Announcing “Design a Garden” on

Announcing “Design a Garden” on


This natural woodland scene - complete with fallen leaves - was created at this 2010 Northwest Flower & Garden Show garden.

Have you ever wondered about the countless design decisions that must go into creating a world-class garden show display garden? From the garden creator’s initial kernel of an idea, to the final building of the garden in 72 nerve-wracking intense hours, it is 9 months of planning, designing, recruiting, building, buying, forcing, pleading, sweating and finally, when it’s all over, collapsing. Fun!



Now YOU can design your own show garden, without any of the sweat and tears! The Northwest Flower & Garden Show announces “Design a Garden” on  The show has teamed up with Swansons Nursery and designer Lloyd Glasscock for this fun new feature at the 2011 show.


Swansons Nursery is Seattle’s premier destination nursery (full disclosure – Alexa’s Garden Café is one of my favorite places to meet friends for breakfast or lunch). Swansons, located in the heart of Ballard, has been growing great gardeners since it was founded in 1924. They have an awesome assortment of edibles, perennials, houseplants, trees, shrubs and everything in between, loads of great seminars for the novice gardener, and can boast a one-of-a-kind attraction during December – their very own reindeer display. Swansons has deep roots with the Garden Show, having created five stunning show gardens in the earliest years. Now they’re returning to the show after an 11 year hiatus with the chance to be a part of a garden designed by show attendees.


"Meditation from Within" by the Pacific Stone Company team was a romantic blending of Ireland's rich Celtic history with the Northwest's unique style.

Designer Lloyd Glasscock, CPH, is well-known to people as the former co-owner of Pacific Stone Company in Everett. Now he’s repurposing himself with a new venture as the designer and owner of Looking Glass DesignLooking Glass Design is a landscape design company with an emphasis on common sense solutions for the garden, creating outdoor living spaces through the use of plantings, containers and ‘hardscaping’ is the main focus (rather than building elaborate structures). Lloyd is excited to be working on designing a garden based on our website readers’ votes. He knows what it takes to build an award-winning show garden – he has worked with Tim Gray and the Pacific Stone Company’s team creating many gardens at past Northwest Flower & Garden Shows. For this garden he said “Wow, this will be a fun challenge!”


Over the next five months, you will be able to vote on many of the design details that go into creating a show garden. We’ll start with the garden’s theme, and since the show’s theme is “A Floral Symphony: Gardens Take Note,” our “Design a Garden” theme will be based on a song that you choose.


From now through September 8 go to the garden show website and vote on a series of categories to determine which song will be chosen: first the era of music and the genre, or style, of music. After the musical era and genre are selected, next week you can vote on the artist, and a week later, the winning artist’s song itself. Each vote will be based on the prior winning vote. Who knows? We could have a show garden based on a 60’s jazz song, or an 80’s rock/pop ballad, or a 1900’s classical piece. From Abba to Led Zepplin, and anywhere in between, our voters will pick the song that will be used for the “Design a Garden” theme. So to make sure one of your favorite songs is in the running, you need to VOTE, starting today! Just go to our voting page and select your choices.



And to make this even more interesting, each time you vote, if you provide your email address and US zip code, you will be entered in our 2012“All That Jazz” Grand Prize drawing (one vote per IP address and email not required for voting, and we are unable to accept Canadian postal codes). The prize is two nights lodging at the beautiful downtown Seattle Sheraton hotel, four tickets to the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, a $50 Cheesecake Factory gift certificate, a $10 Tully’s gift certificate, two parking passes at the Washington State Convention Center (value $48) and $250 CASH to spend at the show! That’s right – cash! Each time you help us design a show garden, you are entering to win a wonderful trip to the show along with a shopping spree for plants or tools or decor for your home and garden. (With over 350 exhibitors, all specially selected as the best in garden-related products, you won’t have any trouble spending your prize money.)


The 2010 show garden featured massive boulders and 'Stonehenge' pillars from Pacific Stone Company along with drought-tolerant plants

After the song is chosen on September 8, we’ll turn to the design details. Decisions such as the plant groupings from Swansons Nursery, hardscapes for patio and retaining walls with stone from Marenakos Rock Center, and mulching materials from Sawdust Supply will all be voted on, along with beautiful containers, garden art and outdoor furniture, also from Swansons.


In the end, all of the winning design elements will be integrated into the show garden design by Lloyd and Swansons Nursery, working with Cyle Eldred, our Garden Show Designer. They are all up for the challenge of designing a garden with you as their client! And then you can come see your creation February 8 – 12 at the 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show, as we present “A Floral Symphony: Gardens Take Note.” ~ Janet


  • Jennifer
    Posted at 20:09h, 18 August Reply

    Is the drawing only open to people who live in Seattle? I put in my zip and it said I wasn’t in range! Excited to see what the polling turns out.

    • Janet
      Posted at 20:25h, 18 August Reply

      Thanks for alerting us to this! We have now fixed it so any US zip code is accepted. (Unfortunately the system won’t accept Canadian codes.) – Janet

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