I love how you can breathe in botanical names as if it's a shopping list.
Well, the weather here has been atrocious…relatively speaking. Our normal winter of mild temps has turned arctic-esque again and we are just waiting for the rain to return tomorrow and melt all this snow and ice away. Normally we get a week or so in February of dry, sunny days and balmy temps, luring every gardener out to prune roses and do some general cleanup. I postponed my rose pruning because I knew this freeze was coming. On a happier note, another much anticipated warming activity in February is the annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. Acres (at least it seems like) of gardens, plants, vendors booths, seminars and wonderful people (gardeners are really nice) all milling around, dreaming big dreams and soaking up a bit of paradise.
There were 24 display gardens to spur-on the imagination this year. They are really big and each is planned according to the show theme of the year. The 2011 theme is “Once Upon A Time: Spectacular Gardens with Stories to Tell”. Frankly half the time I don’t get the theme out of the design I see, but I don’t really care. It’s about the inspiration for me and what ideas I can take from the show to my own garden. The first garden I saw ended up being my favorite. Lots of nooks and crannies with well made classy sheds using recycled parts and old wood windows. That’s my kind of construction. When I rounded the corner and saw the name of the nursery that designed and implemented it…well I wasn’t surprised. It was Christianson’s Nursery ...my all time favorite! Their nursery is just like this. Well done. If you can, you must visit.
By the time it was to leave I hadn’t seen the whole show. I don’t know if it’s possible in one day and this time I got held up at Andy’s Orchids booth. There are always several orchid vendors there but Andy’s has orchids for the true orchid geek. Not all in showy, tempting bloom of run of the mill varieties that can be had from your local grocery store (which are lovely and I have several) at half the price they wanted at the show. No, Andy’s had a huge selection of more rare and unusual species, not all in flower but he was quick to pull up a photo of the flower for you to see on his laptop. And he was happy to just talk orchids. No hard sell, no quick-sell-and-on-to-the-next-customer. Just sharing his knowledge and he really wanted to make sure you chose the orchid best suited to your situation and experience. A really neat guy. If you are into orchids and are going to a regional flower show, maybe he’ll be there. He’s worth searching out. If you are lucky enough to be near Encinitas, CA you could visit him. Oh and yes, I bought an orchid, dendrobium pugioniforme. Now I have nine of differing species. Darn things are just so addicting! I don’t even get them to bloom again every year but I live in high hopes…either that or delusion, but I’m learning. A few weeks ago I found the best online forum which is a huge and very helpful resource. That and a few library books and I’m confident I’ll get more blooms this year.
Back at the show, most of the display gardens had water features too. This ball with water enveloping it from an outlet at the top was my fav. The water fell so softly there was no sound and barely a ripple on the water’s surface. It was simply beautiful. And the flat, open patio for seating…ahhh, so serene. Yeah I could live there.
I love this quirky idea for a garden shed. I snapped a picture of it to keep in my photo file of future garden ideas. I have lots of old windows and even an old pair of small French doors, all just waiting for a design and space to make a fun garden building or greenhouse. I keep taking pictures and designing it in my head. Hopefully someday it’ll take shape. Someday.
As a matter of fact most of the pictures I take at the show go into a file for future garden ideas. This is a cool idea from the Creative Gardener to use old floor grates as ‘stepping stones’…which from our old house I have a few stowed in the attic.
I’m always sad when this show is over. Not your run-of-the-mill home and garden show, it’s special. We are really fortunate to have it here in our midst. I look forward to it every year, and always come away with something new for the garden. This year I bought some Allium bulbs (Allium sphaerocephalon) which promise a two-tone oblong spring flower of green and purple. How cool is that?? They are already sprouting in the bag so as soon as the ground thaws I’ll plant them. Can’t wait to see the bloom!
As I often do, I listed websites and extolled the virtues of a few businesses here today. I do so because I love passing on great information…nothing here is a paid endorsement.
In Bloom In My Garden Today: Cyclamen coum, crocus, primrose (double English), Heleborus, Bellis perennis (English Daisy), violet primrose, Sarcococca, Galanthus elwesii (snowdrops)