Friday, March 4, 2016

spring dreaming

Two weeks ago I had Friday off and the opportunity to attend the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle with my sis-in-law.  I followed along a bit beforehand via Facebook, seeing photos of the set up something like this requires was kind of fun.  Literally trucking and tractoring in yards of dirt & bark, tons of rock and cement retaining wall blocks, flowers, bulbs, grass and lets not forget actual trees!

Having never been, I was excited and unsure of what to expect.  I've been to our small local home and garden style show and knew to expect booths for businesses as well as some of those "sold on tv" kind of products for sale... but this show was just amazing!

We got there just after opening and being Friday it was day 3 of a 5 day run.  It wasn't too crowded initially but definitely got busier as the day progressed.  I think in the future I'd try to go on Thursday to avoid the "first day" folks on Wednesday and the "long weekend" folks on Friday.

We first went through a section of "booths", many were locals.  One of my favorites was this one from Whidbey Island... wouldn't you love to have a little shed or get away spot like this?

The details were fantastic and I took a bunch of photos to show my husband... perhaps when he finishes his latest project we can get started on a new greenhouse with some of these touches!  The vintage style mailbox with flowers was a favorite  as well as the old door.

Old tin roofing... perfect!

See that little "cupola"?  It's old funnels!  As is the hanging plant in the front!  And a vintage bike with a basket of flowers?  Well I don't really have to say anything at all about that, right?

Little bird house made of old can and old galvanized bits.  The insides of each building were full of fun things too.

Moving around we came across another vendor, don't actually remember what this was for but of course, I loved the galvanized water troughs full of tulips!  Really like the idea of burying them a bit instead of having them fully above ground.  I've been thinking of were I could add one of those smaller round ones at my place!

The we moved on to the highlight of the show... the display gardens.  The them for the show this year was "America the Beautiful" and our National Parks were the stars of the show.

First up, and I think the most dramatic, was The Tiny Tetons.  This garden captures the beauty of Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park.  Showing meadows and a backdrop of mountains.

This garden was surrounded by a fence and you could only view it from a small area in front.  If you look closely in the first (above) picture you will see a live edge sort of piece of wood that finished off the fence on each side of the viewing area.

Park it in Your Own Backyard was the name of this garden area... complete with a structure on a "patio" area.  It is inspired by the fact that there is a natural park less than 90 minutes from downtown Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park.  If you've ever visited Seattle on a clear day, yes Washington does have some of those, you can appreciate the view from your backyard of this beautiful mountain.

Discovering Alaska is for Denali National Park.  This garden had a stream with and a gentle fall of water down a "mountain"... it even had fish!

I believe this one was Southwest Serenity... unfortunately I realized on one of the last garden/displays that I could have been taking pictures of the actual sign that was posted, oh well.  I used my map to figure most of these out but a few were confusing so I hope I got this one right.

This garden was inspired by the many National Parks in the Southwest with a desert-like feel... so different from the area that I live in.

This golf course display was so fun!  The tulip photo from the beginnins was also part of this display.  Unfortunately I couldn't find a name on my map nor on the show's website.   I took to google and found a couple of folks called it "A tribute to hole 12 at Augusta"... which is kind of funny since that's what my husband said when I showed him the pictures!  My google search also turned up that this hole at Augusta is "Amen Corner" and the signature hole at Augusta Natioanal Golf Club.

Right or wrong... that grass covered stone bridge is amazing!  Fuchsias, tulips and I think, impatiens made this such a beautiful display.

If you've watched the Masters before you'd have to agree that they certainly captured the beauty of Augusta!

The Hoh, is a rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula here in Washington state.  And before you wonder how we have a rain forest, it's a temperate rain forest not a tropical one.  This rain forest receives 12 to 14 FEET (yes, feet!) of rainfall each year.

This garden also shows how a "nurse log" functions in a forest.

You can visit the Hoh in the Olympic National Park.

Mountains and Rivers Without End was based on our rugged North Cascade mountain range, also known as America's Alps.  At the op is a fire lookout and a dry creek bed runs down the "mountain".

The designers used native plantings like firs, dogwoods, rhododendrons, ferns, iris, daffodils and tulips.

Another amazing feat was El Patio Fuente... I can not imagine building this structure in a short time!  The fun part was being able to see in the "windows"!

This patio and open air structure was to mimic a Spanish Mission courtyard garden.  From Florida to California, early Spanish settlers influenced architecture and garden design.

