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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It's Showtime Folks! A sneak peak at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Tons of Rock has been brought in.  Thank you Marenakos Rock Center!

The trucks have been unloaded.


Understudy players are waiting in the wings.


They're putting on the finishing touches






The excitement is palpable as the guided press preview draws to a close and the loudspeaker continues to announce how many minutes are left until the garden floor must be cleared.

Soil, moss, sawdust, and water are swept from the floor while designers and their teams get a bit nervous, some having not slept in days.

Once the floor is cleared, it's eerily quiet as the judges arrive.

Thankfully, the floral judging takes place a couple hours later.  Some people are finished and have gone while a lot more are still agonizing.
Once the judging takes place, a few changes might be made before the gala opening night party on Tuesday evening.  I bet there will be a lot of sleeping happening tonight!

Here's a peek, in no particular order or detail, at some of the gardens.  More on these glorious  creations in a later post.   The theme this year is "America the Beautiful" celebrating America's national parks and landmarks.

"A Nation Remembers" by Flower Growers of Puget Sound.

NWFGS Theme Garden.  "A tribute to hole 12 at Augusta" which pays homage to "Amen Corner," the signature hole at August National Golf Club.


From "El Patio Fuente" celebrating the influence of early Spanish settlers and clergy.

"The Hoh: America's Rain Forest"  Washington Park Arboretum.  There's actually rain dripping from overhead in this garden.


"El Patio Fuente" again.




"Southwest Serenity" by West Seattle Nursery and inspired by the many National Parks in the Southwest.



From "The Tiny Tetons" by Nature Perfect Landscape and Design.  See a front view of this breathtaking garden above.

Elanden Gardens once again creates, in it's on inimitable style, a spectacular garden.  "Capturing High Dessert Beauty - Oregon's Smith Rock."

Fancy Fronds Nursery has come up with "New York, New York: Cat Pads! On Broadway."
"America's symbols aren't limited to towering peaks, grand parks or famous structures.  In this garden, the garden creator's imagination has been inspired by the iconic, long-running Broadway show, 'Cats."  (Music by that famous American, um,  Andrew Lloyd Weber and based on the book Old Possum's book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot who emigrated to England at the age of 25.  The show opened in London. But I digress.)  The garden is lots of fun and is a paradise for our feline friends!

Two designers, two gardens, one theme.  "From Sea to Shining Sea"  On the Right is Coupleville Washington with  "Painted Lady" Victorian Blue Goose Inn Bed & Breakfast and casual gardens by Fancy Plants Gardens while on the right is Nantucket, Massachusetts creating a delightful counterpoint to Coupeville, Washington.  Both towns share strong ties to the sea.  There are many fabulous details of both gardens that you'll want to explore and compare

including this lilac forced into bloom in February.  The fragrance is divine and transports one to a warmer time of year.

I think this is "Essence of Yellowstone" by choice Landscapes.  This beautiful blue pond has live trout in it.  They were a little frightened by all of the noise going on but some of us got a glimpse.


A Room with a Garden View by English Landscapes Group has gorgeous painted backdrop panels that set the garden off perfectly.   

There are beautifully done mosaic pieces here as well including an outdoor shower beneath the tentacle of an octopus.  (An octopus'  garden.)


"Mountains and Rivers Without End" by Oliana Gardening.


"Discovering Alaska" by Adam Gorski Landscapes.  These are all plants that will grow in tundra. Alaska is also know for it's ceramic fish swimming upstream to spawn.

"Park it in Your Own backyard"  by Dakara Landscape Design paying homage to our very own Mount Rainier National Park.

Adding some magic to "A World Away on the Na Pali Coast"  by Plantswoman Design.

Now all that's missing is YOU!  The show runs from February 17 - 21.  Hope to see you there! Check out the show blog here for year-round information.

The show is always bursting with ideas!

25 comments:

  1. I've so been looking forward to the Show and photos by you and Linda Letters and others who bring the best of it to those of us too far away.

    Thanks for being my eyes for this event.

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    1. I always love to see other posts about the show as everyone finds different and interesting things within the gardens and show to share. It's a pleasure to share this treasure!

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  2. Omigosh, Peter! Better than being there! Better than Chelsea! What a good job these entries made of the theme. It's fun getting this sneak peek. What did you say to the guy in #5 that made him laugh so hard?

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    1. I think that the workers were all in a silly mood as they were finally putting finishing touches on these gardens that were such back breaking work! To think that just a few days ago this was just a huge expanse of concrete floor and will be again as soon as the show is over.

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  3. Thanks so much for showing me what I'm missing! Great pics of the show gardens AND the wonderful added benefit of your sparkling wit. I'm beginning to wonder if I might be recuperated enough by the weekend to venture into town... But maybe not, although I'm up and about, I'm afraid of my wretched, stitched-up body being jostled by the crowds.

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    1. Dealing with the crowds might be a bit much for your body at this point and the tweet up is probably too soon but is, as you know, much less crowded. Maybe it would be less crowded late on Sunday?

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  4. Love the preview, love your commentary. Wish indoor garden shows could use simulated (or real) daylight, as the artificial lighting just makes things weird for me.

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    1. It is a bit weird but also kind of fun and theatrical. Tomorrow, I'll get shots with the work lights on which is much more like daylight.

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  5. I wasn't going to let myself peek but in the end I had to. I especially enjoyed your countdown photos. See you soon!

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  6. I contemplated skipping this year's show, take a break after so many years... But now I admit to having second thoughts. Maybe I can squeeze it in on Friday before work.
    I really like it when an opening in a wall "frames" a plant or a corner in the garden. You have a few such pictures here, and I find it beautiful and inspiring.

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    1. I hope you can go as it's quite lovely and worth seeing!

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  7. I look forward to your next posts! One year, I'm going to convince either my husband or friends to accompany me up that way for this event. Meanwhile, I'll relish your coverage.

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    1. Oh Kris, it would be so much fun to have you visit the show & hit lots of nurseries in the area!

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  8. As if I'm not already too excited!!!!! Great to see the preview. Thank you!
    Will you be there for the Tweet-up?

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    1. I will be there and look forward to seeing you!

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  9. Now that was fun ! I really enjoyed the behind the scenes shots. Flower shows can help give you some good ideas for your home.

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    1. There are always some great ideas at these shows. Mostly I think about who would design the garden I'd have if I ever won the lottery:)

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  10. The idea of a rainforest (with rain!) indoors is too cool for words. You make armchair travel a delight. Thanks!

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    1. It really was quite special but the folks at the Washington Park Arboretum always do a great job!

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  11. Well, we were there today!! We are resting our tired feet this evening after 10 hours at the garden show. I will get around to posting some photos sometime.

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    1. Golly, 10 hours seems like a lot of show for one day! I usually go a couple of times to get smaller doses. Looking forward to seeing your pictures!

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  12. Wow that looks like an amazing garden show!! What gorgeous gardens!! Thanks for the sneak peak into the setting up of such creations. I can't even imagine how much work goes into something like that!

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  13. Smelling a lilac in Feb. is enough to make me weak just thinking about it.

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  14. Amazing, amazing. We have nothing like that here. Thanks so much for sharing it. Putting backgrounds to the gardens--quite a cool idea.

    More eye-candy--wheee! :)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.