2019 Show Gardens
Embracing the theme of this year’s festival, “Gardens of the World,” the Northwest’s top landscape design firms are taking you on an around-the-world journey showcased in over 20 spectacular display gardens at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival - February 20-24, 2019.
From the British Isles to India, Italy to Asia – and closer to home - this year’s line-up of gardens are sure to inspire festival-goers with their creativity and practical ideas that you can incorporate into your own garden!
Thank you to Marenakos Rock Center and Pacific Topsoils for their support in creating these fabulous displays, along with students at Lake Washington Institute of Technology Environmental Horticulture Program for their many hours of volunteer time helping construct the gardens.
"Escape to the Mountains"
Adam Gorski Landscapes, Inc.
The Alps…the Himalayas…the Andes. The stunning Cascades in our own backyard. On every continent there are mountain ranges that inspire us with their beauty and vistas. This is indeed an escape to the mountains…a retreat with an “altitude.”
Influenced by his work on both sides of the Cascades, this Garden Creator blends hardy plants and splashes of color into an inviting patio setting.
The centerpiece of this sanctuary is a stunning waterfall formed by natural rock and surrounded by native plants. For a weekend or longer, a getaway to this mountain retreat is sure to rejuvenate visitors for “peak” performance when they return to urban life.
Take-home ideas: plants that are cold/dry climate-tolerant; extensive use of natural rock
|Garden Creator: Adam Gorski Landscapes, Inc.; Snoqualmie Pass, WA
Designed by: Adam Gorski
"The Lost Gardens of Heligan"
Dakara Landscape Design
This is a tribute to a genuine garden—one of the most mysterious and romantic gardens in England. Created from the mid-18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, the spectacular gardens spanned a thousand acres, but become overgrown and “lost” following World War I. Restoration of its natural beauty began in the 1990’s, and today “The Lost Gardens of Heligan” are one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK.
This garden pays homage to the woodland garden on the Heligan estate, with meandering path to a once-hidden gate, past a bubbling spring and into a forest grove. It’s early spring and the landscape is dotted with daffodils, azaleas, rhododendrons and late-blooming winter species. This is a place to find a sense of beauty from the past and nearly lost and forgotten.
Take-home ideas: pathway to discover garden features, use of natural woodland plants
|Garden Creators: Dakara Landscape Design; Edmonds, WA
Wintergreen Landscapes & Nursery; Lake Stevens, WA
Designed by: Natasha Roberts, Dakara Landscape Design
“Orto di Casa”
designs by deLeuw
Italy’s Chianti Valley is your destination…in the heart of old Tuscany. It’s world-renowned for its famous wines, so it’s not hard to imagine this home is a perfect gathering place for friends and family.
Located between the Provinces of Florence and Siena, the is valley is an ideal place for those who wish to undertake original trips amid vineyards, hills and characteristic little villages. Entertaining guests is a mission in this garden, with two levels of seating and a brick pizza oven… for those with an appetite.
Look closely, since this garden spotlights the strategic use of space from large to small. Either way, you can create an area your friends and family will flock to!
Take-home ideas: functional use and enjoyment of outdoor spaces; multi-tiered seating art
|Garden Creator: designs by deLeuw; Kenmore, WA
Designed by: Lori deLeuw, Dana Nunnelly, and Zilly Aigner
"Asian Sensibilities, Northwest Style"
Sharing similar climates and geological features, the gardens of Japan have long inspired our own region’s landscapes. The stature and grace of this garden represents a seamless transition from traditional Asian artistry to the Northwest lifestyle.
Framed by impressive granite stones and large trees, the garden has plenty of eye-catching spring color generated by plantings of iris, Japanese forest grass and hellebores. A gentle waterfall and peaceful pond are focal points in this serene setting.
Of note: look for the mature Black pines grown from seed in 1962 and trained by Elandan Gardens’ Dan Robinson over the past 56 years. Like other healthy and mature trees, they require little chemicals or fertilizers.
