The Show has announced the line-up of top regional landscape design professionals creating the show’s spectacular display gardens for the 30th annual event, February 7-11, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.
Embracing the upcoming show’s theme, “Garden Party,” the designers will incorporate elements of the theme into big, blooming gardens as the show celebrates its 30th anniversary, 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.
We 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.
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.
Scroll down to view all 20 gardens for the upcoming 2018 show. Images of all the gardens will be posted after the show.
One of college football’s great cross-state rivalries, the “Apple Cup,” is celebrated in this multi-faceted garden. Though you won’t see gridiron highlights from players representing WSU or the U of W, plant materials and rock types convey the dichotomy of our beautiful state, both on and off the playing field.
The urban style of the “Westside” showcases an outdoor kitchen surrounded by a dry-stack stone seating wall – the perfect space for entertaining. There’s a lowland valley transition, offering a representation of a football field with turf, flagstone inlays and large seat rocks.
Representing the Cascade Range, the garden’s center is elevated with rock formations and evergreen trees to draw the “rivalry line” within our state. Saluting “Eastside’s” agricultural output, a “Wheat Glass” sculptural arrangement symbolizes the rolling hills of the Palouse, punctuated with a millstone-inspired water feature.
Look more for subtle hints that celebrate your favorite team’s colors!
Take-home ideas: Small spaces can share multiple styles
This garden has dual purposes—depending on your mood and inclination. It offers a setting of solitude where you can pause and reflect. It’s also a place to invite friends and family to celebrate a special occasion – or just the simple pleasures in life!
Two pond-less waterfalls create visual (and audio) highlights as you view the garden from a distance. There’s a distinct back-to-nature element here through the extensive use of native plants and conifers. A meandering stream surrounds a paver patio, accented by an arbor and custom-made furniture—perfect for entertaining.
Sit back and relax on your own, or invite folks over to celebrate!
Take-home ideas: Indigenous plants are less disease-prone; pavers are less costly and easy to install
Nestled amongst huge relics of nature, this garden evokes simultaneous feelings of peace and harmony, and inspiration and excitement.
Large stones define the perimeter of this garden and its distinctive features, including a cedar root and nurse log – spectacular remnants of our ancient forests. A stately, 98-year-old Japanese Black Pine and a dramatic basalt sculpture, “Winged Victory,” surround an inviting patio where guests gather.
Close by, a waterfall and granite-lined pond reflect the perfection of a Japanese Laceleaf Maple specimen.
It is a place of sharing with others–occupied by an owner seeking to be surrounded by elements of nature and the constant reminder of the power it holds.
Take-home ideas: Extensive use of indigenous rock blended with forest floor features
To quote French philosopher Baron d’ Holback, “Art is only nature operating with the aid of the instruments she has made.”
Here the textures of natural foliage blend man-made geometric shapes that echo natural forms found in nature. It’s a distinctive, highly-structured design incorporating elements that can be applied to any garden.
Pebble-filled rain gutters, bordered by painted wood, accentuate linear pathways that converge at a triangular pavilion. You’ll find a tasteful combination of original art, including triangular iron obelisks, coupled with the use of re-purposed materials such as plant stands crafted from stainless steel bowls and sewer pipe.
It’s a complex design that belies a very practical approach to gardening. So, sit. Relax. Renew!
Take-home ideas: A geometric design focus; innovative use of re-purposed materials
For several years the Flower Growers of Puget Sound have created the show’s Entry Garden – welcoming showgoers many times since the festival’s inception. And they’ve created another “Wow Welcome” for 2018!
Spotlighting locally-grown plants provided by its members, you’re greeted by a cavalcade of floral color – and the sweet scent of flowers. Spring has arrived early with an engaging mix of flowering perennials, spring bulbs and shrubs – accented by artwork and rustic seating areas.
Take-home ideas: Visit your local garden center or nursery for plants grown by members of the Flower Growers of Puget Sound
Here’s the perfect counterpoint to our hectic lifestyles.
