Good Things Come in Small Spaces with ‘Living it Up’

Good Things Come in Small Spaces with ‘Living it Up’

APLD - WA designers created this award-winning outdoor living space for the 2010 garden show.

The ‘Living it Up’ feature returns to the Northwest Flower & Garden Show with four gardens tucked in the dramatic, light-filled space of the South Lobby at the Washington State Convention Center. And nearby, the new Wine Garden will entice you to take a brief respite, enjoy a glass of wine from local, national and international vintners, and soak in the sights of these lovely gardens and the sounds of a gentle piano refrain.


The backdrop for the Wine Bar is a display by Modern Shed being designed by the creative team that is also designing the show’s new Signature Garden: d4collective. Behind the d4collective name are four renowned designers – Daniel Lowery, APLD, Barbara Lycett, APLD, Susie Thompson, and Octavia Chambliss. (You can follow their design journey for “A Garden in Verse” on their blog These four will not be getting much sleep between now and February 23, with both their show garden and their Living it Up garden to design and install.


Modern Shed, a nationally recognized company featured in the New York Times, Sunset, Seattle Magazine, Dwell and other publications, is teaming up with d4collective to create a detached design studio that would be perfect for any residential property. Their South Lobby garden will include planted containers from Ragen & Associates, furniture from Janus et Cie and shelving from Urban Hardwoods. There will be an intimate courtyard with seating. The group aims to show how you can include stylish living space in very small square footage. See some of Modern Shed’s fashionable and functional sheds at


Adam Gorski designed this show garden in 2009 to include a seating area with a view of an open garden - and one great accessory!

In addition, there will be three ultra compact ‘Living it Up’ gardens, stuffed with ideas to live large in a small space. Adam Gorski, of Adam Gorski Landscapes, relishes the idea of exploring the creative challenges of small spaces in his garden titled “Rustic Retreat.” It will show how you can garden, cook and entertain even in limited spaces – without making them seem cluttered.  Adam will address the small-space dilemma with his garden evoking a classic rural and rustic Northwest setting. There will be many ideas that you can take home and use in any small-space setting to make it more livable and enjoyable.


Kristy Ditmore, owner of  Under the Arbor Landscape Design, is returning to the show for the fifth time with her garden titled “Embrace Your Space – No Matter the Size.” She will be using a lot of color, texture and interesting elements that work together to please the eye. She aims to show the variety of plants that can be used in a small space, with four season impact, and without a lot of work.  Who doesn’t want that? These design ideas can be incorporated into any size landscape, large or small.


Designer Pamela Richards teamed up with Susan Browne to create this study in black & white contrasts, with an outdoor seating area, for their 2010 show garden.

“Phoebe’s Room – Celebrating Opening Night” is the title of the garden created by Pamela Richards, of Pamela Richards Garden Design. It has aging furniture, rusting screens, a floor of stone and creeping plants. Water bubbles softly, bare branches provide color, and multiple shades of green fill weathered containers. In her garden room Phoebe dines, naps, memorizes lines, entertains, writes & dreams. Imagine Phoebe celebrating an opening night with the gift of a bouquet, with draped fabric and plump pillows, with chocolates and wine and the company of a friend.


So don’t despair that you have “no room” to truly enjoy your living spaces. The Living it Up gardens will beautifully demonstrate that size doesn’t matter.  No matter what you’d like to do with your limited space – a parterre, kitchen garden, art studio, guest room, reading nook – you can find ideas for living in our Living it Up feature in the South Lobby. Your space may be small, but our garden designers’ ideas will be a perfect fit. – Janet

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