Celebrating the Harvest…in February

Celebrating the Harvest…in February

Corn on Roof, photo courtesy of Patti McQuillin and Sandi EddyBy Patti McQuillin and Sandi Eddy
Guest columnists

The old saying goes that corn should be knee-high by the Fourth of July, but in Seattle Urban Farm Company’s garden called “A Backyard Farm,” the corn was knee-high to a really tall giant – and it’s only February!

The corn is so tall because it’s growing on the roof of a very inviting rustic kitchen. Next to the kitchen in this well-designed garden you’ll find the resident chickens, peacefully pecking about in a charming enclosure that’s even shuttered, I suppose for nesting privacy.

Chicken Coop, photo courtesy of Patti McQuillin and Sandi EddyChickens—a necessity in any real farm garden—supply the soil with organic fertilizer and the owners with a little protein. No wasted space on their roof, either, as it’s also planted with edibles! It was definitely springtime in this garden, as the planting beds were filled with starts of all kinds of vegetables and herbs in curving beds edged with round stones, enclosing a beautiful garden that makes you feel right at home.

Apples, photo courtesy of Patti McQuillin and Sandi EddyA few steps away and you’re in another season—it’s Fall and we’re celebrating the harvest in Pacific Stone Company’s garden titled “Crush.” Bathed in an autumn-colored light that mimics the oh-so-wonderfully-forgiving sunshine of an October day, the leafless branches of the apple trees were adorned with beautifully polished red apples, shiny and so delicious looking that you could just eat them.

Chard & Pumpkin, photo courtesy of Patti McQuillin and Sandi EddyThe ground below the trees was also a feast of edible color, as glossy “Bright Lights” Swiss Chard (a must for any Fall edible garden) cuddled up to the white “Spirit” pumpkins to ward off the autumn chill.

Pelargonium “Mrs. Quilter” completed the show with lemon-scented leaves edged in white. The garden was rounded out by large oaks with dried leaves intact, and severe black metal crows keeping guard over the harvest shed.

We actually found our favorite people-watching spot right behind this garden. The aisle passes around the back of the shed, which has a small window. We watched as one by one, people overcome by curiosity and a bit of voyeurism peeked Patti McQuillin & Sandi Eddyinto the window to see what they could see.

About the columnists: Patti McQuillin and Sandi Eddy are sisters (can ya tell?) who both inherited their mom’s love of gardening. Patti loves gardening with edibles and natives, and Sandi’s specialty is mixed perennial borders. They’ve actually lost count, but figure this is about their seventh trip to the Garden Show. They live in Gig Harbor.

To view full-size versions of Patti and Sandi’s photos, simply click on the photo (click on it again to return to thumbnail size).

  • Deborah Burns
    Posted at 10:56h, 24 February Reply

    I loved the autumnal feel of “Crush” you were so right about the golden light for the exhibit. Imagine enjoying a glass of wine while sitting at the table surrounded by the oaks and cupped by the raised beds!

  • Timothy Gray
    Posted at 15:18h, 27 February Reply

    The people of Pacific Stone Company continue to be in awe of everyone’s wonderful comments during the past week. To spend a good part of today (2-27-2008) looking at all the amazing articles, photos, and reviews our our garden – “Crush” – is very reconfirming. Thank you all, Timothy Gray, Pacific Stone Company, Everett.

  • Flora
    Posted at 11:54h, 28 February Reply


    We enjoyed your wonderful display. Thanks for all you did in making the Northwest Flower & Garden Show a huge success!

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