Cinematic Classics Depicted in Film Noir Garden
Show attendees have been enthralled by past award-winning show gardens at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show designed by APLD members with Barbara Lycett on the team. She is an APLD certified designer, one of only six designers in the state to receive international certification with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). She was a member of d4collective, a group of designers who created the “A Garden in Verse” at the 2011 show.
Barbara has also been part of the design team executing the 2009, 2010 and 2012 APLD gardens at the show. Now she’s taken the plunge and is designing and installing her own show garden, titled “Jardin Noir – Film Noir Style in a Modern Garden.”
This will be a garden filled with edgy contrasts, an uneasy yet exhilarating ambience associated with the classic cinematic genre that originated in the early 40’s to late 50’s. Don’t look for soft curves or romantic plant combinations. Barbara is taking it melodramatic with contrast, oblique angles, skewed perspectives and vertical grids of lights.
Film buffs will recognize some of the classic film noir motifs, such as a formal fireplace, venetian blinds, a mirror and cast grids of light.
The plantings will be designed to highlight both the contrast of black and white cinematography and the mysterious aura of film noir. Blue-toned plants establish moodiness; occasional touches of red suggest possible violent plot twists – murder in the garden anyone? One can imagine this setting as the hideaway of an alluring femme fatale.
The garden will be filled with reused and repurposed materials. Barbara will be using charred wood boards, finished using the ancient Japanese technique “Shou Sugi Ban.” This method of burning cedar boards makes them resistant to fire and rot. The black, burnt wood is consistent with the dark moodiness of the garden.
Other elements of the garden will be environmentally friendly or recycled. Salvaged wood, windows, and galvanized roofing materials will be employed. Recycled steel pipe will be used in retaining walls.
Barbara believes film noir embodies post-World War II pessimism and despair, cynicism and urban angst. So she’s incorporated some graffiti art into the walls of the garden, working with a local muralist and printmaker Zachary Bohnenkamp.
What can show attendees take home from such a dramatic and edgy garden? You will see how to use conventional materials in unconventional ways; how to take risks and go beyond the ordinary. Let your garden convey whatever you want; it’s your creative expression.
The Northwest Flower & Garden Show, to be held at the Washington State Convention Center, February 20 – 24, 2013, is an unparalleled gardening extravaganza. Tickets are now available on the show’s website, in retail ticket outlets or on our Facebook page. Join us, and experience everything gardening. ~ Janet