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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.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Portland Yard, Garden, and Patio Show Part One: The Gardens

The Portland show had far fewer gardens this year than in the past few and they seemed to resemble offerings at home shows much more this year but there were still some fun ideas and cool plantings.



Sometimes an effectively placed pot is all the color necessary and it blooms year round!

I'm always attracted to things like this but truth be told, I seldom sit in my garden unless someone comes by to visit.  For me the joy comes at making discoveries while working in the space.

At the Seattle show just last week I attended an interesting talk about gardens that only required maintenance twice a year.  The presenter was a very knowledgeable and interesting plantsman and his presentation included beautiful shots of these spaces.  This easy-care garden style "allows for more time to enjoy the space."  While I admired the environmental friendliness of the style, I wondered if I'd actually go out and sit and admire or if I'd find something else to do with the spare time?

Elaborate outdoor kitchens are all the rage.  My indoor kitchen isn't much larger than this and much less functional.   Although it does have a roof and walls which makes it nicer in the winter. 

What's an outdoor kitchen without an outdoor dining room complete with fireplace?

In my next life or when I win the lottery my garden will be large enough to incorporate something like this.

The wall o water was cool but since we live where this stuff falls from the sky nine months of the year it might seem a little redundant.

I do love a mixed media pathway.

What are your thoughts on torch flowers?

The density of planting and variety of evergreen color is skillfully done here.  Until the plants grow that is.

Bleached stumps as artwork.


Speaking of outdoor rooms, how about a living room?

Fantasy dining room just off another outdoor kitchen. 


Interesting concept.  Behind this was an elaborate outdoor kitchen and a couple of seating areas.  So, one goes outside to commune with nature but they've put in a drive in movie screen complete with surround sound.  Turn off the T.V. in the summer kids!  Aren't we lucky we don't live next door?

One of the aforementioned seating areas so that the grownups can also see the show. 

The kitchen
 Which also has views of the screen.

If one had acres of land and there was still ample space for interesting gardens,  the dogs to run, and the children to play this would work.  Yet I rarely even play music outdoors as it interferes with my enjoyment of the birds singing, bees buzzing, water splashing.  What are your thoughts of these elaborate outdoor kitchens and entertaining spaces?

22 comments:

  1. These aren't my cup of tea, but I can see how some aspects of them are seductive. I'm 100% against anything with speakers though, so the outdoor theater is out. I have enough problem with neighbors playing music whenever I'm trying to enjoy the natural beauty. Grrr!

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    1. I try to convince myself that the neighbors' noise pollution, including the screaming and swearing coming from the facility for those with emotional disabilities across the alley, is all part of the aural tapestry of urban living. I'm not convinced but it's nice to try.

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  2. Outdoor kitchens and living rooms are not my cup of tea either. I'd rather devote that space to more garden beds and more plants. I have been known to sit out in my garden occasionally, but mostly my enjoyment of it comes from the work I do there, and from knowing the birds and the bees enjoy it.

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  3. Enough of the outdoor rooms! That TV/theatre set-up made me want to scream. Seriously, as you note, what about the neighbors? Gawd I would want to bomb my neighbors if they tried something like that. Gardens as gardens...can we just get back to that?

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    1. No, how do you REALLY feel? How can we expect children to love or at least respect nature if they never get to experience even a tiny bit of it in their own back yards? Really? A T.V. outside? Learn to talk to people for heavens sake!

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  4. Hmmm...none of them rock my boat. I can see retailers pushing for outdoor rooms to be trendy. Well they have furnishings to sell but nearly all of them are impractical.

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    1. Cold winter nights are for watching movies and snuggling under blankets, summer is for playing, maybe eating, and certainly drinking outside while taking in the beauty that surrounds one.

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  5. As I was reading your post I wondered where the TV screens were and, sure enough, they showed up. While I like some outdoor seating and a place to eat, that's as far as my own interest in the outdoor-indoor replication goes. I already know that our OC garden show is once again going that direction - it's called "At Home in the Garden." Bleck!

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    1. I've a feeling that this is not meant by the term "garden room." Anyway, it goes with the mcmansion very well!

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  6. I enjoy the garden (the "Space"...) while working in it. A garden that require only twice yearly maintenance isn't for me. It suits those who don't like gardening. The mix media path and surrounding planting is very appealing. The outdoor rooms, not so much. Just imaging the bugs flying in for the outdoor cooking: they don't feature that in the show...

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    1. I always wonder about how this stuff would fare during our wet season. I understand that there are people who don't like gardening but would the be going to a show of this sort?

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  7. The Garden Show just isn't the same this year without Alison's take on it.

    Twice yearly maintenance would require a bulldozer here, second go at it. Outdoor lounging and dining is not attractive in my garden: gnats, heat, humidity and chicken litter spread in fields a half mile away before the mortalities are fully composted.

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    1. I've missed her too but things are getting better and the longer days will lure her out!

      Golly, humidity and chicken litter wasn't listed in the Georgia tourism brochure. Thanks for the giggle!

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  8. I think all this fancy stuff is for people who don't actually garden.

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    1. You're right and it would play better at a home improvement sort of show.

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  9. I hate I missed it. Maybe next year...

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    1. Hope so! Will you be going to Hortlandia this year?

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  10. Nice! Love the rusty dog and the stone bridge.

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  11. I have always fantasized about an outdoor kitchen where I could do all of the canning and jamming, etc. without steaming up the kitchen and the cook. It would be a considerably less upscale affair though.

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