Monday, February 23, 2009

Seattle Garden Show

I’m not a morning person but there are certain things, events, meetings, occasions that require me to get up early. Going to the Seattle Garden show is one of those occasions that I willingly get up for. I said willingly, not wide awake.

My friend Kim was the only member of our small group who was going to be able to go on Friday and Friday was the only day I could go. We were set to meet Kim’s mom Sherry in Mt. Vernon but she hadn’t been feeling well, so decided to stay home.

Kim and I were on the road by 7:45 AM. I left the house early enough to stop by my local Starbucks for a wake-up fix of a Grande, white chocolate, non-fat, two pump, peppermint mocha. We visited all the way to Seattle and in no time at all we had arrived. Kim knows her way around Seattle having grown up there but the most difficult part was finding a parking garage and then remembering what floor we were on.

We had already pre-purchased our tickets so we breezed right on in. The first major display was four outdoor rooms decorated with salvaged doors, windows, tiles, quilts, ironing boards used as tables, and clay tiles used in a checkerboard pattern with grasses to form walkways and patios.

We moved into the mail hall to see the large garden room displays. The vast heights of the convention center were unnoticeable because the lighting was centered on the displays and all overhead lighting was dimmed way down low, almost like looking up at a dark sky with tiny stars overhead. It felt very intimate looking at the plants, the furniture, ponds, and garden structures, even when standing next to hundreds of people.

Kim’s sister Lori arrived with two of her friends and we sort of wandered together, exchanging comments and snapping photos of our favorite displays. Kim’s mom called and said that she felt better and was driving down to meet us and shortly she arrived.

There were vendors selling every type of garden ornament, flags, sculptures, statues, jewelry, clothing, and furniture. The next hall was filled with vendors selling systems that water the garden, fertilize the garden, lights for the garden, garden sheds, ponds, baskets, gloves, and more. On the other side of the room was the main course. The plants and bulbs, the baubles that make a garden come to life and give it bling with color and bloom. I bought red crocosmia masoniorum (lucifer – montbretia) and foxtail lily for my garden. I was looking for voodoo lily - Dracunculus vulgaris but the one vendor who had them, had sold out. Kim bought some dahlias for her growing collection or is that addiction.

When we had walked up and down all the aisles, assured that we hadn’t missed anything, we headed back to the main vendor area near the front entrance. A small artist from Portland had decorative garden lights made from recycled tin cans and hanging garden art pieces that were cut from steel. Kim bought a really cute teapot, cup, and spoon to hang in her garden. Smith and Hawken designed a wall around their display with clay pots set into the walls from floor to chest high and windows to look in. On the other side were benches built into the wall with turquoise and cream fabrics. The upper parts of the walls were filled with a patchwork of grasses in different colors. On the opposite was a matching display to form the room boundaries. A large work table made out of wood and surround by chairs made a beautiful vignette with a tall back wall of large wooden boxes designed to house garden accessories and lit with copper globes and copper down lights. With an unlimited budget anything is possible and I know what I want when I win the lottery. Through in an outdoor fireplace, a waterfall, and a warm weather climate and I would be good.

It was a great day to wander and see what creative minds could do to inspire us to garden. This was also the last year of the Seattle Garden show so now we will only have our local garden show and private gardens that open to the public for special events to encourage us to garden.

Kim and I stopped at The Red Robin on the way home for dinner and the arrived home about fourteen hours after we left that morning. A full day of exposing the minds to color, whimsy, imagination, ideas and goals of what we can do with our own gardens. Yes it was a very good day.

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