Outdoors and the Living is Easy

Outdoors and the Living is Easy



 Size doesn’t matter with fabulous design 

There is no more beautiful place in the country than the Pacific Northwest in the glorious days of summer. Perfect temperatures, no humidity, blue skies.

These past show gardens for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show are filled with a wealth of ideas and inspiration on how to create a relaxing retreat, no matter the size of your outdoor space. Some are just 6 feet wide, perfect for a condo or apartment balcony. Others are sized just right for an urban home. All have wonderful design ideas that you can adapt to your own garden.

So go ahead – steal shamelessly! You’ll be glad you did when summer arrives in a few months!

(Above) Karen Stefonick Design created this intimate garden dining area for the 2006 garden show, coordinating the color of pillows and tableware with the bright red stems of a coral bark maple (Acer palmatum ‘Sangokaku’).

It doesn’t take a lot of space to create an outdoor dining area, as shown by this 2007 garden by Under the Arbor Landscape. Add a rooftop, a table and chairs and nestle it into a lovely garden with some shrubs for privacy.

In 2008 Falling Water Designs created a sunken garden made from stone blocks and added a fire pit for some warmth on chilly evenings.

A monochromatic color scheme can make a space feel larger. In 2008 Garden Dreams Design created this soothing celadon green garden with a long couch and coffee table. Perfect for stretching out with a good book or just having a snooze.

SereneScapes went in the other direction in 2008, with an outdoor seating area that pops with orange and lime green to liven up the conversation.

The Washington State Nursery & Landscape Professionals (WSNLA) went rustic in 2008, designing this fire pit seating area near a cabin. The red cushions echo the color of the arbor and nearby plants.

The design team from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) showed what you can do with a very small space to create a restful seating area. This is a garden only 15 x 15 ft. in the show’s ‘Living it Up’ gardens in 2009.

Another 2009 ‘Living it Up’ garden, by Octavia Chambliss Garden Design, includes decking, dining for two and a reading chair.

The Creative Gardener went Mediterranean for the 2009 show, with a large stone patio behind intricate iron gardens and a rich, warm color scheme.

GreenStone Designs built this small space balcony garden for the 2009 show, with bold containers and glass ‘spears with spheres’ by show exhibitor Glass Gardens NW.

Karen Stefonick Design built this stunning garden perfect for entertaining for the 2009 show, with a flagstone patio, a large wooden arbor and two seating areas.

Here’s a contemporary but intimate conversation area by Under the Arbor Landscape, with a conversation area that includes striped pillows that coordinate with the eye-popping orange wall behind it.

The Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) designed this striking outdoor living space, with both stone and deck hardscapes to define the two seating areas. The uplighting makes the small contemporary space seem even more dramatic.

NW Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes designed this urban farm for the 2010 show, winning multiple awards. The edible garden included a pizza oven near the dining area.

The Washington Association of Landscape Professionals (WALP) installed this outdoor kitchen for the 2010 show. Nearby was a larger dining space and a TV viewing area for the ultimate in outdoor family entertaining.

The 2010 WALP garden even included a pizza oven. Now that’s living large.

Karen Stefonick Design won the Founder’s Cup for this amazing outdoor living area. The judges were impressed that the garden was filled with inexpensive materials easily available to homeowners.

Show attendees loved this edible garden and dining area by Cascade Edible Landscapes built for the 2012 show. The VW has been converted into a chicken coop and mini greenhouse.

Dakara Landscape Design nestled two Adirondack chaise lounges and a dining table on a flagstone patio under an arbor for the 2012 show. What a perfect place to entertain – or take a nap.

Did you know that all of our show gardens are archived on our website? You can get information about any of our talented garden designers there, so just browse the albums for more ideas. ~ Janet

Show Gardens

  • Maggie green
    Posted at 21:36h, 30 January Reply

    Thank you for showing our garden again! GreenStone specializes in container designs, along with interior plantscapes and landscape design. Check out our website (greenstoneseattle.com) to see more of our work. We always love being in the show and look forward to working with Barbara from Glass Gardens NW again.
    Looking forward to this year’s creations! See everyone there!

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