When I first attended the Yard Garden & Patio Show (in 2006) I expected it to be the type of show with roofing companies, hot tub vendors, gutter and downspout cleaners, window manufacturers, chimney sweeps, etc, right on down to the slicer and dicer crowd. I was thrilled that indeed it was a real, honest to goodness garden show. Not as big and flashy as the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle but every bit as focused. I’ve attended every year since. Yes I have opinions about how it could be better, but I still look forward to it and enjoy every minute of it. But hey, there’s another show in town, the Portland Home & Garden Show...
Some years it seems to run consecutive with YGP, this year it ran the week prior. I’d given no thought to attending (never have), well, until several friends mentioned it. Then there was a coupon towards the entry fee, and free parking after 4pm. Oh what the heck!
Publicity for the show was touting the fact the vendors had been rearranged this year: "One of the most anticipated attractions this year is the unveiling of the new Excellence in Landscaping area! We are moving the garden feature to the front of Hall E – with new designers, a new emphasis on plant material and flowers, new lighting effects and staging. It’s going to be gorgeous!" I'm all for getting people to think about gardening. If the new show design meant they might catch a glimpse of a cool plant in route to the rest of the show (the roofing companies, hot tub vendors, gutter and downspout cleaners, window manufacturers, chimney sweeps) then that's a good thing. I watched the people flowing in, to see if indeed they stopped to walk around the gardens. Sadly most of them did not. Maybe they circled back around later? One can hope. I do think it was a little hard on the eyes to go from the bright outdoors and lobby into the dark of the display gardens area. You were almost pulled across the hall to the light beyond (the other vendors).
Okay, but what about the gardens? Above and below was one designed by the ANLD (Assoc of NW Landscape Designers). My favorite part of this garden were the curtain pull backs, they used steel strapping tape!
Love it. While I have no plans to incorporate curtains into my garden (no way, no how) I do think this metal tape has great possibility for a future project.
"A Hobbit's Garden" wasn't that done last year at the Seattle show?
There were at least two gardens with big gorgeous alocasias, passers-by just had to reach out and touch them.
This display was my favorite over all, and it won gold from the judges too. Of course the horrid lighting made getting a good photo pretty much impossible.
Right about here I discovered a peculiar theme.
Do you see it too? Gardens for cars!
This I love...
Outdoor showers are all the range in the magazines. I've never really gotten the appeal. Showers are meant to be quick and efficient, where as baths are for relaxing. Relaxing in the garden is always a good thing. If I had a private garden space this would be wonderful.
Where to go to see blooming helebores and aloes together? A garden show display garden, of course!
I kind of liked this corner, there was a small fire pit in front of those chairs but that was it. No monster outdoor kitchen or fake waterfall. Just a place outside for enjoying being outside.
That's it for the display gardens, next up I went in search of the plant market. I'd heard there were plants for sale but they were nowhere to be seen. Ah, turns out they were at the complete opposite end of the show, two exhibition hall lengths away. Interesting.
The first thing that caught my eye were enormous piles of eremurus roots. I love the flowers but haven't had great luck with them. Working in the garden the next day I discovered mine are already coming up, maybe I'll get flowers this year!
The N&M Nursery booth. These ladies are fixtures at all the spring garden shows, I hope they sold several alocasias here.
Loveable and huggable! Am I ready to take a chance on another Acacia cognata? Maybe another time.
An new (to me) name! Turns out they have a retail location, how have I not heard of them before now?
Definitely going to have to check them out.
There was also a large orchid show and sale, lots and lots of people fawning over the admittedly gorgeous blooms. I managed to avoid the purchase.
Time to get on my way, I traced my steps back towards the exit, past the hot tub display, when something crazy caught my eye. Yes, there really was a person swimming, right there in the AquaTrainer14fX. Oh what will they think of next? Next, that reminds me...next is the real plant and garden deal, the Yard, Garden & Patio Show! This coming weekend at the Oregon Convention Center! Details here...
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