Contrary to the highly urbane and terribly sophisticated image you may have of me, (yeah, right) I'm pretty much a small town homebody so navigating the big city of Seattle can be quite a harrowing experience for this simple hayseed. The traffic on the way was just fine but when I got to the convention center, today's destination, the parking garage was full so I parked in a nearby garage. In cities, these openings in the sides of buildings seem to magically appear with parking signs on them. I drove into the next such rabbit hole I found and as I went further and further up the levels of the parking structure the ceilings seemed to be getting shorter and shorter. I drive a small car but I was ducking in hopes of avoiding the ceiling when it would undoubtedly shave the top of the car off. The air in this particular structure was exceptionally stagnant and warm. The concrete surface beneath was smooth and shiny from so much wear while the walls and ceilings were all sprayed with white foam insulation which had turned dark gray from many years of accumulated exhaust. I've never actually had a panic attack before but the lack of parking on the first six floors along with the magically shrinking ceiling caused me to say calming things to myself. Did I take the wrong pill or go through an incorrect door? Wondering to which circle of hell I had been delivered I finally found parking on the seventh level. To help you visualize, I've included this map.
I was able to locate elevators with a dearth of information as to locations of things like streets posted anywhere. Yes, a sensible person would assume that if he entered on level one, that would be where he would want to return on the elevator but there was a sign on level 3 about a hotel entrance and after surviving the parking ordeal, 'twas difficult to properly regulate one's thoughts. There was a woman, only a few years my senior who was also playing elevator games and looking as befuddled as I felt. It was incredibly nice not to feel so alone in my inability to figure out the labyrinthine complexity of Wonderland or Dante's Inferno whichever this was. Fortunately a very nice young woman, coffee in hand, saw us and taking pity said, "Oh, I'll help you folks." She pushed the right button, gave us a few directions and led us out into the light. Ah, fresh(ish) air and light. We beheld, once again, the sky.
Now, someone of my age who takes a daily water pill, has just made a long hour's journey into night, battled his way, with the help of a coffee-bearing guardian angel, back into the light and walked to his final destination will most likely be looking for a restroom sign. Being unable to locate any such handy signage I decided that If I simply rode the escalators around for a while I'd eventually spot something resembling a mens room. Shortly after I began contemplating possible receptacles and visually scanning for dark corners, a restroom sign appeared. Was this a miracle like the elevator angel or simply a mirage? We'll hope that it was the former as if it were not, there's a puddle somewhere in the Seattle Convention Center.
Whew! Parking, check, john trek, check. Now, If one buys a multi day pass online, (s)he cannot simply go to the ticket area and present said ticket. No my friends, technology has not yet advanced that far. Instead, (s)he must find will call which is far removed from the ticket counter and the entrance to the event, present the aforementioned pre-purchased and printed ticket and receive in exchange, a ticket printed on card stock. I've navigated airports in many large and even foreign cities with ease. Finding will call was not as difficult as the Montreal airport in the late seventies but is was a little confusing. Fortunately, the convention center and the event were so well staffed with wonderful, kind, and helpful folks that I eventually found it, got my new card stock ticket and headed into the show.
Why would one do this to himself, you may ask? Well, for the joy of being amongst lots of other passionate gardeners, seeing amazing gardens and vendors, and experiencing inspiring presentations at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show, the second largest such show in the nation. Upon entering, one is transported to a magical place full of great ideas, people and plants!
There is a skybridge that links two huge rooms containing the large show gardens and various vendors. The gardens in the Small Space Showcase on the skybridge are often among my favorites; maybe because of the abundance of natural light, maybe the smaller size makes them feel more like rooms that could be added to my own garden.
We sometimes wonder about where other bloggers might be writing their posts. I visualize Ms. Danger working in this chartreuse and orange office by Ravenna Gardens called, "2013: A Plant Odessey."
The theme of the show was "Gardens Go Hollywood" thus the movie references.Sunnyside Nursery
Steve Farris are truly drool worthy! The compostition was called "Spring" One enjoys a good clean double entendre!
I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too!
Artistic Garden concepts. The metal mesh planters on top with footed bowls of lighted glass balls made me want to run home and make some for my garden!
Dean Tile created "The Emerald City" a fabulous mosaic "rug" graces the floor.
A Nook Beneath the Eaves by Condina Ceramics Studio was eye catching!
Codina Ceramics Studio also had a presence in the vendor area so that you can enjoy some of this light hearted fun in your own garden!
Here's Leslie Codina the creator of all of this cool work!
There are lots more wonderful gardens and ideas from the NWFGS to share in future posts. Happy garden show season everyone!