We’re here! The Seattle Freeway Park Convention Center!
Love its Brutalist entrance hall!
Neither Laura, Gina or I had ever visited the largest Flower and Garden Show in the Pacific Northwest before, so this year, the three of us, and William who is a show veteran, drove up to Seattle for the day, to check out what all the hype is about. I can’t imagine going anywhere with a more fun and exuberant bunch of crackpots – I haven’t laughed that much in a long time! The irreverent comedy troupe I was with, more than made up for the fact that my elevated expectations of the Show were deflated within the first hour there.
Being that it fell on Valentines Weekend, the theme of the show this year was Love & Romance. There was an impressive succulent heart in the entrance hall.
Here is a close-up.
We headed straight for the Display Gardens. While I liked bits and pieces of them, most of them left me rather dissatisfied. Maybe I’m just jaded? Or, could it be that my anticipation was too inflated? I don’t know, but the wow-factor just wasn’t there for me… The one exception, from my point of view, was the large Harvest moon, glowing over one of the displays. It served as a great backdrop when seen from several other gardens as well. Here is as good of a place as any to apologize for my rather crappy photos of this event. Not knowing any better, I had my flash turned on until Laura (who is a great photographer) noticed, and taught me not to. By then, most of the day was already behind us. Oh well…
Here is the moon seen through a Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) in another one of the displays.
While it looked inviting, the reality of this design looked like a major pain in the butt considering that you’d have to keep leaves and debris out of the pool – especially during autumn. A concept car of sorts – great looking, but not realistically functional.
Same with this one. While I loved the undulating, layered contrast of rock, lit up wine bottles, moss and succulents – can you imagine what this would look like after a couple of days of PNW downpours? I know I wouldn’t want to clean it up!
The theme of this year’s show was Love & Romance. A lot of the displays featured some sort of gazebo, or romantic meeting place. And, as you can imagine – red and pink was everywhere! No surprise there…
One garden had this massive log dominating the scene, and an otherwise PNW-Asian feel throughout.
I loved how their water feature flowed through an old piece of weathered wood.
This one was striking because of a sea of red tulips, and well placed lighting.
It was the little vignettes that I appreciated the most – like this one, surrounding a stump covered in fungi.
This one piqued my interest, but I was let down by the symmetrical placement of two Phalaenopsis orchids, like two sentinels at the end of the draw bridge. It just seemed goofy.
This one was one massive wildlife resort with lots of fun details.
You can get away with a lot of things in a weekend display you could not in a real life design. While the contrasting Acanthus leaves look great tucked in among all the bulbs, they would soon dwarf the surrounding several feet of flowers with its leaves.
I thought these horizontally planted drain tiles were fun!
I liked this a lot – white hyacinths, succulents growing through gabions, and juxtaposed with rock filled ones.. Overall, there were lots of white flower combinations that I found lovely, but because of my camera-flash ignorance, most of the photos I took were too washed out to make any sense. Oh well…live and learn.
After we saw the display gardens we were hungry, and decided to take lunch…. but where??? Luckily, we ran into Loree who is an old Seattleite, and she recommended Palomino, where she was going to meet Peter and Alison. We’re grateful for that recommendation – both food and drink totally hit the spot!
Palomino is on the third floor of one of the downtown buildings, only a couple of blocks from the Convention Center.
My merry gang of goofballs; from left, William, Gina, and Laura.
After lunch, we spent considerable time looking at orchids. There was a huge variety, and seeing it all made me want to learn more about them. They are such interesting plants… I’m still shooting pictures with a flash, so I will only post a few, as most of them are washed out.
The flowers of this one were tiny – only about 3/16″ .
In the Skywalk, there were several really nice little display areas, where they showed these fabulous oxidized lanterns.
There was an orchid display garden too, featuring lots of marvelous stuff, but most shots from there were pretty sad looking as you can see. Still, I’m posting this one. I thought those long, yellow tassels were fantastic!
As the afternoon light started to slant, we made it into the Skywalk. This housed some smaller garden booth displays that were wonderful.
Here is the whole gang, with the addition of an innocent passerby that William roped into joining us. 🙂
Beautiful wooden planter.
For some reason, the NZ Flax and the Jasmine combo really hit home for me – it was wonderful! The photo does not convey the truth at all. 😦
That Carex ‘Frosted Curls’ was used a lot – such a cool grass! The Aeoniums are magnificent.
Lovely mix of sun- and shade-loving plants. Good thing it’s only for the weekend! 😉
Metal or ceramic fish complete with stakes to turn your flower beds into marine landscapes.
Dragonflies, made from bike chain.
Fun little monsters everywhere!
Here’s a Flamingo-eating one!
Giant Venus flytraps, or perhaps the Day of the Triffids!
Monsters carrying off a gnome.
Lots of glass art…
Marine life was popular…
….in many forms.
Love Dig’s Octopus planter. I saw it in orange in JJ DeSousa’s garden at the Fling, and I like the blue one too!
Always a sense of humor – it was Valentine’s Weekend, after all…
One of my favorite displays were the one from Butchart Gardens in Victoria. They were not selling anything – strictly display – but good heavens, the combinations they put together! Beautiful! My photos – again – don’t do them justice, but I will post a couple anyway.
After all this, we were starting to feel googly-eyed, and felt we needed to take a break. We’d been there since it opened, and seen pretty much everything we wanted to see.
We choose Gordon Biersch!
This COULD have looked like a Valentine’s date gone bad, to an outsider…
… but in reality, it was more like this…
… and this.
This was an awfully long post! But then again, how else would I have fit such an awfully long day into it? I could not have wished for better travel companions – we had so much fun. Aside from the fact that we all agreed the show gardens were a bit of a let down, there was so much else to see that that part almost didn’t matter. There was an impressive line-up of speakers too, but in the one day we were there, we didn’t have time. Would I go back again? You bet – especially if these guys come along. Wouldn’t miss it! 🙂