Friday, February 10, 2006

Seattle Flower and Garden Show

It’s 7:15 AM Wednesday February 8th and I am off to the Seattle Flower and Garden Show.  I love to garden but have never attended a garden show.  I went with Kim and Doreen who are part of my small group from church.  Kim’s mom and sister joined us for an adventure to gather ideas for the garden and shop for whatever struck our fancy.

Obviously going with pro like Kim who has attended several times before was a bonus.  She led us up and down the isles so as not to miss anything.  Garden gloves, bulbs, plant stakes, garden lights, the suburban wouldn’t be big enough to hold it all.   She wound us through the display gardens where invisible waterfalls fell from the ceiling, Tuscan outdoors rooms painted in Mediterranean colors and accented with antique Chinese stones and four foot high vases made you want to hop on the next plane out and leave the rain behind.  There were displays of plants I had never seen before and wondered where to find them and how much they were going to cost me.  

But my two favorite displays were very old fashioned and nostalgic.  The first featured an old rusted car with one headlight broken out but the other was glowing brightly.  The rumble seat had plants growing out of it and scattered all through the wooded lot were old enamel teapots and tin pans filled with flowers and plants.  Every where I looked I kept finding another hidden treasure in this little garden.

The second and my absolute favorite garden reminded me of the Ozark hills in Missouri where I am from.  Down a well worn damp dirt road with the grass growing between the groves in the lane was an old farm truck parked in the hedge next to an old wood shed, graying with age and grace.  Back behind the shed was a small table dressed with Sundays best linens and set for an afternoon dinner (dinner is served in the afternoon and supper in the evening).  I could just imagine a drive after Sunday church services to the old homestead for a casual dinner with the kids picking wildflowers and running through the creek.

Well it was time for lunch and a Starbucks white chocolate mocha, non fat, with peppermint.  It’s Seattle what would you expect a girl to drink.  We shared what we bought, what we still wanted, and where to go next.  We had a plan and we were off for part two.

More vendors with a little glitz for the garden, garden art for the home, ponds, fountains, statues, and music to soothe the soul and forget the tired feet.  The ReStore which specializes in salvaging old buildings, houses, recycling hardware, and architectural details had a bird bath made from an old pedestal bathroom sink with mosaic bits and pieces.  This reminded me that I haven’t been to my local ReStore lately and that if I really want to find a set of those old theater seats they were featuring, I had better go quickly because if you don’t buy something when you see it, it will be gone when you come back.

I bought some beautiful fiery red Crocosmia Lucifer bulbs, new gloves to replace some of those worn out ones in my garden bucket, and garden stakes to hold up my gladiolas which get so big they just fall over.  My father had made wonderful sturdy stakes out of rebar for my sister and me, but when I moved to WA I ran out of room and gave the remaining garden items to my sister who was overjoyed.  Kim showed me these wonderful stakes that she uses in her garden and they are the first ones that I think will be as good as my dad’s.  

Kim and Doreen were smarter than I was.  They both brought cameras to take pictures and offered to send me digital copies.  I kept paper and pen handy to write down notes for all of us.

We could look out from the Seattle Convention Center and see the city street lights as dusk fell. The headlights and tail lights of cars of cars hurrying up and down the street and the water shimmering as night closed in.  We had done it all and now it was time to retrieve our packages and wind our way back to the parking garage.  Doreen headed off to Portland to visit with her family and I joined Kim’s mom and sister for dinner at PF Chang’s.  

So I have all my goodies put away until it warms up and I can work in the garden and now I am exploring all those colorful brochures, fliers, and catalogs that filled up my canvas bag from the show.  This is probably the most dangerous time, because I have seen all those show gardens and if I order just a couple of plants from this company, just one shrub from that one, a few more bulbs, oh that new clematis would look great climbing up my purple martin birdhouse pole…too many plants, not enough time or money.

I once told my husband that I hadn’t seen a plant I didn’t like.  That scared him.  Well there are a few I don’t like, but that is a short list.

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