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

Monday, February 24, 2014

Nature's Studio at the NWFGS-2014

Nature's Studio - Celebrating the Shade 
was one of my favorite display gardens at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show - 2014.
It appeals to me as a person who likes outdoors, woods, native plants and yes, shade.
There was nothing here that I didn't like: shrubs with colorful stems, big stumps as giant planters
exactly as in the northwest forests, a stream, rough stepping stones,  boulders, interesting plants,
leafy vegetables...

I think this giant mushroom 'sculpture' is cool! Piece of organic art!
And what about the container it grows in? It's an old lobster trap!

The list of trees in the garden:
Vine Maple (Acer circinatum)
Autumn Moon Maple (Acer japonicum 'Autumn Moon')
Red Sentinal Maple (Acer palmatum 'Twombly's Red Sentinel')
Twisted Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Torulosa')
Tansu Japanese Cryptomeria (Cryptomeria japonica 'Tansu')
Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies 'Pendula')
Viminalis Norway Spruce (Picea abies 'Viminalis')
Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)

Grasses included:
Orange Sedge (Carex testacea)
Mondo Grass (Ophiogogon japonicus)
Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiogogon japonicus 'Nana')
Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiogogon japonicus 'Nana')
Hook Sedge (Uncinia rubra 'Belinda's Find')

Bulbs in the garden: 
Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen coum)
Hardy Cyclamen( Cyclamen hederifolium)
Snowdrops (Galanthus n. 'Double Snowdrops')
Snowdrops (Galanthus n. 'Snowdrops')
Daffodils (Narcissus 'Tete a Tete White')

Curly Red Leucothoe (above) description from  Monrovia:
Excellent selection with brilliantly colored, twisted leaves that emerge orange-red, mature to dark green and change to intense shades of scarlet, then purple-red in fall and winter. 
Thick, leathery leaves keep their color during the winter, showing off small red berries. With its compact, slow growing habit, this superb shrub is great for mixed containers, foundation and mass plantings.

Humongous metal sculptures look great! Rust color goes well with the green.

What a delightful plant combination:

Tropicals in this garden included:
Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum)
Fruffles Anthurium (Anthurium plowmanii 'Fruffles')
Fern Bird's Nest (Asplenium nidus)
Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea lancifolia)
Limelight Dracena (Dracaena warneckii "Limelight")
Hindu Rope (Plant Hoya 'Hindu Rope')
Florist Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
Fern Kangaroo Paw (Microsorium diversifolium)
Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes sp.)
Lemon Button Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia "Lemon Buttons")
Lemon Cordatum (Philodendron cordatum 'Lemon Lime')
String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
Stromanthe (Stromanthe sp.)

Knotweed reminded me of its wild relative from my childhood in Russia.
It grew everywhere in the countryside where my grandma lived.
Sometimes we touched its leaves and then accidentally rubbed our eyes. It burned!
It was the reason for its common name 'bitter plant'.

This is Persicaria m. Red Dragon information from Plant Delights Nursery:
From the late plantsman Greg Speichert comes this fabulous perennial which emerges in spring 
with dark burgundy-red stems that form a 3-4' tall x 4-5' wide plant. 
Each stem is lined with exquisite, tricolor, chevron-patterned leaves of purple, silver, and green. 
From midsummer through fall, the tips of the plant are covered in tiny, white baby's breath-like flowers. 
Persicaria 'Red Dragon' is great in the perennial border as well as in a mixed container planting. 
In climates with hot nights, the intensity of the leaf coloration will not be as dramatic. 
Persicaria 'Red Dragon' is not a runner, but tips that touch the ground may root if the soil is moist. 

List of shrubs in the garden: 
Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Winter Hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora)
Golden Winter Hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora 'Aurea')
Araucarioides Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Araucarioides’)
Little Champion Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica 'Little Champion')
Winter Daphne (Daphne odora 'Zuiko Nishiki')
Mountain Pepper (Drimys lanceolata))
Oriental Paperbush (Edgeworthia chrysantha)
Paperbush (Edgeworthia papyrifera)
Fabiana (Fabiana imbricata)
Hardy Fuchsia (Fuchsia 'Hawkshead')
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens')
Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
Dwarf Boxleaf Hebe (Hebe buxifolia 'Nana')
Dwarf Chinese Holly (Ilex cornuta 'Rotunda')
Curly Red Leucothoe (Leucothoe axillaris 'Curly Red')
Scarletta Leucothoe (Leucothoe font. 'Scarletta')
Boxleaf Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida 'Red Tips')
Mahonia 'Dan Hinkley' (Mahonia 'Dan Hinkley')
Firepower Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica 'Firepower')
Bureavii Rhododendron (Rhododendron bureavii)
Pachysanthum Rhododendron (Rhododendron pachysanthum)
Praestans Rhododendron (Rhododendron praestans)
Sinogrande Rhododendron (Rhododendron sinogrande)
Tsariensis Rhododendron (Rhododendron tsariensis)
Weeping Redwood (Sequoia Semp. 'Cantab')
Chinese Stachyurus (Stachyurus chinensis 'Joy Forever')