Hone your culinary skills in the outdoor kitchen, preparing healthy dishes using edibles grown in containers just steps away. And work off the stress of the daily grind with a swim in the outdoor lap pool…which also “doubles” as a tranquil spot to just plain relax!
Unusual, yet appropriate, plant material blends with finished wood and metalwork to create a distinctively modern design. As the night winds down, gather with friends at the fire pit for good conversation and an aperitif. If it begins to drizzle, simply move the party into the sleekly-styled shelter for cover!
Take-home ideas: Creating discreet outdoor areas within a garden using plantings and hardscape materials
Great Plant Picks is the primary educational program of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden. Since 2001, over 900 exceptional plants have been selected for gardeners living west of the Cascade Mountains.
This display features terrific plants arranged in a series of attractive containers with detailed information about the plants’ outstanding qualities, growth habits and culture available on the GGP website. The plants are specifically selected to do well in containers in our maritime Pacific Northwest climate.
Take-home ideas: Container plantings are a great way to enhance decks, patios or other areas
Celebrating takes on many forms, and forms are indeed a focal point in this colorful, eye-catching garden.
Globes, spheres and orbs are among Mother Nature’s most basic forms – highlighted here through the innovative use of natural and man-made materials. Plantings complement the visual focus through the abundant use of Camellias, Rhodies, Pieris and other specimens. Man-made globe shapes play a major role in executing the theme through the extensive use of glass and metal, accented by unique art pieces.
Mimicking balance in nature, this garden is a place to share with others or simply stop, look and reflect.
Take-home ideas: Creating visual and physical pauses using diverse hardscape materials
With its giant chess board, accompanied by oversized kings, queens, rooks and other chess piece “royalty,” this outdoor “mancave” will be the envy of your father’s buddies and neighbors.
Dad won’t be spending all his time plotting his next moves on the chessboard. He’ll find comfort with his brood in this Northwest-style garden patio, with its water feature surrounded by plantings of Alpine firs, dwarf conifers and ground covers. Massive redwood slabs are integrated into the design for a decidedly masculine touch.
When it’s time to invite his buddies over, he’ll don an apron to cook up his favorite man-meals in the outdoor kitchen, swap stories around the fire pit and dispense his favorite microbrew from the handy kegerator!
Take-home ideas: Varying elevations to create distinct areas within the garden
This eye-popping, cake-like creation is a worthy symbol as we fete three decades as America’s second-largest flower and garden event.
Spanning 35-feet, this circular display and its colorful plant palette will get your attention from any angle. An eclectic selection of spring bulbs, perennials, shrubs and trees are planted on three large tiers. As you walk around the perimeter, you’ll see progressive variations in the color scheme of yellow, orange and coral. The icing on the cake? White Heather and Iberis artfully knit the garden’s design elements together.
Water gently flows from a bubbling column and stone basins atop the “cake” to the second layer. And you won’t be able to blow out the candles during this party—candles are represented by hand-crafted “leaves” of glass in warm colors.
Take-home ideas: Innovative use of water features and color schemes
This is a visual journey to a vanilla farm in Central America. It’s a stunning display of over 200 flowering orchids, most notably Vanilla planifolia—the plant the spice is derived from.
At a greenhouse display, you’ll learn about growing the vanilla plants and how the seeds are cured. It’s also a terrific opportunity to learn about growing and caring for orchids from members of the Northwest Orchid Society.
This display features specimens provided by members of the Northwest Orchid Society and from prestigious collections throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Take-home ideas: Top orchid hobbyists on hand to share information on growing orchids indoors
Got your attention? This bold, Zen-inspired garden includes unusual visuals framed by bonsai trees in a variety of pots, displayed on gleaming pedestals of polished concrete and wood.
A focal point: a modern pergola appears to float atop the garden pond! To create the effect, the design incorporates cut granite steps placed just inches above the pond’s water level. A rare 300-year-old cascading Mountain Hemlock bonsai is positioned on a pedestal in the pond as a visual “welcome” to the pergola’s deck.