Take-home ideas: options for “big ideas” in small spaces; use of mature specimen plants
|Garden Creator: Elandan Gardens; Bremerton, WA
Designed by: Will Robinson
“Imagining Ireland: Myth, Magic and Mystery”
Fancy Fronds Nursery
Step into the Emerald Isle’s poetic past in this landscape depicting the Irish countryside. There’s a striking feudal flavor to this garden, dominated by a 10-foot-tall tower reminiscent of many tower homes still dotting the landscape of Southern Ireland. Once used for protection, these lordly structures were converted into opulent manors surrounded by lavish gardens.
A large circular cobblestone patio, flanked by two wooden arbors, elicits the look and feel of ancient henge. Its centerpiece is a sacred spring, crowned by fountain depicting a Celtic-style dragon. And look for the thatch-roof home of the local puca - a leprechaun-like creature common in Irish folklore!
Southern Ireland’s mild, temperate climate is welcoming to both its native plants and the introduction of exotic specimens. That diversity is reflected here: native plants such as yews, ivy, clover, sorrel and heather. There’s also a verdant garden of lush, tropical foliage, including hibiscus, begonias and leopard plants.
Take-home ideas: simple construction with timber and textured paint; plantings to support native critters and pollinators
|Garden Creators: Fancy Fronds Nursery; Gold Bar, WA
ALBE Rustics; Freeland, WA
Designed by: Joshua Bathke and Felix Jones
“Alpenhaus—Switzerland and Germany”
Fancy Plants Gardens, Inc. | Susan Browne Landscape Design
“The hills are alive…”
The settings for the Sound of Music come to life in celebrating alpine locales in both Switzerland and Germany. Your journey through the spectacular Swiss Alps leads to a chalet and with a sun-splashed patio - an inviting place to relax before continuing your mountain trek.
You’ll know you’ve reached your destination in the Bavarian Alps when you see a friendly landmark – a 16-foot-high cuckoo clock! Once you’ve reached the hillside cottage, you’ll be welcomed with Bavaria’s traditional fare. It’s time to celebrate!
You don’t have to “climb every mountain” to enjoy this dual-garden paradise, representing the unusual collaboration between two veteran festival Garden Creators.
Take-home ideas: creating international flavor within your garden; use of unusual man-made props/garden art as focal points
|Garden Creators: Fancy Plants Gardens, Inc.; Bothell, WA
Susan Browne Landscape Design; Everett, WA
Designed by: James Sprague, Fancy Plants Gardens Inc.
Susan Browne, Susan Browne Landscape Design
“Flora Across the World”
Flower Growers of Puget Sound
The Flower Growers of Puget Sound invite you for a floral flyover around the globe – before you begin your journey though the festival! Once again local flower growers welcome you with the colorful Entry Garden.
Spotlighting locally-grown plants donated by its members, you’re greeted by a travel cavalcade of floral color - and the sweet scents of flowers. Signage and travel posters guide you, with plantings arranged in zones to match the growing conditions of a geographic area.
You won’t need a passport to purchase these plants – they’re locally-grown and available at area garden centers and other retailers.
Take-home ideas: visit your local garden center or nursery for plants grown by members of the Flower Growers of Puget Sound
|Garden Creator: Flower Growers of Puget Sound; Seattle, WA
Designed by: Gayle Payne and Lloyd Glasscock
“Notting Hill Modern English Garden”
Folia Horticultural + Design
Step into one of London’s most fashionable neighborhoods, known for its walled, private gardens that invite curiosity. Partially enclosed by a wall of columnar dark yews (backed by mirrors!), this garden does indeed create the desire to see more.
Viewed through a window, you’ll get a peek at a welcoming entertainment area. Its centerpiece is a distinctive free-standing stone fountain, complimented by a seating area with sleek, modern furniture. Traditional box hedging establishes the planting beds filled with an assortment of white flowering perennials and annuals. Distinctive large stones are used liberally in the patio and walkway.
A fitting touch in this “artsy” district of London, look for stainless steel orbs of various sizes that provide a pleasing balance to the strong geometric lines of this garden.
Take-home ideas: symmetrically placed boxwoods of various shapes supporting architectural lines; use of non-plant elements embracing the look and feel of a garden space
|Garden Creator: Folia Horticultural + Design; Seattle, WA
Designed by: Peter Norris
2019 Great Plant Picks: “A Garden for All Seasons”
“To everything there is a season,” and the 2019 edition of Great Plant Picks (GPP) has a variety of outstanding plants to choose from for winter, spring, summer and fall. “A Garden for All Seasons” is the focus of this always-anticipated list of hand-picked plants that thrive in Northwest gardens.
