Outdoor Living Set in Stone
You have to admit that Tim Gray, owner of Pacific Stone Company in Everett, has a keen sense of timing – and humor. He’s titled his 2013 Northwest Flower & Garden Show display garden “SHARINg STONE.” And he’s designing a quintessential outdoor urban retreat just right for relaxation, sipping a glass of wine and, well, whatever you need to escape the rigors of a hectic life.
As Tim puts it, tongue firmly in cheek, “Washington voters recently passed a new law legalizing ‘getting stone,’ right?” Seems he expects everyone to be installing stone patios and rock walls because of the new law. (We don’t have the heart to tell him the new law actually meant a different kind of, er, getting stoned.)
Tim believes in creating gardens at the show that makes attendees exclaim “I can do this — I can see this in my own yard.” Of course, his gardens masterfully demonstrate the many ways stone can enhance even the smallest outdoor space. No dull poured aggregate patios here.
Many incorrectly assume that beautiful, natural stone would overpower a small space. This garden will show how stone can actually visually expand a space and make it appear larger, nestled into the lush plantings.
The garden wall blocks will be predominantly Sandalwood, with blends of tan and charcoal. This color will be echoed in a stacked wall fire pit, with mortared Pennsylvania bluestone capstones. The paving stone patio will be Pacific Slate finish pavers, also in Sandalwood.
Further enhancing the Sandalwood stone will be touches of Silver Wave flagstone and Silver Streak ledgestone for contrast, along with some glass icicles by Glass Gardens NW for a decorative accent.
The garden aspires to show people how to rely upon their ‘basic instincts’ and surround themselves with comfort, water and fire. It will all be in a soothing setting of greenery – evergreen trees, shrubs, grasses and groundcovers, with bulbs springing up everywhere for a breath of spring. A garden such as this would require little to no maintenance. Add a dash of color with some bold seasonal containers, and you’re set.
There will be some century-old theater seats nestled around the fire pit for seating. Also look for hand-woven grape vine and bamboo screens for the backdrop of the garden.
Water is an essential feature of any garden; it adds soothing sounds and helps mask unwanted noise. There will also be low basalt columns filled with still water, to serve as reflecting pools.
This will be a garden ready for a party, on an intimate scale. Just add good food and wine, and you’re ready to do some SHARINg amongst the STONE. It’s a garden that’s authentic to how we live in the Northwest.
The Northwest Flower & Garden Show will be held February 20 – 24, 2013 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. It will feature 23 fully-built show gardens, 350 garden-related exhibitors, over 100 free seminars, a children’s PlayGarden, musical acts, a Wine Garden, Funky Junk, Bonsai, Ikebana and floral exhibits, and much more. ~ Janet