begonia luxuriens, Echeverias) all of which I own, so obviously it isn’t stopping me. But I overheard a lot of people talking who were not aware they couldn’t plant them in their Pacific NW garden and have them thrive. I am conflicted on this. I loved seeing these plants, and a display garden is hardly anyone’s reality (show me one person who has a giant metal shoe in their backyard!) but I felt that maybe setting up a lot of new gardeners for failure and disappointment.

This is another one of the gardens I wish we could have walked through. One of the gardens with the most interesting plant material was “Cook’s Endeavour Returns with Treasure - This garden vignette is a journal of botanical discoveries from around the world, showing lush and diverse plant communities,” in fact there were so many people gathered around it that getting a good overall shot was impossible. They won me over with their handout which included a plant list complete with country of origin and USDA hardiness zones, well done! (this is Callistemon pallidus 'Blue Foliage' from Australia, zone 8a-11) From another display garden… I noticed a little boy trying to work up the courage to open the mailbox; after all he had noticed the flag was up! Something had to be in there.

The area called “LIVING IT UP Small Space Patio Gardens” had tons of wonderful texture and color on a smaller scale… Now a few photos from the vendor’s booths…loved these rusted containers in the Molbaks Nursery booth. And these garden spikes from http://bentproductions.com aren't they gorgeous? The Smith & Hawken booth…brought to you via ____ (ah come on…you know that logo!) I wanted to just steal this cart full of succulents. Crazy variegated fern! Is it just me or is this a little creepy? I call this Agave “skyscraper” (it was in the booth for the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, I may just have to visit someday) And the finally the plant vendors...there were two in particular that I was very excited about. First Poly Pots, they are located in Bandon, Oregon, but the only place I ever get to see their fabulous selection of succulents is a the NWFG Show. I was tempted by this Aechmea recurvata variegata. But bought this Agave titanota. The other vendor I’d only visited online and never seen their plants “in real life” The Desert Northwest located in Sequim, Washington. They had so many beautiful happy plants in their tiny section of the Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association booth. I was captivated by the Banksia! Here is Banksia integrifolia subsp. Monticola And Banksia serrata. I bought the Banksia serrata. And I’m determined to make the trek to Sequim, WA, very soon to see the nursery!

On that note I wrap up my visit to the NWFG Show. If you want to see more here are links to a few other bloggers who have been posting about the show, I’m sure there are others I haven’t seen, feel free to leave a link in the comments section:






  1. I wasn't crazy about the birds either, I did like the Fluffy Butt one..I saw it on another blog. There seemed to be a lot to like at this show though.....

  2. Wild applause! Thanks for the tour. Still showless so far here, so these posts are much appreciated.

  3. Lots of great stuff! Thanks for the nod to Bent Creations, their style is right up my alley.

  4. I'll second Denise's "Wild applause." Great job.

  5. Thanks for risking the dicey roads to share the show with your viewers. The first one you did not care for sort of looks like bed linen hanging out to dry, maybe it was nicer in person. I love those Banksias and Proteas, but know enough that it would only lead to disappointment here.

  6. Thanks for the tour. The white drapes hanging down looks strange...was it that odd in person, too?

  7. Always a fun time seeing a nursery's plants in person...even if at a show. Desert Northwest look awesome. Matti

  8. Darla, there really was a lot to like...it's a great show.

    Denise, really? Show-less in LA? I don't get it...maybe with year round gardening you aren't so deprived as we are?

    Ryan, I loved those Bent Creations spikes!

    Grace, surely you've made the trek to the Seattle show before?

    Les, yes exactly! Laundry! Laundry that someone had written on. Hopefully my Banksia will live, I'll do my best.

    Hoover, yes...maybe even stranger.

    Matti, I could have bought more...much much more!

  9. wild tour. it was all over the place. loved the spikes, yuck on the target images. overall, fun to see!

  10. That Banksia alone looks worth the 4 hour drive.

  11. Love the masses of succulents!


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