The Gardens

2017 Show Gardens

The Show has announced the line-up of top regional landscape design professionals creating the show’s spectacular display gardens for the 29th annual event, February 22-26, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Embracing the upcoming show’s theme, “Taste of Spring,” the designers will incorporate elements of the theme into big, blooming gardens as the show celebrates food, embracing trends in organic and urban gardening, sustainability, and variety of culinary experiences, including outdoor dining.

The Garden Creators will be weaving the show’s theme into their garden designs, and the results should be inspirational, educational and fun for showgoers. In addition to entries by landscape designers, the show is planning a major garden of its own to further spotlight the show’s theme.

The show’s amazing collection of 20 marquee display gardens will feature upwards of 50% more flowers in glorious bloom, thanks to the show’s commitment to an expanded “forcing” program in collaboration with Cascade Cuts (Bellingham) and Windmill Gardens (Sumner).

We also owe a “thank you” to the Students at Lake Washington Institute of Technology Environmental Horticulture Program for their many hours of volunteer time helping construct the gardens.

These crowd-pleasing gardens reflect the expertise, planning and hard work of their Garden Creators — blending flowers, shrubs, trees, hardscape materials and artwork into jewel-like settings accented by theatrical lighting.

These gems are not only stunning to admire, but they’re full of inspirational features you can incorporate into your own garden.

Thank you to Marenakos Rock Center and Sawdust Supply for partnering with us to help build the gardens.

Every year for 25 years they have been right there with us helping create these beautiful gardens. Marenakos Rock Center provides the stone and big boulders you see throughout the gardens. Sawdust Supply provides the foundation of any healthy garden, mulch. Without good soil, we would not have beautiful gardens.

2017 Garden Creators

Scroll down to view all 20 gardens for the upcoming 2017 show. Images of all the gardens will be posted after the show.

Pizzeria | Decumani

Garden Creator: Adam Gorski Landscapes, Inc.

Neapolitan pizza is famed for its simplicity, with very few ingredients used in its special preparation. But you don’t have to travel to Italy to sample this famed staple of regional cuisine. You can prepare it here…in your own “Naples-style” pizza garden.

This has the feel of a cozy restaurant or small home near Naples–complete with an outdoor kitchen and functioning pizza oven. The inviting outdoor seating area is a place of lively hospitality for customers, friends and family. And the surrounding working garden is a natural extension of the kitchen with its year around bounty of herbs and vegetables.

A key ingredient of authentic Neapolitan pizza is Mozzarella di Bufala Campana–made with the milk from water buffalo raised near Naples. You’ll be forgiven if you use a comparable, and handier, substitute!

Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Fresh ingredients and food preparation come together

An Evening in the Mountains

Garden Creator: Choice Landscapes

A relaxing escape to the mountains doesn’t mean your taste buds have to rough it. After all, your cabin is surrounded by blueberry bushes, strawberries and herbs!

A natural stone patio is surrounded by large boulders that provide natural, and practical, seating spots around a warming fire pit. Adding to the serenity of this scenic getaway is a striking waterfall and bubbling stream. It’s a low-maintenance, pond-less waterfall that uses very little water, is safe for children, and minimizes standing water (a breeding place for mosquitos).

This garden represents a gorgeous snapshot of what nature does best–providing beautiful landscapes for us to enjoy.

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Elements of this garden can be scaled for either larger or smaller settings

A Victory Garden

Garden Creator: Dakara Landscape Design

This garden literally weaves historic elements dating from Elizabethan times to the Second World War. The result—a classic design meets the modern functionality of edible gardening.

The formal “knot garden” design features ornamentals and was first popularized by the English and French–often inspired by a rug or tapestry in their mansions. Fast forward to WWII, when civilians were encouraged to plant “Victory Gardens” of fruits and vegetables to help meet wartime shortages. “A Victory Garden” showcases the best of both concepts as it incorporates edible gardening into an existing back yard setting.

It’s certainly a place to sit back and enjoy the surroundings, or putter around the classic planting shed as you prepare for the next harvest!

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Look for opportunities to combine diverse garden forms and functions

Award Winning Garden

Garden Creator:

Dakara Landscape Design
Edmonds, WA

Cascade Edibles
Seattle, WA

Designed by:

Natasha Roberts

The Fruits of Our Labor

Garden Creator: Elandan Gardens, Ltd.

Even in a rugged backyard setting like this, Nature finds ways to provide for man and fellow inhabitants of the land. The rock outcropping setting is home to artistically pruned specimens that bear fruit each year—a testament to their hardiness and resilience.

