I took so many pictures at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show today, I’m not sure where to start. I’ll try to do a few posts, grouping some of my favorites thematically. Since I’ve been thinking and posting a lot about trees lately, that seems as good a place to start as any.
Every year at the show, there seem to be a few plants that repeat in many of the show gardens. Is it like the Paris or Milan high-fashion collections, where one year everyone seems to have agreed on miniskirts and the next on military coats? I have no experience in the world of show garden design, so it is a mystery to me how certain things seem to flow in common through many of the designers’ final products.
I always feel sorry for these trees, some of them pretty mature, ripped out of their natural habitats and shoved into some sawdust in an an artificial indoor landscape so that a few (thousand) of us can ooh and ah over them over a four-day period. What happens to them afterward? Are they consigned to the compost heap? I hope not! Maybe they are specially cared for and replanted in some special spot, their moment in the spotlight over but a long and happy life ahead.
This year, these were the trees that seemed to be everywhere, the stars of the show. How many will end up being planted in attendees’ gardens, I wonder?
River birch, the hands-down winner for unusually beautiful bark
Witch hazel, here hovering over black mondo grass
Contorted filbert – this one was pruned into an “up-do”
Tree fern – okay, technically not a tree, but they were all over the place! Hard to grow in the Pacific Northwest, even with a lot of wrapping and care, from what I’ve heard.
Magnolia grandiflora, this one was the cultivar ‘Southern Charm’
Pinus contorta ‘Chief Joseph’ – this one really surprised me, showing up as it did in at least three gardens that I saw. It is a rare and expensive tree (for more about it, see this post from last year’s Garden show), and I bet it’s going on a lot of people’s wish lists after this week.
A few other trees stood out for their uniqueness instead of their ubiquity:
Weeping Norway spruce (known in my family as the Snuffleupagus Tree)
Unknown Japanese maple
Cypressus macrocarpa ‘Saligna aurea’ had amazing, filigreed golden tendrils
Not all of the trees at the show were real:
BTW, we did get in to hear Fergus Garrett’s lecture on training the eye to make good plant combinations. Inspiring and well worth all the standing around and being herded like ruminants that was required to secure a seat.
More to come…