Garden Creators Compose to “A Floral Symphony” – Part 2

Garden Creators Compose to “A Floral Symphony” – Part 2


The 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show will feature 26 awe-inspiring show gardens, and here is Part 2 on what to look for in the gardens when you visit February 8 – 12 at the Washington State Convention Center. If you missed it, here’s Part 1 posted earlier this week.



Under the Arbor designed a sumptuous outdoor living room in 2010.

We all remember the Paul Simon classic “Kodachrome,” and Kristy Ditmore of Under the Arbor Landscape Design, along with Jamie McAuliffe at McAuliffe’s Valley Nursery will create an outdoor living space filled with those nice bright colors. ‘All the world’s a sunny day’ goes the familiar song, and a tapestry of plants, color and textures in this modern design will show you what you can do in your own space to enhance your living and enjoyment of your garden.


Tony Fajarillo of Redwood Builders and the Puget Sound Bonsai Association will feature a garden infused with Asian inspiration and traditional Filipino music that shows the vital importance of the rice paddies to the culture and people of the Philippine mountain provinces. The garden, titled “Rice Above,” will be punctuated with bonsai to signify antiquity, celebrating the ancient rice terraces, the life-line of millions of people. Look for a venerable old ‘Tiger eye’ Sumac as a focal point in the garden, a tree painstakingly dug up by Tony who has long wanted to include it in a show garden.


In 2011 the Flower Growers of Puget Sound created a fragrant garden with a vertical living wall as a focal point.

A warm summer evening, the sun slowly sinking below the horizon, the sound of soft music drifting lazily across the park … you and your best friend snuggled comfortably on a blanket with your picnic basket full of delicious treats. That is the theme of “A Concert in the Park” created by the Flower Growers of Puget Sound WA which will greet you as you walk through the doors of the South Lobby. A gazebo will shelter musicians and their instruments, along with park benches and rambling trails to pique your curiosity and tempt you to discover new treasures.



Dinosaurs were afoot in Adam Gorski's 2010 show garden - a big hit with the kids.

Seattle loves its music – memorials to Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain dot our state, and a building in the shape of a smashed guitar is a well-known landmark. “Grunge Garden” is a tribute garden by Adam Gorski of Adam Gorski Landscapes to musicians that have influenced the Seattle sound era. Look for the sounds of the 90’s grunge movement and touches of homage to great musicians in our past. The “Soundgarden Superunknown” album, Kurt Cobain’s tragic passing and the bands such as Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam serve as inspirations for this eclectic garden.  PHOTO


“Design a Garden” was a new concept this year – a show garden designed by our attendees, and built by the show. For weeks people have been voting on our website to select the theme and different design elements of the garden. Based on the votes, Lloyd Glasscock of Looking Glass Design has designed a sunny garden which will be built by a team from Terra Firma Hardscapes. The theme garden – “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles – will be filled with plants from Swansons Nursery that are primarily native to the Pacific Northwest. The hardscapes from Marenakos Rock Center will be primarily Montana Bronze Flagstone, and the top-dressing mulch from Sawdust Supply will be SteerCo (all were chosen by voters).


WALP's 2010 show garden was a gracious outdoor living retreat perfect for families and entertaining.

The Washington Association of Landscape Professionals (WALP) returns to the show with a garden designed by Environmental Constructions Inc. and Jon L. Shepodd Landscaping. Their “Rock & Roll Meets Heavy Metal – The Convergence Zone,” celebrates the symphony of winter plants, rain, wind, rock and metal, all exploding in a crescendo of texture and color, creating a special place to find calm and shelter during stormy times (which we all need living in the Convergence Zone).


Attendees will find a peaceful urban retreat infused with rustic charm when they see “Twistin’ the Night Away” by Tasha Schwartz of Dakara Landscape Design, who is creating a show garden for the first time. The garden inspiration is from the twisting water feature and other twisted elements and features a spacious patio just right for sharing food and drink with friends and twistin’ the night away.



WSNLA created a historic garden based on Captain Cook's travels for the 2011 show.

Gregory Smaus of Native Root Designs has helped the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association (WSNLA) build past show gardens, and this year he’s taken on the role as the garden designer. With a new baby at home, having a garden based on a lullaby is a natural fit, especially one he always sings to his daughter. “Winter’s Come and Gone,” a contemporary American folk song, serves as the inspiration for the garden which will be brimming with sustainable ideas, including regionally sensitive plants, permeable paving, recycled glass and living walls.


You’ll be “Coloring the Blues” when you see the garden by the design trio of Roy Mangel of Elements of Nature Inc.Dr. Decks and Puget Sound Landscaping. The natural chords of the blues are reflected in the progression of plants, water and light. The still water of the pond mirrors the surround plants and brings the blues into harmony with the surroundings.


Susan Browne charmed show goers with her garden based on the 'Three Little Pigs'.

Susan Browne, owner of Susan Browne Landscape Design, whose popular 2011 garden based on the “Three Little Pigs” won the coveted Garden Creator’s Award, returns to the show with a tribute to bluegrass music titled “Rhythm and Roots.” Teaming with Issaquah Landscaping, the garden will feature a rustic shelter, an iron structure, native plants, herbs and flowers to depict a mountain scene reminiscent of the home of bluegrass music.



Every year new show attendees are simply blown away at the lavish splendor of our show gardens, with tens of thousands of plants, massive water features, convivial outdoor living spaces, trees blossoming in the middle of February, thousands of bulbs in full bloom, and more. The words we hear more often are “I never knew this show was so incredible!” So if you’ve never been to the garden show, take a break from the February doldrums and spend a spring day with us. You’ll be glad you did! Tickets are on sale now!  ~ Janet

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