The design team at the Arboretum Foundation is taking its cue for their 2013 show garden from J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel, The Hobbit, for their 2013 garden at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
“A Hobbit’s New Zealand Garden” recreates an imaginary small, lush world of hobbits as envisioned by the award-winning design team of Phil Wood, Robert Williams and Bob Lilly. They are the co-creators of the past two Arboretum Foundation gardens at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, both of which won Gold Medals and the Pacific Horticulture Award.
The garden will be composed of plants native to New Zealand that generally do well in our region. It celebrates the new eco-geographic forest to be planted in the Arboretum’s Pacific Connection’s Garden next year.
You’ll find yourself transported ‘down under’ when you see the house tucked into a hillside covered with sedges and ferns. A stone pathway leads to a round hobbit-sized door. An aged picket fence borders a small inner garden, with a tree fern standing sentry nearby.
Next to the house is a bog filled with colorful New Zealand flax (Phormium) and surrounded by drifts of sedges (Carex), for a wind-swept feel. Fog seeps in, lending an air of mystery. Color pops from the flowers of Libertia and foliage of Coprosma, and on top of the hill a small grove of tea trees (Leptospermum) forms a backdrop to the garden.
Children of all ages will want to take a peek inside the diminutive hobbit house. But parents will appreciate how most of the plants in the garden are drought tolerant, and, once established, are also low maintenance. The garden will showcase how these plants can compliment any typical Northwest home garden.
The Arboretum Foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting the renowned 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. They hope to raise $5.5 million to complete construction of the 2.25 acre New Zealand Forest in 2013 as part of Phase II of the Pacific Connections Garden.
Tickets are on sale now for the 25th annual show, to be held February 20 – 24, 2013 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. For a sneak preview of the Arboretum Foundation’s New Zealand garden and all the inspirational show gardens, join them for the Opening Night Party, with proceeds supporting the Arboretum Foundation. ~ Janet
One of the highlights for local gardeners is the annual Northwest Flower & Garden Show Opening Night Party, to be held on Tuesday, February 19, from 5:00 pm – 9:40 pm, hosted by the Arboretum Foundation to benefit the Washington Park Arboretum. This is a must-attend party for the ‘horteratti.’
Guests can enjoy a festive evening with delicious food, fine wines, live music and a splendid silent auction filled with vacation getaways, collectable wines, fun experiences, plants and all things avid gardeners love.
But what is more exciting is the opportunity to see all of the 23 lavish show gardens before the show opens to the public the next morning. All the while helping to support the Washington Park Arboretum. Established in 1934, the arboretum is a 230-acre living museum of priceless woodlands, wetlands, gardens and walking trails nestled in the heart of bustling Seattle. It has been treasured by generations of nature lovers, gardeners, tourists and citizens of the Emerald City.
All of the show gardens this year are inspired by the history and tradition of the cinema, so the Arboretum Foundation movers and shakers are capturing that spirit with the party. You can walk down the red carpet, pose for paparazzi, and gossip with your favorite Northwest horticulture celebrities.
You’ll also be the first to see the Foundation’s own display garden, which pays homage to the gorgeous gardens and scenery of New Zealand and the popular new film, “The Hobbit.” It will once again be designed by the award-winning team of Phil Wood, Bob Lilly and Roger Williams.
Patrons and Benefactors will be treated to a special appearance by Santa Barbara-based designer Billy Goodnick, author of the new book , Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space Into the Garden of Your Dreams, to be published by St. Lynn’s Press and released just before the 2013 show. Billy will be roving the gardens, microphone in hand, and sharing his “Top Ten Design Tips for Sustainability and Outdoor Living.” Billy’s design eye, combined with his keen wit, promises to make this an entertaining way to discover new trends.
Tickets are now on sale. You can purchase them online, by phone at 206-325-4510, or over the counter in the Arboretum Shop (open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
Don’t miss this wonderful evening, to be held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Even better, book a hotel room for Tuesday evening and you’ll be right on hand when the show opens at 9 am the following morning. (Think of what a lovely Valentine’s gift this would make for your gardening sweetheart!) ~ Janet
Since it was first founded in 1989, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show has had a tradition of inviting three exceptional gardening pros to serve as Show Judges and Speakers. This year is no exception, with Stephen Orr, Garden Editor for Martha Stewart Living, Rosalind Creasy, groundbreaking author of Edible Landscaping, and Steve Aitken, editor of Fine Gardening magazine, doing the honor of serving as Show Judges.
After hours of viewing the gardens and deliberating, the Show Judges award a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Crystal Award to each of the show gardens. They also award the Founder’s Cup, which has no set criteria – it’s the garden they all like the best. In 2011 designer Karen Stefonick of Karen Stefonick Design, and landscaper Brent Bissell, of B. Bissell General Contractors LLC did the impossible – they won the coveted top prize for the second year in a row with their garden titled “A Wrinkle in Time.” The award is bestowed on the ecstatic recipients by Cyle Eldred, Show Designer, during the Arboretum Foundation’s Opening Night Party, held the night before the show opens.
