Monday, February 12, 2018

In a Vase on Monday from the Northwest Flower and Garden "Festival"...

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

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

22 comments:

  1. Given the location of those vases, you did really well with the photos. I think they are all trying too hard and feel like they need a lot of stuff to seem serious or something. I wonder if the bronze leaf is Galax. I assumed the "After Hours" display referred to happy hour/cocktails and thus the glasses. Also I planted two different Pieris last year so I am thrilled to be on the cutting edge of a trend. Of course, given our lack of snow and bitter temps for most of the winter, I fear they may not survive they are such new babies.

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    1. Galax, looks about right, thank you! Yes I am sure your right about the "after hours" display...still I don't like the containers, they could have went with a different name and not been so gimmicky. Fingers crossed for your Pieris!

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  2. I'm right with you on a lot of your comments. I wondered if those Eryngium were spray-painted. I've thought about it for a few days and I've realized I would have preferred the Forest one with fewer forest friends. A lot of arrangements used fake butterflies, though, so it seemed using the little animals was just one step further. One step too far maybe. I went to the Floral Wars competition for the two days that I was at the show, and they used a lot of Pieris in their creations. I did like Signs of Spring, but it was so simple, I only took one photo of it and no closeups,, which I didn't realize till too late.

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    1. Definitely not painted, I purchased the same as cut flowers yesterday at New Seasons. Unfortunately they couldn't ID them for me either. I never did make it to the "wars"...seemed to be pretty popular though.

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  3. When you have a huge range of flowers at your disposal, it's got to be tempting to continue to layer in more and more elements, but most of the display arrangements are too busy for me. (Harsh perhaps given that I tend to stuff my own vases to the gills.) When I saw the "Forest Friends" arrangement in Alison's post, I was intrigued by the use of the tree trunk (was it real?) but I was put off by the excess of cutesy critters.

    I'm glad you had a great time as the show/festival!

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    1. I believe the tree trunk was actually a big piece of bark, probably with some supporting structure inside, although I could be wrong.

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  4. Such an unfortunate place to display the arrangements with the back lighting and the partial white curtains. I think they changed one or two of the containers on "Flowers After Hours" from earlier as one of the containers was red (if I'm remembering right.) Funny that "Let's Celebrate" added some darker roses. Could it be Eryngium alpinum? Mine start opening green and then get the purple color. That one is way open though so maybe not. As always, it was a delight to see you at the show!

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    1. No, after looking at my pictures, I was thinking of another arrangement with red containers. Sorry.

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    2. I think you may be right about the Eryngium alpinum, mine have never bloomed! What I love about them is the super lacy collar.

      Thanks for the follow-up on the containers, I can't imagine how challenging it would be to change one out mid-stream.

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  5. I'm not a fan of pink, but that pink arrangement seemed lush until they added the bright roses. That made everything else looked washed out.
    I actually prefer your simple vase at the end to all that drama.

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    1. Drama has its place, simple does too.

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  6. I think florists feel they have to go 'over the top' at these shows, trying to outcompete each other. It's all about big and showy!

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    1. I think you're right. If you can't go over the top in a venue like this, then where can you?

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  7. of everything you just displayed ... your at home edgeworthia is my favourite. When florists go over the top, sometimes it just feels too forced ... Almost the subject of a "what were they thinking." Signs of spring is nice though. I'm looking at the window right now to camelia blooms and and hellebores :)

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    1. Are you guys getting the cold we are? (27 here this morning) Hope your Camellia blooms and Hellebores are still looking good! (and thanks for the kind words).

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  8. I see what you mean about the floral arrangements being tough to photograph...still, you've done a wonderful job. Your vase is expertly done, too. The "Forest Friends" and the "Tea Party" arrangements are my favorites among the show pieces.

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    1. I love that your favs are probably my least fav (well, except for the ones I didn't even bother to photograph). We all have our own likes don't we?

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  9. The garden show used to display Ikebana arrangements. I realized I had not seen any in recent years. Have I just missed it? Ikebana is a perfect way to be a minimalist...
    In your bathroom photo: what are those "candles" coming out of the opuntia pads?

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    1. The Ikebana arrangements are now down in the basement where the seminars take place, kind of tucked in a corner. Perhaps a little easier to photograph lighting-wise, but still with the white curtain behind...which is very distracting!

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    2. Oh... the “candles” are new pads that didn’t get enough light to properly develop....

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  10. The simplicity of the Nanjing bloom arrangement is so effective, especially combined with the background. Glad to hear you had a great time at the ‘festival’!

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    1. So many cool plant people in one place!

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