What’s New from Show Garden Designers

What’s New from Show Garden Designers


Each year, garden creators are offered the chance to decorate and hide a certain object somewhere within their displays. It’s a fun game for both kids and adults; this year, you’ll be looking for piggy banks. But in addition to the pigs, you’ll find another theme running through the displays: sustainable materials used interesting, odd, and funky ways. The designers give us ideas for incorporating re-purposed items into our own gardens. Search for these, among many others.

Gabions – rusted metal boxes that hold rocks – take on a new look in “Paradise (to be) Regained,” the garden of Courtney Goetz (Creative Gardener). She’s made gabions filled with plastic water bottles and black-plastic nursery pots. Courtney, the youngest garden creator, shows a real flare for design.

Huge metal bands used as concrete forms act as the front edge of the garden in Susan Calhoun (Plantswoman Design) “Life’s Journey in a Garden – Expect Great Things.” Susan took metal bins that had been used to hold a display of screwdrivers at a hardware store and turned them into moss baskets. Rusted metal goes with anything in the garden.

Evan Pease designed the garden for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers – Washington Chapter (APLDWA), building an enormous spike high-heel shoe out of recycled metal. Stand back and admire “Wish ‘Shoe’ Were Here.”

 Talk about recycled materials – John and Toni Christianson (Christianson’s Nursery) created a 1940s nursery complete with old metal plant cans (the forerunner of the black plastic nursery pot), salvaged greenhouse windows, and wooden seed trays.

What about the plants, you ask? This is the best display I’ve seen in a while at the show – fabulous flowers, unusual selections – you’d better have pen and paper ready. And your camera, of course.


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