Thursday, March 2, 2017

NWFG Show; not much Living in the City

For years now one of my personal highlights of the Northwest Flower & Garden Show has been the City Living "gardens" on the skybridge between the two main halls. The small displays (6ft x 12ft) are meant to represent an apartment, or condo, balcony — urban gardens. Some of the most creative ideas and inspired garden vignettes of the show are typically located here. So imagine my surprise when I walked onto the skybridge and saw this...

Cakes? But where are the gardens? Okay yes, the theme of the show was Taste of Spring, and the cakes do have a decorative floral element to them. But this display ate into the space normally given over to the small gardens. I was not happy. Was this an attempt to fill space, because there weren't enough City Living entries this year? Or did they accept less entries because they decided we should eat cake? I hope this is not a permanent feature. Or if it is they find it a new home next year. Okay, rant over...

Someone (LUC Custom Bakery) had the cojones to put spiky "opuntia pads" on their cake. Now that I can respect.

Moving on to the actual garden displays, this one, from Ma Petite Gardens, wins the prize for making me appreciate something I typically dislike...

I am no fan of the Heuchera, usually....

But the real problem with me would typically be the finish on this container. I dislike that pocked glaze, it reminds me of an unfortunate skin condition. Here though, with the plants chosen, it looked fabulous. And yes I even liked the Heuchera.

The colors used throughout the display were calming and yet full of spring's promise.

The red tulips were a little jarring. But there was a matching burst of red on the opposite side.

Besides, they went with the Chianti, although I noticed it was already gone, and it was only 10:30 am!

I thought this idea, from Natures Tapestry Landscapes was an interesting one.

Although it needs a little refining to really make me happy.

This was my favorite of the City Living displays this year, done by Rocky Bay Garden Creations.

There was a lot to take in!

Kokedama herbs...

With labels hanging from forks (clever).

I love the Sansevieria (I think) kokedama, resting in the stone container with fins.

So many details...

Unfortunately I got so involved in chatting with Patricia Ruff, the creator of the display, that I completely forgot to take photos of this wall! Luckily I spotted these on Facebook, taken by Cherry Ong, and she gave me permission to use them.

Thanks Cherry! And thanks Patricia, for keeping this part of the NWFG Show interesting this year!

Weather Diary, March 1: Hi 51, Low 40/ Precip .01

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

26 comments:

  1. When I entered the sky bridge and saw the cakes I screamed (internally): No! Anywhere but here...
    I loved "Ma Petite Gardens" display. I transferred me to Tuscany (I never actually been). I tried to figure out what you could possibly "typically dislike" (I didn't guess right) and glad you change your mind. I though it was a perfect composition.

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    1. Well now you've got me wondering what you did guess!?

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    2. I guessed the metal furniture and window bars may be too ornate; you seem to like straight lines, more modern or edgy.

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  2. I was so happy to read your rant about the cakes, to know that someone felt the same way I did. I resented their presence so much. The City Living gardens are my favorite too. I liked best the same one you did, those Kokedama with the forks were fab. Some day I'm going to give hypertufa a whirl.

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    1. I have a major dislike of working with any form of cement. Hypertufa just seems too similar to me. I hope you do give it a try, and of course blog about it.

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  3. What a great idea to highlight small space garden ideas. Shhhh...don't tell the CT Garden show organizers there may be money in cake displays :).

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    1. It would seem possible for both to happen. If the people demanded it.

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  4. Like you, I look forward to the city living spaces each year and was disappointed by how few there were this year. I'm thinking that Danger Garden needs to do a space next year. Maybe we could have spaces side by side. You could do a stylish contemporary masterpiece and I could do an urban hoarder monstrosity.

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    1. And yours would be the most popular!

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  5. Love the succulent trough. But I hate how there are all these sudden crazes like the kokedamas. Too cut by half and the forks made it worse for me. Most of those cakes made me want to see gardens. A crazy concept that they tried to make work with the theme.

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    1. It seems the way of the world that crazes simmer and then catch hold like wild fire. Last year kokedama was a feature at just a few of the show booths and this year bam! It seemed to be everywhere.

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  6. the hanging pots with grooves for the rope, filled with rhipsalis, yes! And speaking plainly, if that's all right, I agree with the frustration over choices in the big garden shows -- but overall, visiting as many nurseries as I do, it's apparent these choices reflect the industry, which is overrun with the quaint and cute and cozy. Those that live and die by great plants/good design (your readers!) are in the minority. Now having expressed such nasty thoughts, other than the cakes, this show looks really strong. And the cakes aren't a bad choice other than they took up the space for small garden displays...

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    1. You should always speak plainly here Denise! And yes, the industry as a whole (and popular culture) to tend towards quaint and cute and cozy, I get that. And I will keep asking for that to be challenged, if only a little.

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  7. Cakes? What the? I'm with you, Loree. Wow. But the other small gardens you highlight here are lovely.

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    1. No YGP Show and now cakes. How are we gardeners supposed to carry on?

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  8. Well, you still found some cool stuff to show us. Thanks!

    I bet you could refine that jars-on-the-wall idea to something special.

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    1. I'm percolating on the jars on the wall idea...

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  9. I think that Heuchera might be 'Sweet Tea' and you are right: it is perfect in that arrangement. The scale of the city gardens makes them easy to appreciate. Did you have a platform to make your feelings known about squeezing them out (if that is indeed what happened with the cakes)? Speaking up (in many arenas) is getting to be popular, dontcha know.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement to speak up. I at least have an idea where to start, we'll see where it goes.

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  10. It's always nice when someone manages to make you rethink and appreciate something you didn't before. Patricia's design was my favorite out of the City Living gardens.

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    1. Mine too, and she was having fun, which is always appealing.

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  11. "But this display ATE into the space..." hehe. Nice.

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  12. I like the pot with the tulips, which appear to be blooming at ground level (photo 6). And are those wine corks used as top-dressing in the pot behind it?

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    1. The tulips were in a container, and good eye! Yes, I do believe that's a wine cork mulch!

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  13. Another vote for "hate those cakes". It was a real disappointment to have them stealing space from the City Living displays.

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