Last week the Northwest Flower and Garden Show celebrated 30 years, it was also rebranded. No longer a show, it's now a festival. I'll admit I was quick to make fun of the new name, but after spending two days immersed in the event I do think "festival" fits. Allow me to explain...
If I were attending to be blown away by the displays then "show" would seem more apt. However the show features are just the backdrop to the real party. Seeing old friends, meeting people you've only known online; stopping to admire a plant, or a container; being entertained by a speaker...yep, it was a festival and I had a great time.
That said I must admit I wasn't particularly inspired by what I saw this year. The show gardens seemed smaller, and fewer. There seemed to be even less plant vendors and (gasp!) I didn't buy a single thing. Nothing. However as I said, I had a great time.
Let's look at the floral showcase, since it's Monday ("vase day" for bloggers who participate in Cathy's "In a Vase on Monday"). This was a rare sight; to walk up to the display and not have dozens of people admiring the creations. And doesn't that tall light pole outside (with the round lamps) slightly resemble an Agave bloom spike? I did a bit of a double take when going through my photos.
The way the floral arrangements are displayed absolutely sucks, and makes photographing them a huge challenge. Still we try...
"Majestic Spring," from Ikebana by Megumi, was way too busy for me...
But I did like the cheery combo of yellow and orange.
Including Acacia flowers, which immediately brought back happy memories of seeing them in Paris.
"Life of the Party" by Tobey Nelson at Events + Design. Also not really my style but I appreciated the consistency of the yellow roses running up the entire length of the display. Roses seemed to be very much in vogue this year.
The Gloriosa Lilies were also a nice feature.
"Movement in the Garden," by Thomasi Boselawa, at Tiare Floral Design Studio.
I could not for the life of me figure out why this creation included liquor bottles as vases. They were distracting.
That said I loved the way the dark lily-pad-like leaf sat atop this one, while the variegated foliage curls out and away.
"Let's Celebrate" by Tess MacDonald at July Floral Design. Alison suggested maybe they were celebrating the birth of a baby girl, seems appropriate with all that baby pink.
I think it would be quite challenging to work huge Monstera leaves into this design and not have them overwhelm the smaller details.
The right hand side of the arrangement was so lush. The light however seemed particularly flat the day I took these photos, so when I walked by on the second day I snapped a couple more.
It turns out the light wasn't all that different, but something changed! Which version do you like better? Pale pink (above) or with a little hot pink mixed in?
"Signs of Spring" by Hannah Morgan at Fortunate Orchard. I think this might have been my favorite, simple, elegant.
The elements all compliment each other so well.
But are also a little surprising. Magnolia and Pieris? It works, and Pieris show up in a couple of other arrangements too. A new "it" plant?
The Anemone were so delicate.
"Flowers After Hours" by Fena Flowers. I really like the floral work but wish they would have chosen different containers. The huge cocktail glasses just seem so kitschy.
More Pieris, and what lovely Ranunculus.
I am shocked that Pieris and Protea work so well together. I guess it's all in the pink blush?
"Tea Party in the Secret Garden" from Bailey's Ikebana.
I find the fact this arrangement was all layered on branches, with three "legs" of contact with the table, to be quite remarkable.
I don't know that I particularly cared for the tea party theme — complete with porcelain pieces — but that's just my personal taste.
"Forest Friends" from Michelle Pederson at The Art of Florist Blooms. There's a lot to like here.
Like the Amaranth spilling out of the top of the "trunk"...
And the mixed flowers, moss and seed pods.
These Eryngium were my favorite component, anyone know which they are?
My least favorite was the cutesy animals (forest friends) worked into this display, mainly because of the reactions from the people all around me "oh, isn't that just dahrling"... ugh.
Finally in keeping with the "something from your garden in a vase" aspect of In a Vase on Monday here are a few Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Nanjing Gold' stems filling our bathroom with their delicious scent.
Weather Diary, Feb 11: Hi 47, Low 36/ Precip 0
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