By now I’m sure many of you have heard the big prize winner at the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show was “The Lost Gardener – A Journey from the Wild to the Cultivated” by RHR Horticulture & Landwave Gardens, or Riz Reyes. This was his first big garden at the show and by all accounts a raging success…
Too often I find display gardens to be all about the hardscape with the “plant material” being an afterthought. Yes, I know hardscape is important, my own garden would be a disaster without it (due to my plant collector tendencies…the hardscape creates the framework). But the prevailing mindset at show gardens seems to be “we’ll just grab whatever we know will look good in February or can be easily forced into bloom”…which is why this garden was such a happy place for me at the show. Cool plants were the focus!
The design concept behind the garden (remember it was a “Hollywood” themed show): “Several motion pictures serve as inspirations for this garden. A common theme in Jurassic Park, King Kong and Raiders of the Lost Ark is Man’s desire for the newest, rarest and most unusual. Rare, wild and little-seen plant species are to be treasured and protected in this exotic garden setting—with dire consequences for those seeking to remove them. Warnings are posted, and endangered plant species are protected from outsiders by a pseudo-electrified fence. Multiple micro-climates are depicted through a rich and diverse plant palette, with unusual plants provided by small specialty growers from throughout the region.”
The best place to start was on the wild side, where you’re either following a plant hunter along a beaten path or perhaps something more beastly?
Oh the Schefflera! This garden had several huge specimens.
The undersides of the leaves are spectacular as well!
A note about my photos: some were taken in an early morning preview before the lighting went all dramatic, some were taken later when the house lights were down, hopefully that explains any lighting whiplash you experience. Either way it was a hard garden to photograph, the magic was being there in person!
Moving around to the front of the display, where things are more “garden like”…
The Cardiocrinum giganteum seed pods, behind the skull rock, have a sword-like quality…
How I would love a border of Schefflera taiwaniana!
That blooming Echium at the back in this row of containers (at the far side of the display above and close-up below) had quite a few people craning their necks to read the label. Overhearing conversations as people discovered a plant for the first time was pretty fun indeed! In case you’re wondering there is a full plant list for the garden available here.
Some plant close ups...Edgeworthia chrysantha
Cryptomeria japonica 'Cristata'
Persicaria 'Brushstrokes'…love those leaves!
Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira' and Fatsia polycarpa
Bouquet Banque Nursery
Cultus Bay Nursery
The Desert Northwest
Dragonfly Farms Nursery
Far Reaches Farm
Minter’s Earlington Greenhouse
Did anyone else who saw this garden spot the gorilla?
Congrats Riz on a job well done! For those of you wanting more Riz uploaded a set of photos here, start at the end that's where the construction photos are...quite the process!