A persistent migraine prevented me from doing much of anything on the computer this week. Even now my eyes are telling me to wrap this up fast. So here are a few shots from some of my favorite display gardens.
First up, The Tiny Tetons by Nature Perfect Landscape Design and The Barn Nursery (a favorite stop when I'm in the area) was popular with photographers. Here's a shot from a bit further back that shows the fantastic pieces of cut wood framing the main scene.
I liked the river of Iris reticulata and sedum. Not something I'd want to recreate and maintain in a real garden, but it makes for a nice display.
I did my best to capture the depth of perspective intended by the designers.
And admired the plantings around the perimeter, like these assorted selaginellas filling up crevices between the rocks.
One of my favorite parts of this garden were the smaller side windows that opened up on different views of the landscape within. While other photographers were still crowding around the front, I wandered around and peeked in through the side.
If you didn't look through this side window, you missed the hidden "valley" that is invisible from the front. I might actually prefer this secret ravine to the main view.
A closer view:
Southwest Serenity was another favorite. I may not plant many succulents in my own garden, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy looking at them.
It was also at this time I realized I had forgotten to adjust my white balance setting.
That's better, a little less jaundiced.
I liked this view. I just have a thing for narrow ravines and rock clefts, I guess. In real life, they're fun to scramble through. Or, if they're inaccessible, they often have hidden areas that make the imagination run wild.
This corner of the display had dramatic lighting down pat.
Discovering Alaska made me laugh and reminisce, all because of these backpacks stacked against the rock. In my backpacking memories, we were a little too tired at the end of the day to line our packs up that neatly.
El Patio Fuente enticed with views through arches into a courtyard.
I love courtyards. Someday when I have money and an architect friend, I'll have them help me design a house with a courtyard. Oh, and the Yucca rostratas (and a few other plants) in this garden were provided by Cistus!
This was one of my favorite trees in the show: Tsuga canadensis 'Bacon Cristata'. Who doesn't love bacon? Actually, it was the intricate architecture of the plant itself that drew my attention.
Magnolias don't exactly go with the majority of plants in this display garden (neither does Tsuga canadensis or the primroses that were stashed in a container of Fremontodendron) but I try to appreciate these gardens for what they are, temporary displays meant to inspire. These backlit magnolia blooms certainly did that.
The Hoh Rainforest is one of my favorite place in the PNW, and one of my favorite gardens at the NWFGS, too.
Nurse logs and nurse stumps, some of my favorite forest features.
Unfortunately, that was about when the overhead lights dimmed and the show was opened to the general public. I went into immediate flight mode, passing by most of the gardens I hadn't seen yet to start making my way through the booths before the crowds filtered through. It was too dark to get decent pictures anyway. The one garden that managed to hold my attention at this stage was "Capturing High Desert Beauty, Oregon's Smith Rock," by Elandon Gardens and Will Robinson.
I loved the twisted, tortured conifers and little tufted grasses among the wind-scoured rocks and gnarled deadwood.
There was just one hitch. Why did they use cyclamen? Lewisias I could understand, but the cyclamen had me asking, "What were they thinking?" They're pretty, but they don't exactly capture the wild beauty of a natural area in Oregon, or anywhere else in North America, for that matter.
Back to appreciating the sculptural deadwood. Peaking through the twisting wood like this, the little pops of color from the cyclamen look a little more natural.
This garden probably had the fewest plants of any in the show, but I loved it. This and the Hoh Rainforest garden were the most natural. Though radically different, those were my two favorite gardens in the show.