20 Jan 2010 Garden Show Awards
Show attendees often don’t realize that there are many awards won during the show in addition to those that will be assigned by our three 2011 Show Judges, Dan Pearson, Nancy Goslee Power and Panayoti Kelaidis.
These Show Judges award a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Crystal Award to each of the show gardens. They also award the Founder’s Cup, which has no set criteria – it’s the garden they all like the best. In 2010 the Founder’s Cup was won by designer Karen Stefonick of Le Jardin Home & Garden, and landscaper Brent Bissell, of B. Bissell General Contractors LLC. The award, a huge silver trophy, is bestowed on the ecstatic recipients during the Arboretum Foundation’s Preview Gala the night before the show opens.
The Show Judges also decide the American Horticultural Society Environmental Award. This is the garden that “best demonstrates skillful design that incorporates environmental stewardship in the garden.” Jessica Bloom, principle and designer of NW Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes teamed up with the nonprofit organization Seattle Tilth to create “A Family’s Little Farm in the City” which garnered the AHS Environmental Award last year.
But there are other judging teams on the garden floor during that hushed four hours after the gardens are finally completed, before the Preview Gala guests arrive. These judging teams do not know the results of the medals bestowed by the three Show Judges; they are all judging independently of each other, and each team has different criteria for their award.
The Pacific Horticulture Magazine Award goes to the garden that “best demonstrates the regional nature of garden design.” It is judged by a trio of Pacific Horticulture representatives, prominent designers and garden writers. In 2010 NW Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes and Seattle Tilth garden won this award, receiving a permanent plaque. Val Easton, Keith Geller and Ray Larson will reprise their role as judges for the 2011 award.
Seattle Homes & Lifestyles magazine editors choose the “First in Home & Design” Award. They are looking for the “best design for what could be a residential garden in Seattle,” and the winner receives a plaque. Last year “Your Hidden Garden Discovered,” created by a design team from the Association of Professional Landscapers – Washington Chapter (APLDWA) won this award.
The Sunset Western Living Award seeks the garden “most filled with fresh, useful, achievable ideas that enhance outdoor living in the West.” Sunset writers/editors Julie Chai and Jim McCausland will return to judge the award, with the winner receiving a plaque. Likewise, editors and garden writers from 425 Magazine judge the 425 Magazine Award. They are looking for “a garden that dazzles thanks to smart design, creativity and originality.” The garden created by NW Bloom and Seattle Tilth garden won both these awards with their memorable “urban homestead” garden.
In fact, 2010 was a bit of an embarrassment of riches for Seattle Tilth and designer Jessica Bloom and their show garden, capturing so many awards. So naturally we’ve tapped Jessi to give a seminar based on this popular multi-award-winning garden. In “Have Your Garden and Eat it Too” she will describe how she managed to pack so many functional, edible and sustainable gardening techniques into such a small garden – a space comparable to a typical urban garden in the Northwest. Jessi’s must-see seminar is Friday, February 25 at 5:15 pm in the Rainier Room.
But the gardens are not just judged by designers and garden magazine editors – you get to judge too. The Ethel Moss People’s Choice Award (named for an early, over-the-top passionate show attendee) is the favorite garden as voted by the show attendees. The recipient receives a permanent plaque, and a rotating trophy which must be relinquished prior to the following year’s show. NW Bloom and Seattle Tilth won this award in 2010. Who knows which garden will be capture the fancy of show attendees in 2011? Be sure to look for the voting stations in the skybridge and South Lobby and vote for your favorite garden.
To the garden creators themselves, perhaps the most cherished award is the Fred Palmer Exhibitor Award. (Fred Palmer was the owner of Star Nursery in South Seattle, and a huge supporter and garden creator during the show’s earliest years.) This is the garden voted the most accomplished by fellow garden creators, with a permanent plaque awarded. The Association of Professional Landscapers – Washington Chapter (APLDWA) won this award in 2010 for their innovative design and multi-use space.
