This week is the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle. The show is in its 24th year, with next year being their silver anniversary. For years gardeners have been pouring in from across North America to see some of the most well designed and stunning show gardens ever created.
For me this has become an annual tradition, making the drive down to Seattle to linger in the gardens, fill my baskets with fantastic plants and absorb the wisdom of the speakers and garden designers!
This year my Mom made the journey with me. A mother daughter adventure on the eve of the 10th anniversary of my Dad’s unexpected passing. My father Michael Douglass, died at 54yrs. He left us much too early, taken by a heart attack. He was the glue that kept everything right. An indispensable piece of our lives. Lost. This road trip was a needed break from reality for both of us. Gardens have such a healing quality about them. These show garden’s were no different.
This years theme for the show is “A Floral Symphony” with each garden taking their own artistic spin on incorporating music into the garden. I saw many amazing things and inspirational ideas while at the show. I’ll be focusing on a few of them through out the coming week. Today though, I thought I’d mark the day with a visit to the “Here Comes the Sun” display garden. This fan inspired garden was designed by visitor’s of the show through the garden show’s website and Facebook Fan page with the help of designer Lloyd Glasscock from Looking Glass Design. Through series of surveys they narrowed down, song choices and plant materials. That is that one unique way to design a garden!
I was more than moved with their choice of song. This classic Beattle’s tune was a favorite with my Dad, and is often played in our house when I’m thinking of him and need a little pick me up… or even a little cry. These things are still hard, even with all the passage of time.
Equally moving was the garden itself. The choice of landscape inspired light in every corner. Plants like charity mahonia, Oregon grape and golden sword yucca, added bold swaths of yellow across the garden. With goshiki false holly, sundance Mexican orange and golden hinoki cypress adding stunning structural and textural elements that looked as if they were almost certainly touched with gold.
Adding to the richness of the golden tone that enveloped this garden, red vein enkianthus, red twig dogwood and wickwar flame heather brought fiery reds to a simmer. Mingling with the deep, earthy colour of weeping brown sedge.
The garden decor reflected their theme well. Glass of bright yellow and orange whispered from corners, tucked deep into the plantings. While the ‘Montana Bronze’ flagstone and Quartzite flagstone stole the show, making up a giant sun mural that spread across the patio. The garden was furnished simply, but beautifully with a pair of rich brown adirondack chairs and a small table for lemonade.
I could see my Dad here. Over there, on the chair on the left. A nice spot, in my mind’s garden.