Wednesday, March 1, 2023

The City Living Gardens are back at the NWFG Festival

The City Living Displays in the skywalk at the Seattle Convention Center have long been my favorite Northwest Flower & Garden Festival feature. At the 2022 show there were only a couple of these displays and they were shoved in a dark corner of the main hall, it was very disappointing. I am happy to report this year they were back where they should be, and there were fun ideas to be had. First up, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Ma Petite Gardens...

The only thing my eyes saw in this planter was the combination of the dark purple pot, the Corokia cotoneaster and the graptopetalum (or whatever that dusty succulent is). Magic! I love the color and texture and could do without the rest of the plants, well, except for the purple ranunculus, those can stay.

"Savvy City Living" by Savvy Gardens & Home, there's a lot of fun stuff going on in there!

I loved this planter, mainly because of the awesome Rhipsalis paradoxa cascading over the edge.

I am still not a big fan of mixed container plantings, but I'd take this one if somebody offered it to me!

They really get a 10 for cool plants in this display. I spied that same drool-worthy bromeliad—Vriesea (Goudaea) 'Ocean Mist'—at a nursery later in the weekend. It was $50, I left it behind. Sad.

"Bringing Wine Country to the City" by Woodinville Barrel Works was really just an ad for their designs. Yes, they are all ads really, but this one even more so.

Still, it was kind of fun to look at.

"Coastal French Cottage" by the Brocante Beach House...

Because planted shelves and drawers are fun! 

And I love the banner. In French.

More French! This is "Balcon D’Oiseaux et Fleurs" or "Balcony of Birds and Flowers" by Portland's own JJ DeSousa and her Digs Inside & Out. Of course this was my very favorite...

JJ has the merchant thing down to a T.

That wallpaper (?) is just so fabulously LOUD. I love it.

I love the light fixture and the bulb she chose too.

The simply birdhouse display makes great use of the building's horizontal features. If I had one quibble with the whole booth it would be that I really wanted to climb in there and slightly turn the chairs, as though their occupants were engaged in conversation.

JJ is always good with the details, magnolia branches sourced to go with the wallpaper print.

Good Vibes Only went along with the show's theme "Spring Vibes Only", as seen throughout the venue and on a couple of selfie stations.

One more booth, "Greenhouse Oasis" from Homegrown Organics. I waited so patiently to get a photo of this booth without onlookers. I finally had to give up, not a bad thing that there was so much interest.

This is another display with great plants and interesting ways of using them.

I heard just a tiny bit of the designer John Coghlan talking about the large pots, but not enough to say anything worthwhile about them.

That's it for the City Living displays, but I also want to share this arrangement from the small Ikebana display. It's fabulous!

The pin-cushion protea are the perfect flower for the vase and the arching twigs add a nice element.

But those wavy aspidistra leaves... how did they do that? So good...

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  1. I'm glad you shared your photos of the City Living displays here. I saw some photos on IG but couldn't get a good sense of them, much less the interesting details, from those posts. So many great ideas! Our "local" spring garden show at South Coast Plaza (a huge upscale mall in OC) is scheduled for April and the promo notice says they'll have garden displays this year - we'll see! In recent years, the few they had were more about selling furniture (some of which couldn't survive long outside even in our climate) rather than plants and gardens.

    1. I'm always amazed by the fact there is a garden show in a mall. It's just so bizarre!

  2. The banner, the fern filled boots. So many great ideas.

    1. Fun! And they're so much more interesting than most of the large garden displays.

  3. I'm in total agreement: The City Living displays are so much better at the skybridge location, where they are well lit and make you feel you are on a balcony on a high rise.
    It is alway difficult to pick a favorite. I find something to inspire me in each of the displays. When I saw the potted Rhipsalis paradoxa, I thought: that one is for Loree.
    Although I like JJ's wall paper, I felt it overwhelmed the small space. The set of chairs, on the other hand, I'd adopt in a hot second!

  4. Those were interesting. No wonder one of your favorite parts of the show.

    I recognized one bit of the wallpaper as an Audubon, of a male Raven. The pots in the last space were very striking, though they competed with the plants for attention.

    1. I agree about the pots, they're way TOO MUCH for my style but they certainly captivated the viewing public

  5. These sorts of displays are nice for inspiration, so I am glad you shared the wine barrel booth. I've kept a couple metal wine barrel bands for a potential art project, but I haven't found anything that inspires me yet. I don't like the giant hanging balls that they made (excuse the wording). They are so out of scale and theme for our yard. I wonder if they would look nicer with a good rusty patina. The best thing I can think of is to somehow attach old wood planks and maybe make a wall planter of some sort. Meanwhile, they just sit there looking all trashy. Good 2023 resolution - use them or lose them.

    1. Well if the calendar turns and you haven't used them, and thus need to lose them, keep me in mind!


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