The GPP display, located among the show’s spectacular display gardens, has been designed by Richie Steffen of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden. You’ll find a variety of trees, shrubs, and perennials for every season of the year selected from over one thousand plants in this year’s GPP line-up.
Pick up the 2019 edition poster highlighting this year’s selections at the GPP display while supplies last.
|Garden Creator: Great Plant Picks; Seattle, WA
Designed by: Richie Steffen
Great Plant Picks is the primary educational program of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Shoreline. Twenty-five professional horticulturists from our region volunteer each year to discuss and evaluate the best plants for Northwest gardens. Selection criteria include ornamental value, ease of care, and pest and disease resistance. Since 2001 over 1,000 exceptional plants have been selected for gardeners living west of the Cascade Mountains. For the full list of plants that stand out in each season as well as plants selected to debut in 2019 and other information, please go to greatplantpicks.org.
Victorian Herbal Tapestry
Show sponsor Corona Tools has offered a full range of professional-grade lawn and garden tools for over 90 years. What better way to spotlight these quality tools than putting them to work! Corona will hold daily demonstrations at 10 AM and 1:30 PM showcasing their pruners, shears and loppers and other great products directly in this display garden.
Hartley Botanic, makers of fine English greenhouses since 1938, presents “Victoria Villa” - complete with plantings, flats of vegetables and annuals. Planters packed with floral color surround the company’s popular Villa Greenhouse model.
Weaving the displays together, you’ll find a raised herb garden and an attractive patio accented with a pergola and colorful plantings.
Corona Tools; Corona, CA
Hartley Botanic Greenhouses; Oldham, United Kingdom
Designed by: Sue Goetz, The Creative Gardener
“The World at Your Feet”
Little Prince of Oregon Nursery
Our world is favored with diverse climates, and in this unusual display you find flora representing multiple environments.
Arranged in the orderly fashion of a classic “grange display” you’d find at a country fair, you’ll find a wide variety of plant material that could grown in various regions. The eye-catching focal point is a large stone sculpture similar to a mountain.
This visual journey showcases a wide range of plant materials grown by one of the Northwest’s largest commercial growers.
|Garden Creators: Little Prince of Oregon Nursery; Aurora, OR
Planting designed by Little Prince of Oregon Nursery
Concept by the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival
Nature Perfect Landscape & Design
Mystery surrounds this stylized Chinese garden, a quiet “poet’s garden” but also a place for exuberant celebrations.
Garden walls surround this enchanting spot, adding to its intrigue. But viewers will have ways to peak into this Sichuan-inspired garden through its distinctive moon gate entrance and windows strategically arranged around the hidden garden. Drawing you in with from different perspectives, you’ll see stepping stones leading to tranquil pond and Chinese-style waterfall.
And look for the unusual, water-worn Gongshi or “scholar’s stone,” typical of the fantastically-shaped stones that have inspired China’s poets and painters. Reflecting the style of gardens in this Chinese province, it’s less formal than you might expect, with simple plantings unifying hardscape elements in the garden.
Of note: look for borrowed items, including selected stones and plants, courtesy of the Seattle Chinese Garden, located in West Seattle.
Take-home ideas: controlling vantage points to create mystery and anticipation
|Garden Creator: Nature Perfect Landscape & Design; Olympia, WA
Designed by: Landen Moore
NW Bloom Ecological Services
Whether you’re home or abroad, the concept behind this garden is that everyone deserves a sanctuary. Though the backdrop is one of futuristic decay, this is a place of regrowth and regeneration.
You’re stepping into the year 2050, with the urban center of Seattle serving as the ‘sci-fi-like” setting. But rays of hope and positivity abound: medicinal and edible plants are integrated into a planting scheme emphasizing native plant material. And residents have fully embraced clean energy, with use of solar panels and cooker.
A unique feature: a tent that serves as a central gathering place for inspiration and healing. A variety of musicians and performance artists, including musicians and poets, will perform periodically during the festival.