The family will gather on the patio to take in the splendor of the contorted filbert—believed to be the largest in the state of Washington. And the lovingly tended apple tree nestled among the rocks churns out yearly harvests of Gravensteins. The ancient cedar stubbornly finds a way to thrive—its gnarled beauty lending an authenticity to the mountainous look of this garden.

Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Artistic pruning can transform a fruit tree into an art form to be enjoyed and admired

Bugs’ Abode: #LifeUndertheLettuceLeaf

Garden Creator: Fancy Fronds Nursery

It’s a bug’s life in this pesticide-free environment–where beneficial bugs recycle organic material, control pests and pollinate flowers.

Taking a humorous, cartoon-like approach, this garden is divided into an upper level, representing a bug’s eye view of the human sized world, and a lower level where their world is magnified. Our insect friends are at work throughout the garden. ”Sanitation engineers”– a motley crew of beetles, centipedes, worms and other essential composters–hang out in the Compost Café (represented by an old bed-spring planted with strawberries and other perennials).

Colorful “bug hotels” contain habitat materials to entice insects to reside in the garden. Water catchments are essential for many beneficial insects, and a puddling basin of natural stone is filled with the minerals butterflies require.

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Diversity of plants serve multiple functions as food and shelter for insects–in addition to being pleasing aesthetically

Honey! We Shrunk the Farm: Urban Farming in Style

Garden Creator: Farmer Frog

Whether you have a very small space or a large yard, this garden serves up plenty of ideas for growing food in ways you might not expect. For year around harvests, the hoop house has shelving for sprout growing, in-ground edible plants, and an aquaponic system so fish and vegetables can be produced in the same place. Espaliered fruit trees do double duty: serving as edible fencing and a source of produce.

Nature’s little helpers play a role here, too, with pollinator plantings and beehives supporting a steady source of honey. And an insect hotel attracts predatory insects which help control unwanted bugs.

If you’re in the mood for an omelet, stop by the chicken coop and pick up a few eggs laid by one of the backyard hens!

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Creative stacking design utilizing leftover random materials; living wall segments, easy to construct garden walls, raised beds and planters

Mid-Mod-Mad…it’s Cocktail Hour!

Garden Creator: Father Nature Landscapes Inc.

Where would Frankie, Dino, Sammy and their chums hang out for dinner and cocktails? Ring a ding-ding…how about right here?

The Rat Pack would be right at home in the midst of this “less is more” garden and its updated mid-century design. It embraces simplistic plant choices, strong angles and geometry of hardscaping made popular in the 1950’s and 60’s—and making a big comeback today.

For those special cocktails and Pheasant Under Glass accompaniments, plantings of herbs and edibles in wall containers are just steps away. And the guys and gals will have a few laughs around the fire pit while admiring the low-maintenance garden design with its touch of artificial turf. No mowing, baby!

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Pick up handout materials with ideas for cocktail recipes and how-to tips for growing garden herbs

Blooming Abundance

Garden Creator: Flower Growers of Puget Sound

A road-side produce stand is often the best place to sample fruits and vegetables from local growers. Here, edible abundance has been substituted with a spectacular jolt of color and floral scents.

A vine-covered, rustic split rail fence forms a backdrop for this spectacular display, which spotlights products offered by the Flower Growers of Puget Sound in the early spring. It’s pure blooming fun as produce stands “double” as display pieces for colorful varied plant material.

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Great examples of plants available at retail nurseries around the time of the show

Mochiwa mochiya—Rice Cake, Rice Cake Maker

Garden Creator: Jefferson Sustainable Landscaping

This garden is a marriage of cultures, beginning with the ethos of the American barbeque infused with a new level of opulence. Luxurious appliances set in modern etched stone, a porcelain-slabbed patio and a fire bowl completes the dynamic look of this outdoor kitchen.

On the reverse of the fire bowl, nestled within the gardens, is a semi-formal dining space featuring a traditional, Asian-influenced low dining table.

The garden is adorned with a vibrant demonstration of sustainability in plant selection. Year-round interest is evoked with striking combinations of native and regionally-appropriate plants. You’ll find edibles planted throughout the garden…after all, why limit all those good tastes to one area?

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Properly-scaled designs maximize the usability of limited spaces; creating destinations in the landscape

Good Times, Great Food

Garden Creator: Nature Perfect Landscape and Design

Good friends and neighbors are welcome in this garden, where elements of comfort, convenience and natural beauty converge to create a great space for entertaining.

