Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What I Saw, and Did, and Bought at the Tacoma Home and Garden Show

I knew the Tacoma Home and Garden Show was coming up, but I wasn't sure I wanted to go, because the Northwest Flower and Garden Show is also coming up soon, and I figured that would be enough to satisfy me. Well, then I started reading about friends on Facebook who went to the Tacoma Show, and decided that I just couldn't wait a couple of weeks to see gardening stuff and get inspiration. So last night I suggested coyly to Nigel that maybe we could go today?

So we did. What fun!

There were quite a few landscaping companies there offering to install pondless waterfalls like this one. This is the only one I took a picture of, because I like the log laying across the bottom, and I love the patches of moss. Maybe I should hang onto one or two of the big lichen-covered branches that fell during our ice storm, and lay them artfully across the stream (which I have cleaned out since my last post). I have a few small pieces of driftwood strewn around it, but they are way too small to make an impact. I need something bigger to match the size of the stream.

This was a pretty cool cabin. It's completely insulated and actually quite large. It would work as a place to get away and do craft projects. But it's kind of overkill for a garden shed.

One of my favorite booths was Art of Stone, which had the most wonderful creations in concrete and cement. You may recall before Christmas, I was doing a lot of work with concrete and cement. I have a few creations that I haven't blogged about yet, but they are nothing as creative and beautiful and whimsical as the lovely artwork I found at their booth. That sweet angel came home with me!

Ever since the two-day power outage that we endured because of the ice storm, Nigel and I have been talking about getting a wood stove installed. So one of the booths that we checked out was Wallace's Stove and Fireplace, which has a shop right here in our own town. We got a lot of questions answered (pellet versus wood, what do we do since we have no chimney, etc.). It looks like a wood stove is in our future.

I have also been contemplating getting a new garden gate this spring. Ideally, I would love to have a big heavy wooden gate, one that maybe looks like a door, hung on stone plinths or maybe concrete block faced with stone. At the Marenakos Rock Center display, we found this stone plinth. It's a little small for the look I really want, but at least now I know I might be able to get what I want there. Another spring project.

As we traipsed around the booths, lunchtime came and went, so around 2 p.m., our stomachs decided it was time to eat. The Tacoma Dome, where the show took place, has an upstairs restaurant called McKinley's Grill, which sits on a balcony overlooking the show floor. Nigel had a Philly cheeseteak with fries, and I had a cup of butternut squash soup, and chicken caesar salad. While we ate, we could hear local garden guru Ciscoe Morris giving a talk. We couldn't hear every word, but according to the show schedule, it was a talk called "Ask Ciscoe: Answers to Your Garden Stumpers." Knowing Ciscoe (I watch his show almost every weekend), that was an excuse for him to ramble on and tell a lot of wonderful garden-related anecdotes. At one point, we heard him howling like a coyote! After he finished his talk, he walked through the show floor, just under the spot where our table overlooked, and I thought about yelling "Ciscoe, You Rock!" but I wasn't sure Nigel would appreciate the attention.

From our table in the restaurant I could see a booth called The Olive Branch, that was selling flavored oils and vinegars. So after lunch, we made a beeline for that booth, and bought two bottles of flavored dipping oil/marinade/dressing. We got to taste a sample of each, and Nigel liked the Chipotle while I favored the sun-dried tomato. Naturally, I got to buy the bigger bottle!

By then, we had had enough of the crowds, and didn't really need to check out any other booths, so we went on our merry way!


  1. really got a jump-start on garden-show season, didn't you! I guess I'll just wait until the Yard Garden & Patio Show next month, not sure I can convince my parter to go up to Seattle as well! Glad you had a good time...that Limestone plinth is amazing!

  2. That looks like fun! I've never been to that garden show so it's nice to hear what it's like. You should've asked Cisco if he remembered you from when we visited his garden last summer :)

  3. Don't forget to shake your fist at the sky and say "As God is my witness I'll never be cold again" (liberities taken from Scarlet ) We were without power for 4 days one Christmas after an ice storm...I know from where you speak.
    Love all the little primroses in the first picture, they always remind me of spring.

  4. I love when you go to these shows. We don't have anything like that in South Dakota. That little wood house is right up my ally. My husband was shown the photo and I gave him sad eyes. Maybe someday I could have a little shed like that. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it.

  5. Wow looks like you had a great time at the show!! Love your idea for the gate, cant wait to see what you end up doing! Also, I just wanted to let you know I am awarding your blog the "Versatile Blogging Award" I just love your posts and want to show you how much I appreciate your blog!! please visit my latest post for more details on the award and where I have also linked your blog. Cheers Julia

  6. You should have yelled it and had your hubby video it. I wish we could get Cisco down here and I guess you can if you've got fancy-dancy cable. There are lots of those mossy sticks in the forest across the road from us. I've contemplated grabbing a few for the garden but there's also poison oak...
    Anyway, sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I would absolutely love to get a wood stove for our home. Hopefully you guys can get one before next winter rolls around!

  8. Alison, that was a wonderful garden show you took us to! Loved the cabin and the stone steps in front of it (of course) and the limestone fence post. The angel is very beautiful, I can see why you loved it.

    I read about your ice storm with horror, oh, my. What a mess. I'm glad you came through it unharmed. What a lot of branches to tend to. We've been lucky, so far, no ice storms in years. I don't like them one little bit, I'd much prefer snow. 40 hours is a long time to be without power. We have a chimney but were contemplating taking it out now that we have geothermal, but then we think of power outages and then having a wood stove would be the perfect answer. So it's still on our list of 'what we might do someday' when or if we ever remodel the hut here.

    Time to head for bed, I've been trying to keep better hours. Looks like I failed tonight! So good to visit you, Alison!


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