My mother and I headed to the Northwest Flower & Garden Show yesterday, and my brain is still a little bit on overload from all the great plants, design work, and people we saw.
One of the first things we did was head over to the Raintree Nursery booth, where I bought two espaliered apple trees (Liberty and Spartan), and four blueberry bushes (two Sunshine, two Misty). The folks at Raintree were very helpful and spent lots of time with us, even swapping out the tree in their display for me. We even managed to fit the 8 foot wide trees in to my 3 1/2 foot wide car without damaging them. (It’s a good thing the branches are young and supple enough to bend a bit.)
I loved the whimsical chicken coop at the Seattle Urban Farm Co./ReStore booth. The coop looked like an old outhouse, though I’m told that it was being used as a garden shed when it was picked up by the ReStore folks. While I liked the look of the coop and the recycled materials, it didn’t look particularly predator-proof. I doubt there are any foxes or raccoons living inside the Convention Center, though.
My mother was so impressed by the recycled steel lanterns in the Persian garden put together by Fancy Fronds and ALBE rustics that we hopped over the the Experienced Materials booth to buy a few. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who were impressed- Gina Nash had already sold out of the stock she had with her and was taking orders for custom lanterns, light sconces, and decorative panels. I’ve added one of her house number light sconces to the list of details I want to add to my fence when it’s done, and I’m thinking that one of her decorative panels would look great inset into a gate. Panels run about $35 a square foot, lamps were $85 at the show, normally $110. Please forgive my mediocre iPhone photos of the lanterns- they look much more impressive in person.
On the garden trends front, it seemed like air plants (tillandsias) and orchids were for sale at every other booth. I got a free Tillandsia caput-medusae when I joined the Volunteer Park Conservatory, so I picked up a little glass globe for it at the Ravenna Gardens booth, and we’ll see if I can keep it alive. My green thumb for outdoor plants hasn’t always extended to houseplants. On a related front, terrariums are a huge garden trend, and I saw them with not only air plants, but also succulents, orchids, and more imaginative plants such as nerve plants (Fittonia verschaffeltii), ferns, corsican mint, and carniverous plants. Terrariums lend themselves to steampunk style, so I saw some cute, well-composed ones with little gears and clocks, as well as old-timey test-tube and candelabra concoctions. Gardeners have been decorating with old tractor gears and copper tubing for years, but I was seeing these objects used in more complicated steampunkesque sculptures and fountains this year. Some of these were really cool, and others were gaudy or overdone, with kitschy elements like ceramic roosters perched on top.
I’ve barely mentioned the show gardens, so I’ll be putting up another post on all the fun show garden plants and designs later in the week.