Guests won’t go hungry here, with piping hot pizza served from a wood-fired oven! Adding spice to meals–and color accents in the surrounding garden—the “chef” is just steps away from a selection of herbs.

Complementing the oven and rustic outdoor fireplace is a heavy natural stone table, rough-hewn cedar arbors and a bubbly water feature. Towering Noble Firs, Alpine Firs and other complementary plants create a pleasant, “woodsy” backdrop for this inventive custom outdoor kitchen area.

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Alpine plant selections of varying height add depth and texture

Herbed Butter

Garden Creator: Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Mmm…butter! The bright yellow and white color palette in this garden conveys a dazzling, buttery look that may leave your taste buds dancing.

Surrounded by a mix of yellow and white flowers & foliage, you’re greeted by a stone fountain (its stacked yellow blocks resemble oversized butters cubes!). Butter-hued steps lead to a small plaza of the same color–all created from stone. You’ll find large and fanciful artwork pieces featured here, including a stone sculpture resembling pasta standing on end.

Warm and inviting, this is a place to cozy up in the morning with the morning paper, a cup of coffee, and just maybe…a slice of buttered toast!

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: The combination of like colors in shrubs, flowers and trees creates a “wow” factor

Orchid Garden Wedding Banquet

Garden Creator: Northwest Orchid Society

You don’t have to imagine a serene, subtropical setting for a spectacular wedding banquet. This garden is a feast for the eyes, with rare orchid specimens on loan from very exclusive collections.

The sun is beginning to set, and soon members of the wedding party and guests will dine amidst a spectacular display of orchid flowers and other tropical and sub-tropical plants. Created by an army of enthusiastic members of the Northwest Orchid Society, this garden is the most impressive display of rare, flowering orchids in the State of Washington each year.

The specimens curated for this garden have been carefully arranged so that each may be considered individually as well as part of the complete display.

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Learn about the care and cultivation of these tropical beauties from knowledgeable volunteers

Award Winning Garden

Garden Creator:

Northwest Orchid Society
Seattle, WA

Designed by:

Joe Grienauer, Joff Morgan, and Noriko Marshall

“Be Prepared” to Camp—Old Scouts Don’t Stop, They Glamp

Garden Creator: Pacific Stone Company

Forget about the old days of “Scouting” when wet tents and heavy army surplus backpacks were part of any campout experience. This garden earns a merit badge for “glamping”—today’s hottest travel trend. Here you embrace the spirit of getting back to nature, if not the actual reality of sleeping with the challenges of the great outdoors!

From a cozy cabin, a stone pathway leads to a distinctive sunken patio flanked by stone benches and basalt stone landings. Granite “rays” are arranged to create the visage of a sunburst as the focal point for the sunken terrace. A “glamp” meal is easy to prepare with fresh herbs from the garden, handy food prep counters, cast iron cooking utensils and, of course, a built-in beer cooler in the pond!

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Imaginative use of stone and distinctive hand-forged iron garden art

Garden on Tap

Garden Creator: Plantswoman Design, Inc.

The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the world’s great craft brewers, and here you can find them on tap in the ole’ backyard.

An unused shed has been transformed into a cozy center of conviviality, complete with tap handles and a bar. But there’s more than beer or cider on the menu at the “pub shed”—the surrounding garden is full of ingredients to create great cocktails. You only need to step into the garden to fashion a classic cocktail, or your own concoction, from the fruits and herbs grown around you.

Neighbors and friends will be eager to be your guest in this out-of-the-norm entertainment center, complete with its artistic “bottle tree” and a hammock made from recycled barrels…just for fun!

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Re-purposing sheds and buildings; planting herbs and fruits for cocktail ingredients

Villa Primavera—A Retreat Inspired by the Amalfi Coast

Garden Creator: Rich Landscaping Inc.

The picturesque Amalfi Coast of southern Italy is the inspiration for this garden—a celebration of Italian cuisine and the earth’s bounty. Not surprisingly, this romantic villa retreat spotlights edible fruits common to that region–grape, fig, olive, lemon–plus an herb garden parterre.

The carefully selected color palette of materials adds to the regional authenticity, from the structured walls to the color of the pavement. Natural stone, and a rough stone wall, create an inviting setting for a leisurely picnic beneath a lovely, vine-covered arbor. There’s a modern touch, too: a built-in pizza oven. After all, some say the Almalfi Coast serves up Italy’s best pizza!

The soothing sound of flowing water from a bubbling jardinière and wall fountain enhance the overall experience, making it a day to remember.

