Colors and Plants and People-Oh my!

Colors and Plants and People-Oh my!

(c) Aaron BarrWhew! We just finished exploring the show and our minds are still whirling with all the colors! After the long winter of our newly landscaped but very young garden with almost no winter flowers, coming into the explosion of colors was almost overwhelming! Incredible reds and purples of the cyclamen, new “orange marmalade” hostas, toad lilies and begonias of incredible color combinations…and don’t get me started on all the dahlias! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…let’s step back to the first image that just blew us away.(c) Aaron Barr


Shapiro Ryan Design started things off right by wow-ing us with an amazing (c) Aaron Barrarchitectural wood and screen outdoor element with a huge circular opening. One of our friends has told us repeatedly that a garden has to have mystery, well, this piece made us pine for it in our front yard. Amazing.


Anner and I got married last year and we decided to have the ceremony in the back yard. Well, of course, that meant it needed to be newly landscaped since it was pretty much just flat grass at that point. So last year we went to the show looking for elements that might inspire us-including the wonderful flag from Oregon Flag which we’ve loved. This year we wanted to focus on plants to fill in all of the holes in the landscaping and we really wanted to try to find some of the exotic things we couldn’t find at our local nursery

(a quick cheer for the wonderful folks at Sky Nursery!). We definitely didn’t come away empty handed.


(c) Aaron BarrSure, we couldn’t resist this year’s crop of dahlia tubers – the folks at Dan’s Dahlias and, in particular, The Dahlia Barn, are always wonderful – but it was the new (to us at least) plants that really got our juices flowing. We’ve learned, sadly, that our yard is pretty much a shade garden, but Keeping It Green Nursery had some incredible shade lovers that we can’t wait to try out! We got two Jack-In-The-Pulpits which we’d heard about, but never actually seen, and a new form of Hardy Impatiens from China. Sundquist Nursery gave us a new Great Plant Picks selection with “Night Heron” Fairybells (diporum cantoniense) as well as a couple of ferns – our first foray into the fern world. How can we go wrong with a “Regal Red” painted fern next to the cool silvers of the “Wildwood Twist”? No chance – that’s going to be a winning area of our garden guaranteed!


Finally, we all know that begonias do pretty well in shady areas, and this year we stumbled upon Antonelli Brothers Begonias from (c) Aaron BarrCalifornia. The grandson of the original Antonelli was there and nice as could be. Standing next to us was the organizer of the Vancouver, BC Fuschia and Begonia Society who insisted Antonelli Brothers had THE BEST begonias out there. Who were we to say no? Six tubers please!


Now it’s time to hope that this weekend isn’t as rainy as they’re predicting, because universally we were told to “plant immediately!” Guess we’d better get started. Enjoy the show and let’s all hope this isn’t really the last year!

Hi! We’re Aaron Barr and Anner Charrier and this is our third show…first as a married couple. We live in a small bungalow in North Seattle surrounded by fir and pine trees which give us a LOT of shade and a LOT of pine needles. Our current gardening focus is on finding plants that actually want to live. It takes a strong plant to survive in our yard!

  • Kaye
    Posted at 20:41h, 19 February Reply

    I think plants will be best in your backyard. And I suggest you to add rock walls it can enhance the value of your property.

  • Martha
    Posted at 13:06h, 21 February Reply

    Do you happen to know the name of the vendor at the NW Flower and Garden Show who is selling Cordyline Electric pink and Begonia Fuchsia? They had quite a few of the latter. I was at the show yesterday and would like to contact the vendor. Thanks.

  • Flora
    Posted at 11:23h, 22 February Reply

    Martha, Checking on this for you… -Flora

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