Northwest Flower and Garden Show
Every Christmas I find two tickets to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in my stocking. Come February, the show marks the exit from gloomy winter to dreary spring. Playing hooky from work for an afternoon (cough, cough) is part of the tradition. To my winter-weary soul, nothing beats entering Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center and breathing in an acre of soil and plants in the display gardens. Ahhh—spring!
This post covers only a small sampling of the garden displays. Hope you enjoy the color!
There’s always a theme to the display gardens; this year’s theme was “America the Beautiful.” Let’s begin right here in Washington State with a visit to the Hoh Rainforest. This large display was incredibly realistic, with native plants, fallen trees, and even a natural mulching of dried leaves.
Nearby was a nod to the upcoming PGA Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, complete with azaleas, Rae’s Creek, and the Hogan Bridge.
A trip to the desert Southwest sounds good at this time of year.
One of my favorite gardens this year was inspired by Smith Rock State Park in Oregon, with rocky outcroppings and windblown, craggy trees.
From bare rocks to an overabundance of blooms.
Great seasonal color around the basalt water feature, inspired by Na Pali Coast State Park in Hawaii.
This gorgeous fence promised something special inside. So did the people crowded around with their mouths open. “Tiny Tetons” was probably the most beautifully designed display we’ve seen.
A depiction of Denali National Park in Alaska featured trout from Fish in the Garden (we have FITG carp in our garden).
Beyond the display gardens were acres more, filled with vendors of all things garden-related. Fish in the Garden was there, all the way from Maine.
I was so fascinated by this sculptor’s metallic shoes that I didn’t take a picture of his wares, which were, appropriately, water features made of brass musical instruments.
Are bugs your thing? You can collect some fancy ones for your wall.
And of course, the Northwest is home to glass artist Dale Chihuly, so art glass is very popular here. No sign of Dale, though.
Inevitably, after a day filled with beautiful garden designs and colorful art, we always return home to this: February in the Northwest, the deadest and gloomiest month for the garden, and the wettest winter on record. Right now, it just looks like a lot of work.
I was inspired enough to plant primroses in our porch planters and create this succulent garden (with frogs!) for my desk at work.
And we installed our garden art addition, an biplane whirligig, which fits in nicely because we enjoy watching the small planes fly over our house as they turn to land at our local airport. We’ll let it rust up and then add a coat of protective lacquer.
Suddenly, it’s March, and everything’s starting to bud and grow, including the weeds. Our Mt. Fuji cherry is about to put on its annual show.
Seattle Home Show
The week after the garden show, we returned for the Seattle Home Show. We don’t hit this show every year, but it’s time for us to start getting serious about building our retirement home on Whidbey Island. I can hardly believe we’re to that point. We have a lot on our plate this year: The company we both work for is going through massive layoffs, we are planning to retire within the next two years, and we’ll be building a house on our island property … and, of course, continuing to work on the bungalow. What could go wrong? Right now, life is full of questions and we just have to wait for some of the answers. We’re having an interesting year.
At the Home Show, this architect’s design caught our eye. This home’s exterior comes really close to embodying our vision for our next house.
Now, we’re just waiting for the money tree in our backyard to bloom like crazy! Where’s my fish fertilizer?