As a backdrop, a rain wall is linked to the pond, surrounded by evergreen ornamental grasses and low-growing evergreen conifers. Large stone outcroppings add to the visual diversity of this modern retreat.
Take-home ideas: Strong yet simple visual effects; contrast of old and new design elements
The role of honey bees in growing flowers, fruits and vegetables is critical to man, and this garden is a tribute to our busy winged friends.
The bright yellow cottage with white accents—tying in with a vibrant color palette of yellow, black and white—is surrounded by garden beds filled with bee-attracting plants. Moreover, it’s a great place to entertain “human” friends. There’s a “Country Party” buzz too, with a patio and seating walls for “human” guests and bee-themed artwork. Lights have been strung, and the big table is set for the festivities!
Bees pollinate over 80% of all flowering plants, and it’s estimated that one in three bites of food that we eat is derived from plants they have pollinated.
Take-home ideas: The garden will host periodic live presentations about honey bees and their contributions to our environment
Celebrating the arrival of Spring, this unique garden environment features a striking “sculpture hut” as its centerpiece. Constructed from colorful recycled stained glass, its backdrop is a lush green bamboo forest. An ancient Maple and other rare plant specimens further accentuate the exotic nature of this setting.
A reflection pond enhances the beauty of the garden and fosters a calm and relaxing ambiance. In an interesting twist, the pond’s design eliminates the need for “real” water. Instead, flowers (created from recycled glass) have been massed to create a shimmering surface!
Take-home ideas: Extensive use of recycled materials; use of reflection to highlight garden elements
This display pays homage to an iconic garden at Washington Park Arboretum: The Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden. The Winter Garden joins the festival in celebrating its own 30th anniversary!
It features a wide variety of plants that stir the senses throughout the winter season. These include plants that bloom in Winter, boast colorful winter foliage and bark, produce winter fragrance, and offer unique textures for winter variety.
There are “nods” to the wider Washington Park Arboretum: an arbor set on a patio of stone pavers as a likeness to the Graham Visitor Center entrance, and a small pathway departs from the right side of the garden—referencing the newly-opened, 2.5-mile Arboretum Loop Trail.
Amid festive lighting, Carnavale masks and other decorations, festival attendees are invited to step into the arbor for a more intimate view of winter plantings that create a stunning party backdrop.
Take-home ideas: Low-maintenance, winter-interest plants that are well adapted to our climate
This is the ultimate courtyard garden – a jewel cached for discovery behind the vibrant tapestry of culture and style of New Orleans’ French Quarter. It’s a respite from the jubilant and boisterous celebrations of the annual Mardi Gras festivities, and an opportunity to indulge the senses in quiet contemplation.
The weary reveler can retreat to the solace of a private courtyard tucked-away from the festivities. Garden vignettes bring the Creole style to life with a bright, two-story townhouse façade and a lush landscape inspired by the multi-cultural French, Spanish & Caribbean flare of New Orleans. An aged concrete statuary of the feminine Water Goddess is featured in one vignette, while another aged concrete fountain is repurposed into a planter for brightly blooming annuals. An artistic interpretation of a Mardi Gras tree with a stringed bead canopy is highlighted in another scene.
Take-home ideas: Creating small but surprising elements including hidden destinations; a specimen planting urging closer inspection
Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association
Federal Way, WA
Schafer Specialty Landscape & Design
Vashon Island, WA
This is a celebration of the Japanese tradition of Wabi-Sabi, an inspiring way to look at your home and your whole life. It acknowledges three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
This serene, spa-like setting is a place where one can embrace their own physical imperfections and celebrate that we are all beautiful in our own way.
Warmed by a fireplace, the weathered wood structure is a great spot for a massage – while providing shelter for the tropical plants inside. Its walls are open to a lush outdoor landscape of ferns and evergreens, where a cooling shower pools, then gently flows into a nearby soaking pool.
Take-home ideas: Simplicity in creating beautiful water features