The Show Judges also decide the American Horticultural Society Environmental Award. This is the garden that “best demonstrates skillful design that incorporates environmental stewardship in the garden.” This award went to Christianson’s Nursery’s nostalgic garden, titled “A Day Well Spent,” which depicted a typical family nursery back in the 1940’s – much like Christianson’s Nursery was in earlier times.
But there are other judging teams on the garden floor during the hushed four hours after the gardens are finally completed, before the Opening Night Party guests arrive. These judging teams do not know the results of the medals bestowed by the three main Show Judges; they are all judging independently of each other, and each team has different criteria for their award.
The Pacific Horticulture Magazine Award goes to the garden that “best demonstrates the regional nature of garden design.” It is judged by a trio of Pacific Horticulture representatives, prominent designers and garden writers. Last year they selected the Arboretum Foundation’s respectful homage to the Seattle Japanese Garden, titled “Bridging History.” It was created in celebration of the Seattle Japanese Garden’s 50th anniversary, and was exquisite in its detail of a tranquil Japanese garden.
The Sunset’s Western Living Award seeks the garden “most filled with fresh, useful, achievable ideas that enhance outdoor living in the West, ” with Sunset writers/editors, including Julie Chai, judge this award. Courtney Goetz, designing a show garden for her high school project and performing like a seasoned veteran despite her youthful 19 years of age, received this award along with accolades from the Sunset editors. We certainly hope to see Courtney return to the show again!
The Ethel Moss People’s Choice Award (named for an early over-the-top passionate show attendee) is the favorite garden as voted by the show attendees. Christianson’s Nursery, which has won this award in the past, took home the honors in 2011. But who knows which garden will be capture the fancy of show attendees in 2012? Be sure to look for the voting stations in the skybridge and South Lobby and vote for your favorite garden.
Christianson’s Nursery also took home the 425 Magazine Award. It’s judged by editors and garden writers looking for “a garden that dazzles thanks to smart design, creativity and originality.” This garden was accessorized perfectly using found objects that gave it a comfortable, well-loved look. It’s no wonder the 425 Magazine editors loved it, along with the show attendees.
To the garden creators themselves, perhaps the most cherished award is the Fred Palmer Exhibitor Award. (Fred Palmer was the owner of Star Nursery in South Seattle, and a huge supporter and garden creator during the show’s earliest years.) This is the garden voted the most accomplished by fellow garden creators. Susan Browne, namesake of Susan Browne Landscape Design, delighted everyone with “Run, Little Pigs, Run! Her garden was a thoughtful rendition of the classic children’s book, “The Three Little Pigs” complete with the straw hut, Wood shack, brick house and wolf’s lair.
Congratulations to all of our 2011 award winners. But the show team thinks everyone creating the Northwest Flower & Garden Show’s display gardens are winners. These stunning gardens are built in true partnership with many different garden designers, landscapers, nurseries, artists, craftsmen, and retailers in the horticulture industry. We applaud those that take such pride in their work and help us maintain the high level of “Wow!” our attendees eagerly expect. For a list of the 2012 garden designers, check out our website. They love our new theme, “A Floral Symphony, ” so look for music to be woven into each garden’s theme. And if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you can print them conveniently at home. Remember – Early Bird ticket prices are good through February 7th. – Janet
One of the highlights for local gardeners is the annual Northwest Flower & Garden Show Opening Night Party on February 7, from 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm, hosted by the Arboretum Foundation to benefit the Washington Park Arboretum. This is a must-attend party for the ‘horteratti’, offering the opportunity to view the inspirational show gardens in advance while enjoying delicious food and fine wines.
Opening Night Party guests are treated to an exciting silent auction, filled with plants, art, tools and travel – chosen by gardeners just for fellow gardeners – along with delectable desserts and fine wines by local vintners. Gift certificates for fine dining, getaways to Mr. Rainier and Victoria, B.C., tickets to a Mariners game, tea for two in the elegant Georgian Room, garden coaching from Garden Mentors Robin Haglund, plus many unique gardening items and plant collections are just some of the things you can bid on at the party.
SUPPORTING THE ARBORETUM
Patrons and Benefactors will be able to enjoy an exclusive special presentation, “Highlights of the Garden Show” with the 2012 Show Judges: Stephen Orr, Rosalind Creasy and Steve Aitken, with Seattle Times garden columnist Val Easton serving as MC. Find out what special garden features caught the eye of judges this year and what best emulates the future trends in gardening. A buffet dinner and complimentary parking are also offered to Patrons and Benefactors. For details see the Arboretum Foundation website.
The Arboretum Foundation, with support from the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, creates a beautiful display garden every year at the show. This year, teaming with the Seattle Audubon Society, their garden will show a variety of bird habitats, from marshland at the shore to deep forest. Many of these habitats and bird species can be found in the beautiful 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle’s premier public garden. Carved replicas of bird species will show attendees local birds’ nesting and feeding habits, and actual bird nests will also be used to enhance the realism of the display. (I have talked to garden designer Phil Wood about donating four nests from my own garden – each a miniature architectural marvel.)
