Birches, chamaecyparis and confers of all types mixed with red-twigged dogwoods, hellebores and hamamelis (witch hazels) artfully blended to create scenes of Great Northwest fantasy. I heard several friends were going to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Tired of brown Bermuda and trees without snow, I decided to use some of my points, fly across the country and join them. While I strolled through indoor-wrought scenes of garden and patio life, several friends asked if I were speaking at the show. No, not this time. I just wanted to come and see what a garden show could be.
I know these pictures are large and probably taking a bit to load, but I wanted you to see the show as I did. These were full-sized trees artfully arranged. Our Oklahoma Home and Garden Show replete with aluminum siding and gutter guards pales in comparison. In fact, it should be ashamed of itself. How will we ever interest people in gardening if we don’t display more gardens?”
This garden, a piece of which is pictured above, was one of my favorites because of the subject matter. Called “Winter’s Come and Gone–a Lullaby” and created by Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association and designed by Gregory Smaus of Native Root Designs, it was both whimsical and classic with blackboards giving a piece of the folk song every step of the way. If you’d like to hear it, Gillian Welch does a nice rendition. The gardens and talks were created around different musical compositions and styles because the show’s overall theme was “Symphony in the Garden.” You can read more descriptions here. I can’t imagine garden designers in Oklahoma taking time to do this, but I noticed most gardens were a collaboration between colleges and design groups, along with commercial enterprises.
I heard some of my peers in Seattle thought the show was over the top, but to a red-dirt girl starving for color, the show whispered to me of early spring. Grown in greenhouses, plants were budded out and blooming. It was all fantasy, but since plants were labeled for identification, visitors could purchase something from the garden mart for one’s own garden. Yes, because of their temperate climate, people were buying all sorts of green and early blooming plants. It was fun to watch, but also a little sad. So many of their plants just won’t work here.
Maybe my friends are somewhat jaded because they see the show every year. This Oklahoma gardener could only think I was in paradise.
The weather was great. Damp, but not pouring with slate-colored skies. I loved it. My skin, dry from our winter, loved it.
Getting to see friends like Mary Ann Newcomer, Debra Prinzing, David Perry and meeting their spouses, significant others and muses, was priceless. Making new friends was great too. Talking again to Jessi Bloom and discovering, not only is she a garden designer and chicken herder, she’s also a roller derby queen (one of my favorite sports.) Watching Jayme Jenkins work her business, AHA Modern Living, and seeing some of her glass containers with modern frogs. A special thank you to Mary Ann and Flyboy. They watched over me like mother hens and entertained me at the best places. I think I talked their ears off because I was so excited. I had the best time.
Oh, and the food. The vegetables and seafood in Seattle taste better than I’ve ever had. It must be the soil. Food in Seattle tastes always reminds me of camping out. You’re so hungry, and the food tastes better than anything you’ve ever tasted. I bet at Heaven’s wedding banquet, food will taste the same.
I would go again in a heart beat.