Thursday, March 5, 2020

A few of my favorite things from the big display gardens at the 2020 NWFG Festival

I'd gotten spoiled. For the last 7 or 8 years (can that be right?) the organizers of the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival kicked off Thursday morning of the show bright and early with a "tweet-up." Those with an active social media presence were invited to arrive before the show opened, when the lights were still on—that last part is very important—to mingle and take photos. This year there was no tweet-up. I struggled to take decent photos with the dramatic show lighting and large throngs of people. Here is my best attempt to capture things that appealed to me in the large display gardens...

From the Washington Park Arboretum: Gateway to a Greener Earth. The gateway itself is what I loved here, the different colors of the twigs used to weave the arch. Of course the long leaves of the Rhododendron magnificum are also pretty, well, magnificent.

The edging material was very in keeping with the rest of the garden.

Rock and Knoll Fantasy from Little Prince of Oregon.

The slender vertical rocks paid homage to the crevice garden style...

While Stuart Kendall of Seattle Solstice created a signature sculpture for the garden. I think I would have been tempted to plant the inverted U of the rock and keep the part that "fell" free empty, but I heard plenty of people oohing and aahing over those "gold nugget" sempervivum.

Oh these logs! I think they were part of the A Quiet Place garden from the NW Orchid Society...

But I'm not 100% on that...

Contemporary Outdoor Living from Contemporary Landscpaing, LLC.

The wire "cage" acts as a fountain, I'm not terribly fond of the look but appreciate its boldness.

And what I initially thought were rusted steel pieces forming the corner backdrop were actually wood.

I took the most photos of The Zen Of Furiosa, from Redwood Builders LLC. "Inspired by Imperator Furiosa’s passion to make beauty out of what might be considered junk in the 2015 film, Mad Max: Fury Road, this modern garden transforms industrial materials into a beautiful zen oasis."

The corner backdrop here was a combination of twisted metal and dried Cardiocrinum giganteum flower spikes with open seed pods at the top.

I love the rusty metal border.

As well as all of the other metal platforms, planters and bits of upcylced "stuff" placed through out their space...

It was odd and unique and I loved it.

There were a lot of other perfectly lovely traditional gardens at the show (there's a list and someday soon photos here), but I'm not terribly traditional so I didn't elbow others to get up close and take photos of them.

Weather Diary, Mar 4: Hi 56, Low 40/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. While all the gardens were lovely the two that stood out for me were the Zen and the Contemporary Living gardens too. Didn't really like the wire cage in the CL garden but loved the water feature in the Zen garden. Apparently all the bonsai's in the Zen garden were rescue plants from construction sites. Thought that was very cool.

    1. I did not know that! (the bonsai) Thanks for sharing that fact. I loved the Zen garden the longer I stood there and stared at the various parts of it. I would have loved the chance to actually walk into it.

  2. Oh, those fungi logs.
    I was at the show on Thursday morning, occasionally scanning the hordes of people hoping I recognize you in the crowd but I didn't, and my eyes were drawn to the exhibits anyway. I am embarrassed to say that until I read this post I didn't 'see' the U that fell out of the rock. Shame on me. I was so focused on "gold nugget" sempervivum, a tease since last year's show. Good observation regarding planting the hole instead!

    1. Maybe next year we need to plan ahead and meet up somewhere? And I love that you were so focused on the sempervivum that you missed the U!

  3. Those may be the best bonsai tree displays I've ever seen. I don't usually get too excited about bonsai but the settings really added to their drama.

  4. The juxtaposition of the rusted metal, stone and bonsai was wonderful!

    1. I could have spent a lot more time there taking it all in.

  5. I like the way you looked at the show.

  6. I'm with you; that was a great display. So many wonderful rusty bits and those giant seedpods were stunning. Love Wednesday's black foliage. What a statement that makes.


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