AWARD WINNING DESIGNERS
The garden is being designed by Seattle landscape architect Phil Wood, architect Roger Williams, and noted plantsman and author Bob Lilly – the same trio who created the Arboretum’s 2011 Gold Medal / Pacific Horticulture Award show garden. Titled “Birdsong,” it will also show how to provide food for birds in the form of berries, seeds, nectar, and insects. Representatives from the Seattle Audubon Society are providing expert advice on the details of this bird-friendly garden, and signage with QR-code technology will connect viewers with smart phones to information on each featured bird’s habitat.
The Opening Night Party is a rare opportunity for gardeners to view the 26 show gardens in an intimate atmosphere, before the show opens to the public the next morning. Relax and stroll the gardens and take in the sweeping scenes of these inspirational and cutting-edge gardens, designed by some of the Northwest’s leading landscape architects, designers, nurseries and gardening organizations.
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW
Reservations can be made online or by calling 206-325-4510. No paper tickets will be issued; registered guests will be entered on the Will Call list. You can also make reservations in person at the Arboretum Shop in the Graham Visitors Center, so why not head there today to visit the fabulous Witt Winter Garden? It’s open daily from 10 am – 4 pm, and it’s one of the Northwest’s finest winter gardens, filled with witch hazels, winter jasmine, mahonia, hellebores and more that begin to bloom in early January. The fragrance will make you swoon.
And of course, you can always volunteer to help with the Opening Night Party, or with the display garden set-up or during the actual show. It’s always great fun to volunteer with the Arboretum Foundation! You’ll be supporting an organization that provides vital resources to protect and support the Washington Park Arboretum, a treasured urban green space and plant collection nestled in the heart of Seattle, and open free to the public year-round. – Janet
Tuesday, February 7
5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Opening Night Party for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show
Enjoy a fabulous evening of delicious food, fine wines, live music, and silent auctions as you feast your eyes of the 26 spectacular show gardens at the 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show. This year the Arboretum Foundation is collaborating with the Seattle Audubon Society on its show garden, “Birdsong,” which will celebrate the diverse habitat found in the Washington Park Arboretum. Proceeds benefit the Washington Park Arboretum. Black tie or festive dress.
Sponsored by the Arboretum Foundation
Washington State Convention Center
8th Avenue & Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101
Tickets: General Admission per person – $65 (Arboretum and Audubon Society members; ‘Early Bird’; $75 after January 19th)
$250 Patrons and $50 Benefactors
Visit their website for more information or to purchase tickets.
Wednesday, February 8 – Saturday, February 11
9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 12
9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Northwest Flower & Garden Show
Join us for the 24th annual Northwest Flower & Garden Show as we present “A Floral Symphony.” With 26 inspiring show gardens, 300 garden and nature-related exhibitors, over 100 seminars from leading gardening experts and – new for 2012 – 40 musical performances, this is the acclaimed show beloved by avid gardeners everywhere! You won’t want to miss the largest show of its kind on the West Coast, with more gardens, exhibitors, seminars and family entertainment than anywhere else. Families welcome – take the children to our popular PlayGarden or on a Treasure Hunt!
Washington State Convention Center
8th Avenue & Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101
Tickets: Children 12 and under are FREE!
Youth (13 – 17) $5.00
Adult ‘Early Bird’ (must be purchased by 2/7) $16.00
2-Day Pass $29.00
5-Day Pass $65.00
Visit our website to purchase tickets, review the Seminar Schedule or browse the Exhibitor List and read about the 2012 Garden Creators.
Wednesday, January 4
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
“Chinese Garden Design & Lore”
Garden writer and Bulletin editor Jan Whitner’s original slide presentation and armchair tour of Chinese gardens was so well received and attended in late November that we would like to provide another chance for you to experience it. We’d like to extend a special invitation to our friends at the Seattle Chinese Garden Society. The lecture is the first in the Pacific Connections Series, an enrichment activity program that we are offering to our new Pacific Connections Garden Stewards. To mark the kick-off of the series, we are opening up the first lecture to all our members, volunteers, and friends. Admission and parking are free. Space is limited, so RSVP soon to reserve your spot. Free.
Arboretum Foundation & University of Washington Botanic Gardens
Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle
Please RSVP to Rhonda Bush by phone (206-941-2550).
Sunday, January 15
“Creating Memorable Container Gardens”
Nationally renowned designer of container gardens Tina Dixon, owner of Plants a la Cart, will speak on creating memorable container gardens with tips on choosing proper soil, containers and plants, using design principles and elements to best effect. Tina has been featured in Sunset magazine, where her designs were heralded as “richly textural & inventive,” Garden Design, where her home garden earned their prestigious Golden Trowel award; the Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest magazine; and numerous books. She has been a garden creator and speaker at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
Northwest Perennial Alliance
Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle
Fee: Members – Free; Non-members – $10
Visit their website for more information.