Thursday, February 28, 2019

City Living at the 2019 Northwest Flower & Garden Show

The City Living Display Gardens are always among my favorite things at the NWFG Show. They have an urban design focus, unlike the huge display gardens with waterfalls, McMansion sheds, and rocks the size of my house. The much smaller spaces (6-ft by 12-ft) allow for an attention to detail just not feasible in the big gardens...

My two favorites this year were right next to each other, first up is Beneath the Jungle Sky from Patricia Ruff at Rocky Bay Garden Creations. I want to live in this display (well, if you changed out the pink accents for orange), it was plant filled and oh so creative.

On the left a lounging swing under a small shade pavilion, on the right a small dining spot.

I've shared this idea with Andrew in the past, a swing, or large platform with cushions under our shade pavilion, instead of chairs.

He's not sold on the idea, but I see the possibilities.

There were so many plants included in this display, from the rhipsalis cascading down from the top (shown above), to the many plants grouped on and around the black framework.

The table base is a terrarium, with a cut-out for the tall plants. Notice how the sand in the terrarium plays off the area rug underneath. That's attention to detail!

Suddenly I need a few industrial pulleys for my hanging plants.

Next up is The Botanist Balcony, from Kim McCarthy of Urban Soule.

I loved how absolutely packed this display was, if I lived in a condo, and the only outdoor space I had was a balcony, it would be this full. I stood there forever taking in all the details and I still probably missed a few.

Of course I loved the plants, but also that neon and the tiger rug!

On the other side there was another rug...

And more plants.

Plus a side table filled with curiosities...

The next display, Croissants and the City, was by Portland's own JJ DeSousa of Digs Inside and Out.

I think anyone familiar with her shop instantly knew she was behind this creation, her style is rather distinctive.

And she was definitely calling out her city...

With a large touch of France for good measure.

Next we have Earthling Oasis from The Witchy Woman of Urban Earth Nursery.

I loved this pallet-esque wall display. It has the re-use feel of a pallet garden but looks a little tidier than any old pallet you'd pick up off the street corner.

The galvanized and rusted metal planters were good.

My one quibble would be with that chair, it looks so uncomfortable and out of step with the rest of the display.

But of course I loved this planting.

The final display I'll feature is from Grace Hensley, of Fashion Plants, it's called Krukker Have, which roughly translates to Garden Pots, from the Danish.

Grace took advantage of the small space to recreate an urban front porch complete with pots—lots of them—as well as imagined brick buildings on either side of her front door.

The fact I'd been following Grace's creation of the booth and it's contents on her blog definitely lead to a better understanding and appreciation of what she'd done (read the backstory here)

I love the wreath she used on the block door.

And of course I appreciated the fact she personalized the display just for me, warning that I should not sit or stand on the top step.

Weather Diary, Feb 27: Hi 36, Low 29/ Precip trace

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. The traditionalist in my loved the last display. I agree about the pink in the first display. I wonder if she knew the other designer would use orange and decided to go opposite. I do think the stronger colors go better with all that black. It would have been great with lime!

  2. These were my fav too of the show. And yes to turnbuckles and pulleys!

    1. For a moment you had me thinking "was Denise at the show?"... that would be fun!

  3. These were my favorites too. Thanks for including closeups of some of the plants from the Rocky Bay display, especially the staghorn fern on the pulley. I couldn't get a good shot of that with the bright window behind it. I didn't even notice the way the sand in the terrarium mimicked the texture of the rug, good spot!

    1. I love the skybridge location but it can make for some really bad photos.

  4. Nice that Grace made a sign just for you. I guess it was okay for the rest of us to sit or stand there, though. These were my favorite CL gardens as well.

    1. She said there was a footprint on the sign so yes, others felt free to do so.

  5. Thanks for sharing the details of these displays, Loree. The first one is my absolute favorite but I appreciate a lot of the features in the other displays too, like the pallet-esque planter.

  6. The last one with the black door is my fave. Of course relying on photos to make a judgment might be different than seeing them in real life.


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