If I were a better blogger, I would be sharing a full write-up of the 2017 Northwest Flower and Garden Show (NWFGS), but I have to admit I've been rather lazy for the past few days. I haven't been entirely unproductive, though. In between showers, I've been out in the garden, adding new plants and relocating others. More on that later.
Today for Wednesday Vignette, hosted by Anna at Flutter&Hum, I'm sharing a photo from the NWFGS display gardens that struck me for its realism, which isn't generally a strong point for show gardens. I neglected to take a photo of the sign bearing the name of the garden and its designers, but I'm fairly certain this is "Honey! We Shrunk the Farm: Urban Farming in Style" by Farmer Frog.
Let's talk about the plants, first. Though the blueberries and the (half-planted) daylily would prefer more sun than the hostas and fern, the plant palette in this garden could actually work together for more than a single season (unlike most of the gardens at the show). What's more, they're planted realistically. It's not a carpet of bulbs and tiny heathers or other plants crammed together to make a full, instant effect. No "groundcover" fatsias here, thank goodness (just wait for it, it seemed to be a common practice this year). Yes, you can tell it's a newly-planted, immature garden. You can also imagine it growing and developing as a real garden. I love that. Can we have more display gardens that show actual garden possibilities instead of floral arrangements on a grand scale? Please? Not content to simply choose a plant palette that could feasibly work in a real garden, and plant it to appear as such, the designer of this garden even threw in an extra bit of realism. Had you noticed it yet? The leaf litter in the rocks is what really caught my eye in this display garden. Oh my goodness! A display garden with intentional litter! Can you even imagine? I love that the designer chose to incorporate those few handfuls of dead leaves, portraying the importance of allowing nutrients to be recycled in your garden, providing homes for overwintering insects (bad ones, yes, but the good ones need places to sleep, too, and will help manage the pests), and simply the realities of maintaining a garden. It doesn't have to be perfect. Many a lazy gardener (like me) leaves litter in the garden to decompose naturally. It's better for the garden and everything in it, unless there's diseased material that you should remove, to simply let nature do its thing. I'm not saying you should never clean up, or simply leave everything that dies in place. That's what compost piles are for. But a little leaf litter on the ground isn't an eyesore. Why not leave it? You might brush it out of the rocks and into the bed next to it, but why do more?
This wasn't the most beautifully-designed garden, in my opinion, and that's ok. I don't mean to imply it was ugly. Far from it. And I loved it for being perhaps the most realistic portrayal of a garden I've ever seen in one of these displays.
Perhaps next week I'll get to the full-scale NWFGS post, unless I think of something I really want to share from my own garden, but right now I'm more intent on maintaining my garden, planting and fixing it up after our awful winter, than I am on blogging about it.