The Container Garden exhibitors lining the sky bridge also vie for awards. They are judged in four categories – Best Design, Best Plant Material, Best ‘Re-Characterization’ of Recycled Material and People’s Choice Award. In 2010 Ravenna Gardens won Best Design; Small World Within Reach won Best Plant Material; Sunnyside Nursery won Best ‘Re-Characterization’ of Recycled Materials. The People’s Choice Award also went to Sunnyside Nursery for their cozy depiction of a fireside room, complete with planted easy chair. Lucy Hardiman and Nancy Goldberg love to judge the container gardens, and this year Cole Burrell will join the team.
Funky Junk is a special show section designed to encourage students that might be considering horticulture careers to get involved with the show. The goal is to demonstrate ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose materials in the garden. These too are judged. Black Hill High School won First Place in 2010 with “Eco Yard.” Second Place went to Ballard High with their exhibit titled “Viridis Veni Vidi Vici.” And another exhibit by Black Hills High School; “Rediscovering the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Pacific Northwest” took Third Place in Funky Junk. Authors and garden show speakers Matthew Levesque and Beth Evans-Ramos will be judging Funky Junk this year.
Not to be outdone, the Floral Competition is also judged. These extravagant artistic floral creations are assembled by some of the cutting-edge designers in the local floral industry. In 2010 the winners were Woodinville Florist (1st Place), Divine Natural Art (2nd Place), Countryside Floral (3rd Place) and the People’s Choice Award went to Tiare Floral Design. This year the Floral Competition can be found in the North Hall, along the east wall as you head to the seminar rooms.
The show itself also judges the 300+ Exhibitors, giving a number of awards to those that create beautiful displays in keeping with our high standards. Last year we had 14 award-winning exhibits. Coverall Stone, Inc. won the Best Overall Display Award. Outstanding Visual Presentation was won by four exhibitors, including Experienced Materials, Pelindaba Lavender, Swanson’s Nursery and Ravenna Gardens. The four Outstanding Marketing Display Awards went to Charley’s Greenhouse & Garden, Horizons Ltd., Sun Gro Horticulture and Applied Organics. In the Nursery category, Outstanding Marketing Nursery Display Awards were won by Woodland Gardens and Franchi’ Old World Italian Seeds. B&D Lillies and Furney’s Nursery / Evans Glass Inc. took the awards for Outstanding Visual Nursery Display. Finally, the Outstanding Educational Display was won by the Hardy Plant Society of Washington.
The small but inspiring Children’s Gardens in our children’s area, Sproutopia, also won awards. Best Design went to Graham Hill Elementary for “Derailed Train Garden;” Jane Adams Elementary won Best Use of Plant Material for their garden, “Moss Cave;” and John Rogers Elementary’s “Snail Garden with Rainbow Background” won the award for Most Innovative. This year we will have an imaginative play area in Sproutopia, designed by Seattle Children’s Playgarden and inspired by “Charlotte’s Web,” that will capture the delight of both young gardeners and those young-at-heart.
Back by popular demand, the show is bringing back the “Living it Up” exhibit which will be judged. These are three 12 ft. x 10 ft gardens designed to show how you can pack style and panache into a balcony, lanai or patio space. And our new “My Garden Gate” exhibit, with 20 artist-designed gates made of metal, wood and recycled materials, will also be eligible for awards.
Congratulations to all our 2010 winners. The Northwest Flower & Garden Show is truly a partnership with many different garden designers, landscapers, nurseries, artists, craftsmen, florists and retailers in the horticulture industry. We applaud those that take such pride in their work and help us maintain the high level of visual beauty our attendees eagerly expect. For a list of the 2011 Show Garden Creators, check out our website at http://nwf.gs/gBpDBw.
For our 2011 Exhibitor List go to http://nwf.gs/c5ewWY.
And if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you can print them at home here: http://nwf.gs/hrhsz4. Remember – Early Bird ticket prices are good until February 22. – Janet