The Washington Park Arboretum's garden: The HOH: America's Rain Forest was popular with show-goers and judges alike.
The real HOH Rain-Forest is located on the Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington. The annual precipitation total for the area is 140 to 170 inches (omg!). I took these photos during an early morning gathering when the overhead lights were on.
Here's one from later, when the dramatic (?) show-lighting was all that illuminated the garden. It felt a little spooky. There was a nice light rain falling on the garden too, adding to the ambiance.
Yep, this garden was very well done.
But on to the desert! The folks at West Seattle Nursery put together this garden and called it Southwest Serenity...
Naturally I thought it was pretty fabulous.
I love how densely it's planted, although I'll admit to a nagging desire to have seen them plant entirely with Agaves and other succulents that are actually USDA Zone hardy in the Pacific Northwest. Then again this is fantasy and it's supposed to be the SW...
There were a few labeling issues.
And those poor Barrel Cactus got buried a little deep.
But still it was wonderful to see something like this...not a forced Hyacinth in sight! Although they didn't completely forgo flowers, as you can see there was liberal use of Lewisia.
Wondering what happens to all these beauties when the show is over? So was my friend Peter, and he asked. They're all back at the nursery now, in need of a good home (Seattleites, go shopping!)...
The Tiny Tetons was also a popular garden, getting a photo showing the dramatic depth perspective (yes, I think I made that phrase up) the designers achieved was impossible with all the tripods gathered around, even during the special early morning viewing before the show opened. This is the best that I could do.
The fence around the garden was pretty cool too.
I loved these plant markers in another garden, they look like tiny National Forest Service signs.
Magnolia 'Sunsation' was a stunner...
Although I didn't really understand it's placement in the courtyard garden next to the Yucca rostratas. I mean I
Speaking of odd. Outdoor octopus shower anyone?
There's an idea here. These are kind of clunky but a great starting point for brainstorming a free-standing privacy screen or trellis.
Finally a couple of new-to-me lust-worthy plants. Mahonia duclouxiana, description from Far Reaches Farm: "Exceptional species bold in leaf, bold in form and bold in flower. These are seedlings from our plant grown from a Dan Hinkley collection in China. Big leaflets make up the substantial leaves and the flowers are terminal candles of a rich yellow-orange in late winter or even earlier in mild gardens. This is not as hardy as the Mahonia x media types but is perfect in the warmer gardens of Puget Sound and quite at home further south."
And this beauty, Strobilanthes gossypinus (many of the plants in this particular garden came from Dan Hinkley's personal collection). Description from Landcraft Environments: "An incredible new introduction from New Zealand that we received by Dan Hinkley. Growing to the same height and width “Persian Shield” but the foliage of this Strobilanthes is silvery-gray with a hint of light tan on the new growth. Overall it’s a wonderful new plant for subtle color blending, having numerous uses in containers and bedding."
The bad news? Well first of all, good luck finding it for sale. Secondly, it's not hardy in my USDA Zone 8 garden. But heck, if you don't leave a garden show with a new plant crush (or two) what's the point?
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