As I see it there are two reasons to attend a garden show...the people and the plants. Seeing old friends, eavesdropping on strangers, attending the seminars...the people make the show. Then of course there are the plants. Ideally that means discovering something completely new (to me), however seeing something "old" in a new way is always nice too. The display gardens? They're entertainment. The big gardens (at this show and Portland's Yard Garden & Patio Show), with all their hardscape and water features, are rarely anything I'm really inspired by. However the small space display gardens in the skybridge at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, those I've always loved and found hugely inspiring, until this year. This year they had a theme...
City living was the theme. If there was a theme in prior years I was blissfully unaware of it (I didn't attend last year). The gardens were supposed to demonstrate "just how creative container plantings can be in a small space. These 8-ft. x 14-ft. masterpieces incorporate intimate outdoor living spaces for relaxing and entertaining." This theme made for less exciting displays than previous years. I think part of the problem was the designers had to leave the window area clear (to reinforce the idea you were on a balcony), which made it harder for them to create a mood. Why does there always have to be a theme, stop the theme madness! Just say NO!
(I take a deep breath...)
There were 8 displays, I'll be sharing 5 of them with you, I'm skipping a few in the idea of if you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all. I do recognize all the designers put a lot of work into what they created but hey, this is my blog and my opinion! This one was called "Love On A Balcony….The Engagement" I love the colors of the floor covering and the painting and how they're echoed in the plant choices.
I'm less in love with the furniture but hey, I guess I can't have everything my way.
This one, Romancing the Kasbah, was interesting. I want to love it, but I can't quite and I'm not sure why.
I want this orange umbrella! This particular display (Penthouse Passion) allowed me to overhear one of my favorite quotes of the show "There is just too much orange! What do they think, it's Halloween? It's not, it's Valentine's Day"...
Another year, another wonderful display from Ravenna Gardens, "All You Need is Love … and a Garden!"
Since blue is about my least favorite color I wasn't immediately drawn to their display like I have been in past years, but still...it all works and is lovely. I especially love the lights overhead.
And the use of greys. That container on the far right...another long standing crush. I saw it first at Smith & Hawkin in something like 2006. Been on the hunt ever since, the price always gets in the way.
I will admit the theme played nicely to the location of these displays, since each one backed up against large windows looking out on Pike Street.
Clever light fixture.
This is the final display I'll be sharing with you, "An Urban Botanical Retreat: Unique and Easy Planting Ideas for Intimate (Plant) Lovers." If the exuberant use of cool plants seems at all familiar this was created by the same fellow who did the award winning "The Lost Gardener – A Journey from the Wild to the Cultivated" back in 2013, Riz Reyes.
The only thing I wish were different were the chairs. They give a "bachelor pad" feel to this otherwise lush and stylish "garden." Then again right there in the title is "Intimate (Plant) Lovers" and that truly is what this is all about, the plants...
How fabulous is this?
Riz also works in floral design and that definitely shows here. Oh the drama...
Oh hey, guess who that is, Sylvia of Dig Nursery (her booth was shown in this post) was taking a portrait of Riz and I snuck a photo of my own.
Excellent color combinations!
If you read my post on Marcia Donahue's garden then those bulbs no doubt look familiar.
I've had a love/hate relationship going on with those multi-colored geraniums for years. They look good with that astelia.
A lucky gardener named Mary (who I had the privilege of finally meeting in person at this show, we've been Facebook friends for awhile now) got to take this multi-headed Nolina 'La Siberica' home after the show wrapped up.
Just two more images. These hung off the side of the display...
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