Take-home ideas: the simplicity of sanctuary; combining natural and man-made features for sustainability
|Garden Creator: NW Bloom Ecological Services; Woodinville, WA
Designed by: Jessi Bloom
“Celtic Travels; Hibernia to Caledonia”
Northwest Flower & Garden Festival Theme Garden
Hike up your woolen kilt hose and roam through a highlands landscape in a fanciful trip from Ireland to Scotland.
You’ll be transported into the lands of castles, wild coastlines and legendary poets in this visual journey. Your eyes are drawn to a large stone portal revealing fields of heather and thyme dotted with stone. The rugged landscape is ringed with conifers giving way to birch and holly. Your curiosity is further piqued by the sound of water—a spectacular waterfall and sheltered pond surrounded by massive boulders and tree specimens.
There is plenty of color and texture throughout the garden with ample plantings of narcissus, shamrock and native grasses. Works of whimsical art abound, including glass reeds and cattails surrounding the pond, and of course – glass shamrocks!
The trek from ancient Eire to Alba is sure to work up a powerful “drouth.” Perhaps a pint or “wee dram” is in order?
Take-home ideas: low maintenance, drought-resistant gardening; garden art underscores theme elements
|Garden Creators: Northwest Flower & Garden Festival
Terra Firma Hardscapes; Everett, WA
Designed by: Lloyd Glasscock, Northwest Flower & Garden Festival
John Stout, Terra Firma Hardscapes
“Orchids in Balance”
Northwest Orchid Society
China’s fabled Li River valley is known for its dramatic topography, including towering, near-vertical sandstone karsts. It also home to innumerable varieties of orchids, and in this garden you’ll find hundreds of flowering orchids grown by members of the Northwest Orchid Society.
Spotlighting the “yin-yang” balance and peacefulness orchids provide, festival-goers may stroll though and around this garden. The amazing array of orchids are grouped by color and variety against a backdrop of basalt columns representing the karsts of the Li River. Structures of sustainably-harvested, custom-made bamboo structures are symbolic of the villages in the valley.
The orchids on display range from common plants available in grocery stores to rare specimens that are only available for public viewing at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. It is a unique opportunity to see these plants in bloom.
Take-home ideas: orchid varieties grown here in the home or in a greenhouse; meet Northwest Orchid Society volunteers for growing tips
|Garden Creator: Northwest Orchid Society; Seattle, WA
Designed by: Joe Grienauer and Joff Morgan
Puget Sound Conservation Districts
We’re fortunate to live in one of the world’s most spectacular regions, framed by snow-capped mountains and the Salish Sea. We’re also home to diverse and delicate ecosystems, and this garden stresses the importance of protecting these environments. You’ll find ample use of native plants and cultivars - coupled with and conservation methods readily available to us all.
You’ll find ideas ranging from creating pollinator friendly habitat to developing smart rain water management using rain barrels and rain gardens. There are elements applicable to home and garden, farm and wooded properties - highlighting approachable conservation efforts in each setting.
This garden has been created through the combined efforts of ten Conservation Districts and their “Better Ground” initiative. Representatives of this coalition will provide additional “how-to” information at their booth at the show.
Take-home ideas: implementing a rain garden complementary water feature; on-site informational resources
|Garden Creator: Puget Sound Conservation Districts; Puget Sound, WA
Designed by: Puget Sound Conservation Districts' staff
“The Isles of the Blest: Tao Myth”
Redwood Builders LLC, Landscaping
This Japanese-style garden is a representation of Taoist myth “Isles of the Blest,” which has influenced Chinese and Japanese followers for centuries. Legend has it that somewhere far, far east of the Chinese coastline, inhabitants of five islands had attained immortality and lived together in perfect harmony. They flew about the islands’ lofty peaks on backs of cranes, and the islands themselves were carried on the backs of giant sea turtles.
Expeditions were mounted by Chinese emperors, and later the Japanese, to find the islands and snatch the elixir of youth from their immortal inhabitants. As history shows, the Japanese were also captivated by this – and the myth of the “mountain as center of the universe.”
Bonsai specimens are known for their lengthy lifespan, and here five specimens symbolize the islands and their immortal residents. Accented with bamboo, moss, a raked gravel area and boulders, it’s a place to reflect on a myth that intrigues many to this day.
Of note: one of the garden’s bonsai is on loan from the Pacific Bonsai Museum collection in Federal Way.
