Show me……

Ahhhhhh, sweet satisfaction! Having seen the 2006 display gardens I feel as though I can rest now. And go shopping at Nordstrom’s and drink Starbucks coffee every 20 steps in Seattle.

OK, so I went shoe shopping at Nordstrom’s before I went to the show. I came to town, I hugged Rosie, we ate everything at lunch and we bought shoes. As it should be.

The show seemed quieter this year. I didn’t have any trouble getting close to photograph the gardens. All of Boise’s nursery gaggle is here: Seneca, Charlie, Charlene, Christine, Nancy, Sue, Carol, Kathy, Mary, her sister, Jayme, and Moi. That’s who I saw today, anyway.

And the winner is………….Coffee and Chocolate by Shapiro Ryan Design. I like coffee and I like chocolate. I would not have been able to find this garden by this name, but it was my favorite all the same. Simple, contemporary block style plantings, clean lines, small space, great foliage texture, snazzy lighting, artful stepping stones that weren’t “cute” and innovative boundaries. White cedar 4×4’s were stained black and at first glance I thought they were steel. They were placed on end, a few inches apart adding a nice strong vertical element to an otherwise horizontal design. The carex billowing at the base of the Midwinter Fire dogwood hedge was clean and colorful -at the same time it added another element of texture to a pretty smooth streamlined installation. The chaise, its fabric, and the light fixtures added notes of sophistication that I really admired.

Christianson’s Nursery of Mt. Vernon, WA, won the coveted Founder’s Cup and for a very good reason: it is a perfect display garden. This garden was all about sentiment and nostalgia. Designed by John and Toni Christianson, it was a loving reminder of times gone by. Tendrils of roses stretched along the weathered split rail fence, a fifty year old cotoneaster stood nearby at the corner of the outbuilding, and the old pick-em-up truck poked its nose throught the cedars at the edge of the unmown clearing. The roof of the building had a great rusty patina and the ancient green utility light fit in perfectly. The attention to detail in the design was remarkable. The old dirt road to the truck shed was complete with tire tracks in the mud. The whole setting made you want to sit down, butter the bread, and have some lunch. I loved it.
A very cha cha garden was the design and installation by the Washington State Landscape and Nursery Association’s entry, “It Looks Like Red to Me.” The garden incorporated every variation on the red theme: here a red, there a red, everywhere a red-red….and it all worked. The red riff included scarlet, crimson, salmon, orange, fuschia, coral, ruby, maroon, merlot, cerise, cherry, strawberry, flame, and bubble gum. This garden is a fine example of the design principle of repitition and it really showed the focus and adherence to a theme on behalf of its designers.

And now, dear gardening friends, I must close for a bit so you can get caught up with my goings on and I can go and mingle with the other folks from the Garden Writer’s Association. I will report back to you what the folks “in-the-know,” have to say about the show…..stay tuned.