This little daffodil caught our eye... Rip Van Winkle was the name... frilly and delicate!

A Room With a Garden View seemed to be very popular... and hard to get any clear photos for all the people!  A popular spot was an actual window that you could look through to the garden but I couldn't get a shot without people moving in front... I did however like this one of an open door into the beautiful garden.

Always love a flowering, weeping tree.

This garden was inspired by gardens found in the Seattle area, especially in waterfront locales with a skyline, Cascade peaks and Mt. Rainier.  It is supposed to be a view out of a conservatory style room and a waterfront garden that leads to the shore.

The iron gate and pergola were favorites.

Essence of Yellowstone kind of speaks for itself as Yellowstone is the grand-daddy of all National Parks.  Old Faithful was even symbolized with a fountain.

Flora and fauna found within the park are represented by a meadow and naturally shed elk and deer antlers.

An Eruption of Orchids was hard to get photos due to the lighting used.  This tropical display even included a steaming volcano!

A little path led you through this display, a nice touch to be able to see the smaller delicate orchids up close.

From Sea to Shining Sea... Coupleville, Washington to Nantucket, Massachusetts.... ok, this one was my overall favorite!  It showed garden areas and cute little structures that exemplified west coast and east coast both in their gardens and "home" styles... even crab pots for the west and lobster traps for the east were in the display.  Both are very different seaside images of our country.

Such a fun display with one side being "west coast" and the other "east coast"... The west side incorporated a cute pink structure...

 I think it's a play on a Victorian painted lady with those colors

In front is a garden full of spring bulbs, driftwood and a wooden kayak.

The fence and whale sign on the east coast end speaks for itself!

This little structure certainly reminds one of a Nantucket style house with cedar shingles and a cool wooden flag, of course Adirondack chairs and a game of croquet await...

A fun addition and favorite area of the show was the Vintage Garden Market.  If you like to attend those vintage sales that pop up all over you would have LOVED this area!  One or two of the dealers were ones I've seen at previous sales but most were new to me.

First up is this outdoor chandelier made out of vintage punch cups!  You see these at thrift stores all the time for next to nothing, how cute would this be in a fun little garden area!

This booth was fun, even brought sod in to cover the floor!

Inspiration for our own farm truck perhaps?

Love the logo!

This seller had cement mushrooms!  I would have loved to bring one of them (they had multiples) home but the price and the weight kept me from doing so!

The mushroom seller also had this cast iron sign... Steep price of well over $100 kept me from buying this one for my husband... he would have loved this!

This seller had the coolest building and stuff in and around it for sale.  The porch on the building is a fun touch.

Of course we picked up a few treasures at the show including dahlia tubers, a cute burlap pillow cover, some "b's" for my wall, daffodils, a vintage grapette crate, small metal toolbox and a silver trophy like vase.  Would have loved to have scooped up more but one can only carry so much!

Visiting all this garden inspiration mid- February really makes one want to get out in their own garden... fortunately for me I had a little visitor last weekend and we took our own garden tour here at Red Gate Farm.

Miss Bee decided she needed to touch the tops of each flower she saw... mostly hyacinths at this time but she didn't miss a single one!

And my own garden adventure?  Well my seeds have sprouted!  It's looking like a great germination percentage and I cannot wait until it's April and May, the time to start planting in earnest!

Spring is on its way in the Pacific Northwest, so looking forward to it!

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  1. Oh the Show looks like it was fabulous! And your new little Garden helper adorable

  2. I can't thank you enough for sharing photos of this show. My sister goes on the train from Portland to Seattle every single year with her friend to attend this show and to dine at the trendiest places. I had no idea how fantastic it is! Miss Bee is the sweetest baby doll ever. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. These all look amazing, love the creativity


  4. Oh, what an inspiring place to visit and get ideas. I'm going to look for an old funnel!

    Thanks for sharing at SYC.

  5. Oh gosh, what an amazing show! We are just getting ready to start on our garden shed. Lots of inspiration! I have a large funnel and have used it for lots of fun ideas, but now I need to hang it up as a planter. Love the funnel cupola as well. I almost bought a Magnolia tree last weekend like the one you showed. Ended up going with a bush that was a little more hardy for our area. I too love flowering trees. I have a weeping snow fountain right out my front door. Can't wait for it to bloom. I loved how the little one had to touch the blooms! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  6. I always try to write something new for my site as well but I cannot do so…


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