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!