U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Northwest Flower and Garden Festival -2018: 'Bee Simple' Garden

The Northwest Flower and Garden Festival, the second largest garden show in the U.S.,  is ON in the Washington State Convention Center 
(February 7 - 11, 2018)! 
This is its 30th annual celebration! The theme of the show is Garden Party:
Cake and cheers for thirty years!

These are several pictures of one of the display gardens.


From the NWFGS brochure: " The role of honey bees in growing flowers, fruits and vegetables is critical to man, and this garden is a tribute to our busy winged friends.
The bright yellow cottage with white accents - tying in with a vibrant color palette of yellow, black and white - is surrounded by garden beds filled with bee-attracting plants.
Moreover, it's a great place to entertain 'human' friends.
There is a 'Country Party' buzz too, with a patio and seating walls for 'human' guests and bee-themed artwork.
Lights have been strung, and the big table is set for the festivities!

Bees pollinate over 80% of all flowering plants, and it's estimated that one in three bites of food that we eat derived from plants they have pollinated."

Look at this fence: apple espalieres!

Why do I like this display garden? One of the reasons is - I love bees and I love honey!
This is what I wrote about my childhood memories (in the Russian Far East) a couple of years ago in the post related to another NWFGS garden:
"As a person who had an uncle-beekeeper and spent many happy childhood days among beehives, I was naturally partial to this garden.
Back in those times, there was nothing more exciting for me than to find myself during a morning in a forest where dozens of beehives stood.
It was a magic place with no industry within hundreds of miles, where the sound of a creek, carrying crystal water, together with the songs of birds and the buzzing of bees were the only noisemakers.

Starting in kindergarten, we used to help  the adults harvest honey by carrying the frames filled with the thick amber treasure from the hives to the honey extractor.
We held the frames putting our thumbs under the frame tops before handing them to the people who operated the extractor and then watching how the pure sweetness flew from it into the bucket.
Once, I didn't notice a bee, and it got squeezed between my thumb and the frame. Of course, it stung me, but I couldn't drop the precious frame and continued to carry it. Ouch!
It wasn't the only sting that I got, but it never stopped me from enjoying that place.
Comb honey was our reward. I'd never ever trade it for all the candy and other treats of the confectionery industry.
Sweet memories."

Honeycomb gate!

In the above picture
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' has sunflower yellow flowers from January – February, providing vibrant winter interest. Forming a much denser shrub than other Hamamelis, it produces a thicket of yellow/orange flowers that release a sweet perfume into the cold winter air. After the flowers, large green leaves open that turn attractive shades of yellow and orange in the autumn.
This award-winning yellow Witch Hazel shrub has a spreading, vase shaped form that provides beautiful architectural interest and will grow to 4 x 4 metres in 20 year.
 'Arnold Promise' requires a well drained, acid - neutral soil in sun or partial shade and can tolerate some exposure. In addition it provides important value wildlife.
AKA Witch Hazel Arnold Promise, Yellow witch hazel, Hamamelis intermedia Arnolds Promise.

Attract polinators to your garden!

I like the garden's relatively limited color palette, plant combination, vintage and modern touches, elegant simplicity and, of course, its main idea: People, Be Kind to Bees!!!

P.S. One of the previous display gardens by Susan Browne can be seen here: Glimpses of NWFGS 2016

***Copyright 2018 TatyanaS


  1. A beautiful show garden and to this he aroused your memories. They were nice despite being stung by a bee. The garden is very sunny. Regards.

    1. Thank you, Giga! Yes, I agree, the garden looks very sunny and cheerful!

  2. I wasn't sure about the limited color palette, but there were things I did like about this garden too. For me, when I think of a bee-friendly garden, I think of a riot of colorful summer wildflowers, but that's impossible to accomplish indoors in February. I'm so glad you liked it and that it evoked good childhood memories for you!

    1. Thank you, Alison! OK, I will change it to relatively limited color palette!
      It was so nice to see you at the show!

    2. I meant I wasn't sure I liked the limited color palette.

  3. This bright yellow is so cheerful. My color starved eyes are glowing now. It makes me even more anxious for spring to get here. I planted some yellow tulips last fall. I forget now if they are a pale yellow or a deep yellow like these. I can hardly wait to see. What fond childhood memories. Don't you wish we could be among the trees and fields without all the modern noises?

    1. Hi Lisa! I also planted some tulips, but the bulbs were dug out by squirrels before I threw a net on the top. That is why I plant tulips only in pots.
      I hope your tulips will bloom nicely for you!

  4. What a breath of Spring air to see such a pretty setting ! Thank you Tatyana .. I like the more mono tone colour pallet .. your eyes relax when surveying the garden .. bees are so important and i try to keep them in mind as well as the butterflies .. we are deep in winter here so any posts I do will have to be a look back at previous garden exploits ... but the dreaming for this year is certainly going on !
    Thanks for stopping by my blog girl : )
    PS .. childhood memories play a huge part in our garden nature whether we know it or not .. I think it can be wonderful !

    1. Thank you, Joy! Most of the plants need some cold period, so your plants might do better that ours, since we didn't really have a cold period!

  5. This garden was so sunny and cheerful feeling, a welcome feeling at this time of year. I enjoyed reading about your childhood memories again. It was such a delight to see you at the show!

    1. Peter, thanks! We needed this bright break, didn't we? It's always great to see you!

  6. How delightful! I like the honeycomb gate, too. What a cute statement it would make in a flower garden. I wish we had such a lovely flower and garden show.

    1. Thank you, Gail! Maybe, one year, you can fly to Seattle for our show!

  7. I liked this sunny yellow garden too. And i enjoyed reading about your bee keeping memories.

  8. That’s a very yellow garden show, and I love yellow in the garden!


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