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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Northwest Flower and Garden Show - A Preview

Maybe the title should have been a taste of a taste of spring, the theme of this year's show.

It's an hour and a half before the floor of the convention center must be cleared for the judges to view the display gardens.  Tired designers and their teams, some of whom haven't slept for days, are putting finishing touches on their gardens.  The occasional forklift passes by, large carts of unused plants sit awaiting their fate, brooms and mops are busy everywhere sweeping leftover soil into tidy piles.

The excitement is palpable as preparations for this year's show reach their zenith.

I sneaked into the vendor area as well. 

In just a few hours this place will be buzzing with attendees of the Tuesday evening gala, and on Wednesday morning, at the opening of the show, crowds will fill the space.

The South Entrance to the show is always planted with locally sourced gems.

In this area, every plant is well marked so that even non gardeners (I've heard that there are such people.) can identify them.

The taste part of the theme "Taste of Spring" is seen frequently at this year's show with edible plants being in vogue.

More posts of the show will follow but today, here's a sampling of a few highlights in random order. Wanting to give you a taste of the show as soon as possible, I'll publish the post first and then go back to add descriptions if time allows. To really get the whole scoop, pick up a show guide on your way into the show!

 I recognized quite a few of the plants seen in the greenhouse of Windmill a few weeks ago in the Fancy Fronds garden.

A hand carved marble fountain ($9,500.00 if you want to take it home) is one of the details of an Italian garden

From an entirely different part of the world comes the inspiration for this garden. 

Yes, it's natural rock!  
 Elandan Gardens brought in the largest Contorted Filbert in the state of Washington for it's display.

The G-spot?  

Honey, I Shrunk the Farm features natural filtration of water, using fish waste as fertilizer, and highlights sustainable garden practices.

All set up for a game of teacup golf. 

This represents pasta (a taste of spring)

A stack of butter cubes
And here we have Swiss Cheese.

Do you see the bed springs? 

The bunkhouse features a first for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, a urinal planted with yellow violas.

Making it's world premier at the show is "The Drunken Lotus Fountain"
 Even we'll have lows below freezing for the next week or so, colder than normal for us this time of year, the show always makes me ready for spring.

After all of that loveliness, I'm ready for a nice cup of tea, how about you?

The show opens tomorrow and runs through Sunday.  You won't want to miss this highlight of the garden year in the Pacific Northwest. 

Many thanks to those talented and tireless souls who spend months of preparation and sweat to make this annual event such a joy for all of us.  Special thanks to O'Loughlin Trade Shows for saving our show from coming to an end.  


  1. Wonderful. Just wonderful. I'm glad for the few comments. They were necessary to understanding (1 yes, that is a natural rock and 2 contorted filbert is alive and 3 statue is a pasta). I liked the South Entrance garden best overall. But my best in show goes to the large pot tipped on its side spilling water. It's those succulents between the rocks that look so awesome to me.

  2. Looking forward to seeing the show, although it all looks pretty typical. Nothing new under the sun (or the artificial lights).

  3. Hmmm...Looks like I'm going to have my work cut out for me, finding that bit of inspiration. Bummer they already had the bad lighting on for some of your photos. See you soon!

  4. We will be there tomorrow morning!

  5. Once again, I'm very envious. Once again, I'm kicking myself for failing to wheedle one of my friends into making a trip up that way with me to see the show.

    1. I wish I'd been wheedled. Just the idea of a garden show...

  6. Thanks for the photos. It's really tough to get decent pictures at venues like this, but you did a great job. The comments of course are the best part.

    So they don't have a viola-filled steel urinal planter every year? No wonder I've never been.

  7. There is really nothing like this around here. Though perhaps the one they have in Chicago has merit. I have not gone to it. Locally our event has only one real floral display and then maybe a shed company will put up some buildings. Most of it is small potatoes compared to this. That filbert makes me think I need one just so I might someday have something like that to look at. Wow.

  8. "The excitement is palpable", and your post did nothing to settle me at all: I can hardly contain myself till Friday. So much beauty in one place.
    BTW: the G is for Giddy Gardener or Groovy Garden, although your idea was funnier :-)

  9. Thanks for the great pics! I won't be able to go this year so rely on my garden detectives out there. Looks to be a great show!


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