Monday, November 5, 2018

The Ninth Moon Floral Showcase at Lan Su Garden

The first weekend in November is the Ninth Moon Floral Showcase at Portland's Lan Su Chinese Garden. I missed last year, so was thrilled to be able to visit last Friday morning, an unexpectedly sunny day. This year's competition included 25 entries. There was a time when I would have felt it necessary to catalogue them all, not anymore. This post will only include photos of my favorites, all eleven of them.

First up is Inferno, by Jake Moffett and Daniel Wade Keller.

I'm going to admit right off the bat that I don't understand this piece. The name, the shape...Volcanic Explosion I would have understood, but Inferno?

I do love the long, wide, luxurious "carpet"...

I stared at the individual pieces of the whole for a very long time.

This part though? I did not care for it, brought back memories of dusty 1970's pampas grass arrangements.

one with nature, by Coree Ryan

The backside of the parasol had wonderful detail...

As I was editing down my photos Andrew sat on the couch next to me..."Is that a coffin?" he asked. I can only assume that's what the designers intended.

Isn't it lovely?

My photos showing the green hand holding the base of the parasol didn't turn out very clear, but you can kind of make it out here...

And here.

Next up: Zig Zag, by Josef Reiter

These side panels are what I really loved about this piece.

How creative!

Got a bamboo screen? Adorn it!

Painting in the Garden, Chelsea Willis. The white background glowed, designed by someone who understood the issues with display, it was so easy to picture this as a painting.
The brushes were genius.

Chinese Wedding Gown, Jeri Barr, Carolyn Catron, and Lacey Carroll. Wow. the simplicity was deceiving. So may intricate details all done to perfection.

I so wanted to touch all the pieces. I was able to controll myself however.

My Secret Garden, Emily Farnsworth

Lots of my favorite flowers, great details.

Rustle/drips: Sounds of Autumn, Robin Boedecker and Vito Corradino. I loved the way this piece pulled elements right from the Chinese Garden architecture and design.

Carry Moonbeams Home in a Jar, Linda Golaszewski. I do not like Plexiglas cubes, it's a personal issue that can be chalked up to my retail background (long story). If these had been glass this might have been my favorite. I love the attention each flower gets, almost like lab specimans.

In Stillness Beauty Blooms, Ellen Hansen. At first this piece seemed simple.

But the longer I looked at it the more detail I saw.

This was my favorite piece, Guardian Dogs, by Michelle Koeppe. It took me a minute to realize what I was looking at (I hadn't yet read the name), and then once I did I was in awe of how wonderfully the designer translated the posture of a pair of dogs into a floral piece.

The inclusion of Dianthus 'Green Trick' had me all misty eyed too. Dear sweet Anna (of Flutter & Hum fame) gifted me a pot of that plant when we lost Lila, saying that the soft, push fuzzy balls would remind me of her when they bloomed. And they did. And here they were.

And I could see Lila in this dog's posture, back when she was young and frisky.

But as much as I loved Lila's curled pug tail, with it's white skunk stripe, it had nothing on this fancy dog bottom.

The last entry I photographed was Celestial Tear, from Garrett Skupinski CF and Tamara Szarowski.

I loved the moss and stone orb, looking like a primitive globe.

I eavesdropped on a fellow telling another visitor that they get hundreds of applicants for the show, only a few are accepted. I also learned that the Portland flower market donates flowers to the designers, offsetting the costs of creating. Now I just need to find out what they do with them when the show closes, it only runs the weekend, although Lan Su's Mumvember runs the entire month.

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Weather Diary, Nov 4: Hi 65, Low 49/ Precip .11"

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


  1. from Linda at Each Little World: The dogs are perfect but i must admit that they are all soooo designed. A little too over-the-top for me. Then again, that's what competition is often about.

    1. Indeed, a loose romantic vase-full of flowers wouldn't really be welcome here. Then again it might provide an interesting contrast.

  2. These are all absolutely brilliant, I love them all and can see why you did too. Such creative use of the materials. I completely understand why the dogs touched your heart, but that parasoled lady in the coffin really does it for me -- something to aspire to.

    1. Hopefully not for a long time! (if you're saying you want to be a parasoled lady in a coffin)

  3. 'Inferno' needed some 'Sticks on Fire'! I'm impressed by the imagination and creativity that went into each of these arrangements. I can appreciate them as works of art, even if most are too elaborate for my taste. My own favorite is 'In Stillness Beauty Blooms'.

    1. Oh ya, 'Sticks on Fire'! Works of art is exactly what they are.

  4. You're right, "inferno" makes more sense as "Eruption." I also remember the dusty pampas grass arrangements of the 70's. Was there anything at all redeeming about design and fashion during that decade? Anyway, the pampas grass acting as the plume of smoke works in the context of a volcanic eruption. Love the dogs and all of your faves and im in awe of the talent and time that went into these.

    1. Well, since we lived through it no. But kids these days sure seem to find a lot to love about that decade.

  5. The simpler the better suits my personal taste, but impossible not to be awestruck by the skill and imagination that went into all of these arrangements.

  6. Some really imaginative and talented designs here. I really like 'Inferno' - it's amazing, and timely, given all the eruptions we've had globally this year.

    1. I find your word choices interesting. You used both inferno and eruption.

  7. A wonderful collection of creative expression. Each of the entries have aspects I admire. The bamboo wall is absolutely fabulous. "Painting in the Garden" is probably my favorite: it's light and airy and creates a complete scene.

    1. "creates a complete scene" ... that's so true and I hadn't thought of them in that way.

  8. Those are incredible! Note to self: Visit Portland sometime during the Ninth Moon Floral Showcase. For some reason, my favorites are "Zig Zag" and "In Stillness Beauty Blooms." But I really like them all.

    1. IF you time it right you'll get some amazing fall color too! (if you visit in early November)

  9. What a fabulous show and so much creativity....artists with flowers! I love the Guardian Dogs too, and the Painting in the Garden...hard to pick just one!


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