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

Friday, February 24, 2017

NWFGS - 2017 Is On!

It's the weekend and the Show  is on!
If you live close to Seattle, take this chance to say Hello to spring and to shake off the winter blues!
There will be lots of articles about the Show with deep analysis and some critical commentary, but I, honestly,  just want to lure you into the Washington State Convention Center ( Feb. 22-26, 2017) with some pictures and my own quick thoughts.
Why do I like the Northwest Flower and Garden Show?
Why do I look forward to it every year since we moved to the Greater Seattle area?
1 - This Show is my late-winter coffee.
As coffee gives me a buzz allowing me to shed sleepiness and prepare for the day ahead, the NWFGS helps me to wave Goodbye to the winter blues and embrace the spring even before it comes to my own garden.
What is this if not spring?

'Blooming Abundance' by Flower Growers of Puget Sound

2 - This Show fits my eclectic taste with regard to garden styles.
I do tend to be rather a minimalist when it comes to my own garden, but oh, how I love to look at sumptuous, lush, vibrant gardens in the country and abroad!
That is why I equally enjoyed walking around the seemingly uncomplicated  'Mid-Mod-Mad... It's Cocktail Hour'  as much as bright and striking gardens such as 'Afternoon Tear With Mrs. Pumphrey' and 'Herbal Remedy - The Cure For Cabin Fever'.

"...updated mid-century design... embraces simplistic plant choices, strong angles and geometry of hardscaping made popular in the 1950's and 60's - making a big comeback today"
Among the plants: Carex testacea, Himalayan Birch, Daffodil Jetfire, Papyrus, edibles and herbs
(basil, bay laurel, bear's lime, parsley, Swiss chard, golden celery, kale, lavender, lemon grass, mint, rose scented geranium, rosemary, silver thyme, viola).

 Classic Tudor-style residence entry, formal knot garden, fruit trees, 'woven' planting of blooming plants and bulbs, flagstone path, spacious patio, tiered fountain...

Tuscan-style patio with a fireplace, herbs and edibles, bold kaleidoscope of spring colors, textures which are created by plantings and hardscape materials...

3 - I am a country girl, who was born in the countryside, spent the first years of my life in a small town and who appreciates  natural beauty of forests, mountains, wetlands, etc., etc., etc.
The NWFGS always has gardens that evoke the feelings of being in the great outdoors, such as 'An Evening in the Mountains':

Berry bushes, herbs, strawberries, natural stone patio, large boulders, practical seating spots, fire pit, waterfall and bubbling stream...
Plants used: hyacinths, cyclamen, snowdrops, iris, daffodil, Siberian squill, apple mint, sage, alpine strawberry, Archer's Gold thyme, Caraway thyme, wheatgrass, bleeding heart, red flowering currant, red twig dogwood, yellow twig dogwood, evergreen huckleberry, azalea, winter daphne, blueberry, Snow Goose flowering cherry, Thundercloud flowering plum, Whitebarked Himalayan birch, weeping Alaska cedar, Serbian spruce, Horstman Blue Atlas cedar, Excelsa cedar, mountain hemlock.

4 -  I do love Italian gardens. I have a page in this blog 'Garden of the World That I Visited' with pictures of several breathtaking Italian gardens.
The Show never fails to take me back to Italy and its gardens with their statuary and stoneware, flowing water, geometric structure, fruit trees and other typical features, such as this year's 'Villa Primavera': 

Inspired by the Amalfi Coast of Southern Italy. Edible fruit such as grape, olive, lemon plus herbs,
vine-covered arbor, built-in pizza oven, wall fountain...

5 - I do love vegetable gardening
The Show gives ideas to an ordinary amateur gardener as well as a serious vegetable grower.
 Look at this year's  'Honey, We Shrunk The Farm: Urban Farming In Style':

Hoop house, aquaponic system, espaliered fruit trees, beehives, insect hotel, chicken coop...

6 - I look at display gardens almost like the fashion shows. 
Most of the outfits on a catwalk are sophisticated and often eccentric, and an ordinary person with a clear mind would never wear them. 
But some particular elements, color combinations, accessories, etc. are absolutely appropriate in a normal person's wardrobe. 
The same is with display gardens. Among elaborate, fancy and magnificent features, there is always something that I can use in my own garden: pairing flowering plants and grasses, mixing evergreens and perennials, using stepping stones, blending different types of plant and hardscape materials, trimming trees and bushes, even decorating garden tables! 

Wood-fired pizza oven, rustic outdoor fireplace, natural stone table, rough-hewn cedar arbors, fir trees, growndcovers, flowering bushes, herbs, bubbling water feature...

I'd rather stop now and go check my new plants from the NWFGS Marketplace. I'll write about them and show other display gardens in another post.

***Copyright 2017 TatyanaS


  1. Beautiful photos. Again I never get tired of seeing things through your lens. I enjoyed the show in person and even more on your blog.

    1. Thank you Karen! I enjoyed our chat about the Show. I can't wait to see your own spring garden; it's always a treat for me!

  2. Such wonderful and interesting exhibitions will certainly help to forget at least for some time that the windows is still winter, the season, and we still have to wait for the colors in nature. Regards.

    1. Giga, thank you! Yes, the winter is still here. Actually, it is snowing here right now!!!

  3. The pink tulips display was my favorite. No surprise there. I also love the cabin with the grass window boxes. Thank you for the fantastic photos.

    1. Thank you Grace! Those windows and other small and not-so-small features - there were so many of them! I noticed some of them only while looking at the pics! Details, details, details!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful photos and your thoughts on some of the elements of the display gardens. Your keen eye picked out so many things that I missed. And it was fun to run into you there!

    1. Thank you Alison! What a pleasure was to see you at the Show! Hopefully, all the summer open gardens and garden tours will bring us together again!

  5. This tour of the show through your beautiful photographs was almost as good as being there, Tatyana. I love the teatime display, but I think the mountains one is my favorite. I can't wait for our own Philadelphia Flower Show in March. You are right, these shows banish the winter blues. P. x

    1. Pam, thank you! I would love to visit some other shows, just to compare and get more ideas! I am looking forward to your posts about the Philadelphia show!

  6. It was a good show, and your photos showed its beauty very well.

    1. Linda, thank you! I love your posts about the Show! I missed some lovely things that you caught with your camera.


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