After following @urbansoule on Instagram, and then drooling all over Kim McCarthy's cramscaped City Living Display 'The Botanist Balcony' at the 2019 NWFG Festival, I was thrilled to visit her personal garden and studio in Seattle...
It is exactly as I thought it would be, crammed full of cool plants, funky furniture and all sorts of interesting things. If I'm remembering correctly this Aechmea orlandiana 'Reverse Ensign' was an eBay purchase, and a bargain one too.
Her labels are tastefully understated, they blend.
But the hand-painted pots and plants shine!
Billbergia 'Limestone' on the left, Billbergia 'Pipeline' on the right. I considered grabbing them and running...
But that wouldn't be very good behavior, and besides, Kim had potted up a baby Billbergia 'Darth Vader' for me, and stuck in a trio of "seed pods" she cast and painted. These were made using Callistemon pods I sent her from my garden. How cool is that!?
That's some beautiful rhubarb...
Just to the side of the rhubarb is "Paloma" the Palm Antelope, by artist Kelsey Neal.
Kim won her at at auction held at the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Doesn't she look as though she was meant to go right here?
Kim pulled back the miscanthus to show me a sculpted piece of her's hidden back there. I swear I thought I got it in the photo—but at least I got her great tattoo.
The opuntia pads are a real plant, the tuna is a cast piece.
There were so many layers of cool things I wasn't sure where to point my camera.
Simple IKEA shelves pulling duty as bromeliad display space.
Kim traveled to Florida recently and went (understandably) a little bromeliad crazy.
Billbergia sanderiana there in front, waiting to go into its own custom striped pot.
The grey leaf and giant gourd are both Kim's work (visit her website urban soule to see more of what she does)...
I assume this is her work as well...
I appreciate her strong sense of style; the black and white geometric prints with lots of green. Pow!
A little vertical gardening to squeeze in more plants and help hide a view.
Looking back over my shoulder...
Ah, Kim bromeliadizes her trees too!
...and flowers. Perfect for one who makes her living as an artist.
I couldn't resist another shot under the canopy. Such a dreamy spot to hang out.
There's more vertical gardening too...
Instead of a felt Woolly Pocket type of hanger, Kim used a hanging shoe bag.
As is that grey pot, which she got at Home Goods of all places.
I always hesitate to take (or share) photos inside my gardening friend's homes, but this one of her kitchen bromeliads tempted me to the point I broke my own rule.
And then how could I not take a photo of these two? Borris on the left, Vinnie on the right.
We'll end this tour with another Home Goods planter, filled with a metal agave, or, er bromeliad, no agave or, wait. How did I never—until this very moment—notice how what a similar form these two plant loves of mine can have?
Thanks Kim, for allowing me visit and snap photos, and thanks for the chartreuse Callistemon seed pods. I will find the perfect place for them eventually, but for now they're stuck in a trash-can lid full of bromeliads...
Weather Diary, July 24: Hi 82, Low 55/ Precip 0
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