Groundcovers used in the garden:
Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum)
Irish Moss (Sagina subulata)
Forest Moss

Rhododendron sinogrande description from Chimacum Woods:
Sinogrande sports the largest leaves of all the big-leaf rhodies.  
In its native Yunnan, Tibet and upper Burmese forests, it can be found reaching a height of 50 feet!  
This plants wins every prize for sheer grandeur of leaves, which range from eight to thirty-six inches in length.
Flowers are in big trusses of creamy-white or pale yellow flowers with a large red spot.  
Our sinogrande trees have enjoyed living in the garden under stately tall firs, hemlocks and cedars on the Olympic Peninsula since 1999 and have grown to fifteen feet in fifteen years.  
Sinogrande also makes a spectacular container plant.  
We estimate it to be hardy to about 10 degrees.
This rhododendron will like:  A woodland setting with high shade 
- Small amounts of fertilizer on Valentine's day and Mother's day 
- Protection from high winds 
- gentle watering 
- well aerated soil with good drainage 
- protection from bitter cold under 10 degrees.

The vegetable part of the garden included the following: 
Blauschokker Peas, Bordeaux F1 Hybrid Spinach,
Bright Lights Swiss Chard, Delicacy Purple Kohlrabi,
Flashy Trout's Back Lettuce, Green Ice Lettuce,
January King Cabbage, Lollo Rosso Lettuce,
Panther Cauliflower, Purple of Sicily Cauliflower,
Red Chidori Kale, Rubine Brussel Sprouts,
Ruby Ball Cabbage, Rudolph Broccoli,
Shiitake Mushrooms, Tuscan Kale

As a person who used to spend hours sealing jars with homegrown veggies and berry jams, 
I couldn't be indifferent to this unique storage! Neat!

List of Ferns:
Northern Maindenhair Fern (Adiantum aleuticum (or pedatum)
Himalayan Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum venustum)
Deer Fern (Blechnum spicant)
Deer Fern (Blechnum spican)
Siebold's Wood fern (Dryopteris sieboldii)
Hart's Tongue Fern (Phyllitis (Asplenium) scolopendrium)
Staghorn Fern (Platycerium)
Giant Chain Fern (Woodwardia unigemmata)

Videos below show how the garden was built:

Part 1 

Part 2


This display garden was beautiful. 

 *** 2014 TatyanaS


  1. This was such a spectacular display garden. I loved it too, but my pictures just didn't do it justice, I couldn't take any that really captured it. But yours are wonderful! Thanks for sharing them.

    1. Hi Alison! The lighting in the Convention Center is not good for taking pictures. I always take lots of pictures, and only several of them are OK.

  2. Great pics. Great looking garden displays. I love a garden that you could sit down and see something new practically all the time. So many nice details.
    Our garden experience is going to change in a few years, we'll be moving, and I'm trying to adjust to a whole new way of gardening. Because it will, by necessity, be very different. But change is good, right? :-)

    1. You are right! I'm sure your new garden will be as interesting as your current one! I also hope you could take some of your plants with you.

  3. The huge, circular sculpture was the attention grabber in most posts about the show. Thanks for going into such detail and showing us what this display was made of, plant lists and all. It really was worth the extra attention.

    1. Hi Ricki! I think this garden is very NW!

  4. Wspaniały pokazowy ogród. Z przyjemnością bym też tam pospacerowała i podziwiała. Pozdrawiam.
    Wonderful demonstration garden. I would love to be there I took a walk and admire. Yours.

  5. I got lost on the internet after looking at the red twig dogwood surrounded by the calluna vulgaris and wound up on a page that had dactylorhiza in a photo and saw a post you had made on that blog back in 2012. Looks like we both like that flower. Did you ever find it? Now I have a mission...I need to find a dactylorhiza elata for my bog garden. Thanks for sharing this beautiful display. Karen Mashburn

    1. Karen, thank you! I don't have D. It would look good in the boggy part of your garden. It likes dump to wet soil and full sun. Good luck my friend!

  6. Nice! I wish I could have been there. I find the planning and construction of those huge displays fascinating. Thanks for sharing your photos from the event!

    1. Beth, thanks! I wish I could learn about the display gardens before I attend the show.

  7. Thank you for another interesting and fab photos blog as ever Tatyana

    1. Thank you Unknown! I took lots of pictures that day, and I wish I could post and comment them faster than I do.

  8. Breathtaking photos, Tatyana. They really get me in the gardening mood. Thank you for sharing. On another note, on the news I'm hearing that Russia is making threats against The Ukraine. I don't know any details but I know this is your homeland so I'm thinking of you and praying it doesn't escalate into a dangerous a situation. Hugs!

    1. Grace, it hurts even to think about it. I am praying.

  9. Thank you for showing this beautiful garden! The videos are wonderful and show how much work goes into creating something so spectacular!

    1. Peter, thanks! I was very impressed when saw huge trucks bringing dirt there! I am glad the show lasts five days and not three or four after all that time and effort.


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