Take-home ideas: an impactful experience created with fewer plants and large negative space
|Garden Creators: Redwood Builders Landscaping LLC; Maple Valley, WA
Bonsaiko; Maple Valley, WA
Designed by: Anthony Fajarillo, Redwood Builders Landscaping
Your journey takes you half a world away, and your destination is known for its centuries-old marble palaces and ornate mosques. It’s inspired by the famed gardens of Shalimar in LaHore, Pakistan.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, these splendid gardens were laid out as a Persian “paradise garden.” Constructed in 1641, they are representation of an earthly utopia where humans co-exist in perfect harmony with all elements of nature.
This courtyard garden has been heavily influenced by the historic royal complex. It embraces the fourfold garden concept complemented by channels of water. And there’s ample use of fragrant flowers, underscoring the exotic setting and design of this garden.
Take-home ideas: formal design scheme; garden provides multiple viewpoints
|Garden Creator: Treeline Designz; Portland | Seattle | San Francisco
Designed by: Iftikhar Ahmed
“Under the Mediterranean Sun”
Washington Park Arboretum
This time of year, who could be faulted for dreaming of a sun-drenched landscape with a bright, warm, full-sun garden…filled with iconic Mediterranean flowers specimen trees.
Dream no longer. The subtle elegance of this garden captures the age-old charm and romance of the Mediterranean. It’s a celebration of the formal Mediterranean-style garden, which dates to Classical antiquity.
A country villa fronted by a portico of stately columns provides a backdrop for this colorful courtyard garden. It’s a study in graceful symmetry as planting beds, paths, and boxwood hedges create formal lines and geometric patterns. A grove of cypress and a grape vine draping from the portico create welcome areas of shade and relief. For visitors not accustomed to these sunny climes, a stone fountain provides soothing movement, serene sounds, and a cooling ambience (it offers both a respite for visitors and a habitat resource for birds).
Take-home ideas: a Mediterranean garden is attainable here with careful planning, soil preparation, and plant selection; tiling demarcating planting beds
|Garden Creator: Washington Park Arboretum; Seattle, WA
The Arboretum Foundation
Designed by: Bob Lilly, Roger Williams and Phil Woods
Solera Wine Garden “#Fakeation – Create Your Destination”
Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association
This is a fun twist on a “staycation” - where you are a tourist in your own town. But why leave the neighborhood? The “fakeation” recreates a modern luxury resort feel in your own backyard with bold colors, grandiose foliage, and dramatic textures.
Lounge in the inviting cabana and escape from the rest of the world in this tranquil landscape. Wander among luscious foliage and a water feature that washes away the stress of the day. Pause to admire the artwork that inspires you to dream those dreams that stir the senses.
Though small in stature, this garden is powerful in scale with novel use of bold foliage and exclusively available containers, sculptures, and accents. It pushes the envelope on Pacific Northwest planting zones, incorporating tropical touches along with hardy plant varieties.
So “order in” and don’t leave the comfort of home!
Take-home ideas: the garden is staffed with Certified Professional Horticulturists and other landscape professionals…available to answer questions about the garden and landscape industry
|Garden Creator: Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association; Seattle, WA
Designed by: Members of the Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association
“Patterns of Peace on Earth”
West Seattle Nursery
Set your GPS for West Central Africa, with the picturesque nation of Ghana as the garden destination! Though this part of the world may not be represented often in a garden shows, Ghana is known for its lush forests, miles of sandy beaches and beautiful architecture.
The “indoors goes outdoors” in this garden, with houseplants (found in the Northwest) used extensively to represent tropical varieties found outdoors in Ghana. Patterns are used widely in the African culture, and this garden makes liberal use of this design element. Visual patterns are created though the arrangement of plantings, and a kick plate (painted in Ghana’s unique Frafra-patterned style) frames the garden. A distinctive waterfall adds a visual focal point that creates further ambiance and a feeling of peace.
Take-home ideas: use of bromeliads, bird of paradise and sansevieria to create tropical settings indoors here in the Northwest
|Garden Creators: West Seattle Nursery; Seattle, WA
Devonshire Landscapes, Inc.; Seattle, WA
Designed by: The staff at West Seattle Nursery