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: The bubbler water feature uses little water and works in tight spaces; permeable paving also conserves water.

Herbal Remedy—The Cure for Cabin Fever

Garden Creator: Stone Works & Co.

Spring is near and this garden offers a spectacular glimpse of what’s ahead. It’s a seasonal show with flowering tulips, hyacinths, narcissus and other bulbs emerging from a winter’s sleep. Native plantings include low mahonia, flowering quince, cedars, ferns and more.

From your Tuscan-style patio—created by a special Tuscan stone collection accented by glazed brick—simply step into the garden for herbs and edibles and prepare meals by the fireplace.

The bold kaleidoscope of blues, yellows, oranges, white, deep purple, lime green, and lemon green are complemented by the art on display and the many textures created by plantings and hardscapes.

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Simplicity of the plants and use of native plants; you don’t have to have a huge piece of property to make your own staycation resort

Afternoon Tea with Mrs. Pumphrey

Garden Creator: Susan Browne Landscape Design/Fancy Plants Gardens

Mrs. Pumphrey is about to host a tea party, but there’s plenty of activities in store for both adults, children and Fairies in this enchanting garden.

The classic Tudor-style residence entry is complemented by a formal “knot garden” incorporating hedgerows of Japanese holly surrounding fruit trees and a woven planting of blooming plants and bulbs. You don’t want to be tardy for the party, so take the flagstone path to the rear of the house. There you’ll find the centerpiece of the garden—a spacious patio accented by a tiered fountain and framed by plantings of shrubs, perennials and bulbs.

Your host will soon commence a round of “Tea Cup Golf”…and the gallery may possibly include Fairies residing in a special garden created by the youngsters of the house!

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Hardy plants, fruit trees and use of pavers incorporated into a formal design

Nourrir les Esprits—Nourishing the Spirits


The senses won’t be overwhelmed when you visit this garden–and that’s by design. Instead, your spirits will receive subtle nourishment from an array of fragrances released by warm temperatures, gentle drops of rain and the lightest touch of your fingers.

Though this is a visually enticing garden, fragrances take on a prominent role. A path of discovery beneath the canopy of flowering trees introduces you to aromatic plants, from the most common to least known.

Plants have been chosen very carefully for the scents they give off, and combined with a variety of garden elements, it’s a place for privacy and meditation. A water feature, raised planters, ancient rosewood windows, colorful pavers and artistic pieces throughout the garden divert attention from life’s everyday stresses.

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: Creating a healing sanctuary with scents, natural materials and handcrafted art

Hanami 花見 — Savoring Spring

Garden Creator: Washington Park Arboretum

This scene captures the design and spirit of a rural domestic scene in a miniature space, inspired by a traditional thatched roofed Japanese farmhouse (minka) and garden. And it’s a special time to visit–the annual spring viewing of the cherry blossoms, or hanami.

The setting is tranquil, informal, and understated—as a working farm would be—with a small entry garden blooming at the height of the cherry color display. As is customary during hanami, family and friends gather on mats beneath the trees to spend the day relaxing, picnicking, and singing. In addition to flowering cherries, it features traditional Japanese flowering shrubs and edible plants, such as bamboo and tea. A velvet blanket of moss knit the plantings together.

“Take-home ideas’ for your own garden: The celebration of a season is a practical notion that can be utilized in any home garden

Award Winning Garden

Garden Creator:

Washington Park Arboretum
Seattle, WA

The Arboretum Foundation

Designed by:

Phil Wood, Bob Lilly, and Roger Williams

Emerge Refreshed—Italy, England, Bali, Home

Garden Creator: Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association – Wine Garden

Sometimes you just need a glass of wine and a beautiful garden to ease your troubles. You are transported to beautiful places beyond our shores: classic Italy, stately England, lush tropical Bali and our own Evergreen State of Washington. So relax and enjoy amongst the wide varieties of lush plantings that feature beautifully crafted containers, flowing water, lighting, metal and stone.

Each of the four iconic destinations featured here are represented by lush plants and a variety of hard structures reminiscent of each country – down to the minor details in the lovingly handcrafted containers and types of metalwork. You’ll appreciate the thematic inspiration and how some elements (such as cobble and an emphasis on balancing height with depth featured in each locale) weave “Emerge Refreshed” together.

“Take-home ideas” for your own garden: The advantage of a small garden space or backyard patio; personalize your garden with places and things that inspire you

This garden was not judged.

Garden Creator:

Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association
Federal Way, WA

Designed by:

Teresa Sciglibaglio, Willows Lodge
Woodinville, WA