Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Second Day at the NWFGS -- Display Gardens

I arrived at the NWFGS a little before 9 a.m., so I would be there when the show opened. I figured that way I could get a good look at the display gardens, and maybe manage to take some good photos. Unfortunately, I didn't get good pictures of all of them. They keep the lighting in the display area so dark and theatrical, it is hard to get a good photo. If the flash goes off, then only things within about two feet of the camera are well-lit. Without the flash, the shutter speed is so slow that it is hard to hold the camera steady. I know -- I should learn to use the camera on a setting other than auto. Some day, maybe, when I've had enough sleep to spare the brain cycles required to concentrate and learn.

And some displays -- well -- I just wasn't impressed enough to try hard enough to get good photos. The truth is there's only so much you can do with forced bulbs, grasses, firs and deciduous shrubs and trees that haven't leafed out yet.

This display, called "Specimen Foray" was one of my favorites. It's a mix of native trees and plants enclosing a circle of stone seats and a fire-ring.



Here it is from another angle. Some day I hope that my back garden has this sheltered, enclosed feeling, rather than the "Look at us in our back yard, gardening and sitting on our patio" ambiance that it currently has.


And directly in front of that path was this lovely specimen of a tree.



I liked this garden too (except for the cheesy, painted styrofoam backdrop), called "Redefining Andante." At various points throughout the day, a pianist/violinist duo would appear and serenade the crowd.




To the left of this was a raised patio with seating (sorry, no photo). It looked like a nice place to sit and have morning coffee or a meal, feed your koi, and listen to your very own musician employees/slaves. FYI: When no one was seated at the grand piano, it played itself.

This next display was called "Rock and Roll Meets Heavy Metal -- The Convergence Zone." Water pours out of the gutters into a small pond, while the little yellow fan blows air at a lethal-looking metal sculpture, making it twirl.



Here's another view.



Well, from here on, I'm giving up on trying to sort out what each display was called, since the photos I have left are an eclectic mix, and bear little true resemblance to the descriptions in the show program. I hope you find something inspiring in at least one of them.















Not the most practical chicken coop -- a converted VW bus. I hate cleaning my car, and chickens don't live in it.

I did like these big stone plinths marking the entry to this walk-through garden (wish there were more that we could actually get close to and/or walk through)

I liked the use of red in this garden
On the whole, I find myself wishing the show would do away with themed displays. It seems to me that it results in rather tortured designs, as the designers try to force the theme to work with their design. It leads to an over-emphasis on hardscape and decor, when I would much prefer to focus on plants.

Does anyone seriously want to ruin a nice set of drums by letting water drip onto them?

I heard that next year they are going to be based on movies. I wonder who will get The Wizard of Oz? After all, Seattle's nickname is The Emerald City.

I still have the vendor area to cover. I did some great shopping at the show!

4 comments:

  1. While I miss the garden shows now, I got tired of the themed stuff too. I went to see plants and realistic designs. So many are so over the top.

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  2. I've pretty much quit going to the NWFGS as it is so repetitive. There's the low maintenance, rock, evergreen tree garden, the requisite Japanese tea house garden, the nod to the vegetable garden and then the over the top "only if a had a 1/2 and 3 million $$ gardens. I want to see gardens I can aspire too and I don't see much of that.

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  3. I agree with your take on the show. I went a few years ago when there was no theme and I think I liked it better. The music theme didn't really work, the fairy tale one was a bit better last year. I have more fun walking through the vendors I think.

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  4. I, too, feel they've lost the plot :( Far better to visit the open gardens :)

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