Northwest Flower & Garden Show 2015: Romance Blossoms (Day 2)


IMG_3282I’ve lived through another day of complete and total exhaustion and yet here I am up late in the hotel room posting a blog post when I should be sleeping.

Earlier this morning I attended the annual Tweetup. During this brief event the lights are turned up over the display gardens at the show and the garden media is set loose to take some photos.

Since it’s so late, I won’t write a lot. I really only wanted to get these little show details out there. What do you think?


Interesting way to use some more of those corks I’ve collected in my kitchen. (A Garden Built with Love/Adam Gorski Landscapes)


(A Garden Built with Love/Adam Gorski Landscapes)


(A Garden Built with Love/Adam Gorski Landscapes)


Beautiful Hosta. I thought I wrote down the name but cannot find it now. (Will You? A Romantic Proposal in the Park/Fancy Plants Gardens, Inc.)


(Love the Space You’re In/Susan Browne Landscape Design)


(Love the Space You’re In/Susan Browne Landscape Design)


Beautiful looking glass Sansevieria. (Love the Space You’re In/Susan Browne Landscape Design)


Cute “dresses” for photo ops. (Picture Yourself on Azalea Way/Washington Park Arboretum)


(Knotty and Nice…Here’s to We Time/Karen Stefonick Design)


(Birds do it… Bees do it…/West Seattle Nursery)


(Birds do it… Bees do it…/West Seattle Nursery)


(Romantic Folly/ Pamela Richards Garden Design)


I love my salmon. (Romantic Folly/ Pamela Richards Garden Design)


Great container wall. (Romantic Folly/ Pamela Richards Garden Design)


(A Moment to Remember/ Nature Perfect Landscape and Design)


(Over the Moon/Assoc. of Professional Landscape Designers—WA Chapter)


(Over the Moon/Assoc. of Professional Landscape Designers—WA Chapter)


(The Root of True Romance: Beautiful Chaos… Love, Art, Nature/Elandan Gardens)


(Three Phases of Love… Young, Passionate, Forever/ WA Association of Landscape Professionals)


Hard to see from the picture, but it’s a bike. (A ‘Bio-Cycle’ Built for Two/ Evergreen Landscaping & Designs)


Fountain designed by Douglas Walker. (The Romance of Steampunk/ Whitby Landcare and Design)

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The display gardens were too numerous to capture so I’m jumping to some retail now. At large garden shows such as this one you’ll find all kinds of things for the outdoor and indoor gardening lifestyles.

From vases such as the one on the left, to handmade glass work and other objects to ornament your garden with—there is something for everyone. (I’ve purchased from the booth on the right in the past (Bedrock Industries. Check under their tab: Gift & Garden).

I think I might just go back to purchase this number 12 for the front of the house tomorrow. Sure, it has something to do with football, but it’s also my house number!


There are many rustic, recycled, and upcycled items too. Some are made by hand, and some are likely mass produced. No matter what, there is really something for everyone. IMG_0851

After the Tweetup I was exhausted but I met up with a landscaper friend to help him select a few plants for clients. This Trifoliate Orange (Poncirus trifoliata) was something we had to get. These are such great plants. IMG_3206

As I started to get drowsy I turned to go back to the hotel. Just walking back, through the displays, you’ll find the sweetest plants to admire. I very much want to get one of these Variegated Brugmansia.    
     IMG_3281 I’m also a sucker for a Geranium that’s become a standard. IMG_3284

More than anything though, I now have my heart set on an Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebono’.IMG_0854Walking back to the hotel I looked up at the Rainer Tower building across the street. From my room—for the past two year—I’ve admired this building. Yet, I only just discovered it was designed by U of W alum Minoru Yamasaki, and it just so happens that he’s also known for having been the lead architect of the World Trade Center.

Gardening is a wonderful thing, and design is all around us. Sure, I’m having a wonderful time in Seattle, but looking at this building brings along with it a somber feeling for those connected to his other work, a love of freedom in my country, and a sense of awe for what we’re able to design and build. I hope that in the years to come we’ll build again, and stop the destruction.

We garden to forget these things. I know. But with the building there outside my window as I sleep, it’s difficult for me not to think of its power.

And with that, it’s to bed, and I’ll be back at the garden show in the morning…

Language in the Garden (How it’s Difficult to Make Ikebana Arrangements Right Now)


I’ve been writing a lot recently but it hasn’t been here on my blog. So many words now fill up my time and space that I’m seeking out the garden more as I continue to pick up the pieces and move on with my life. Removing the weeds, editing the garden spaces, and tossing out plants that have not been successful has never felt so good, but I am finding it difficult to speak with flowers.

A Year of Ikebana is the blog I started last September just after my Grandma Virginia passed away. At the time my marriage was already being examined under a microscope and it was clear that something in that relationship had to change. As this blog had been so successful for me, I thought that actually trying to practice Ikebana on a daily basis—much as I used to exercise—could somehow calm me enough to get through whatever stormy waters I’d have to face in the coming months.

I wanted to feel beautiful again since that had been lost in my marriage and I wanted to make beautiful things. There was that need to build something as something else was falling apart around me. But I never had any idea how deeply those little arrangements would work their magic on me, and in time, I’ve sat in awe at the power the practice of Ikebana can have since it has the ability to transform something hidden inside of all of us.

Yes, it is said to be a therapeutic and spiritual practice. The life energy of the plants flow through you just as your emotions touch them. Sometimes you can speak through one another, and sometimes it just doesn’t click. It’s a marriage and a relationship that means a lot more to me than I’d ever thought it would and when I was confronted with the separation and then divorce from my soon-to-be ex-husband my arms became heavy.

They were so heavy when I went to think about Ikebana that I couldn’t lift them. My arms refused to move and my hands were conspirators. They are slowly coming back now though, but it’s been in jumps and starts. I’m seeing too how my arms need to be held and coaxed into the practice again, cherished in the way they always should have been I suppose since I use them, along with my hands, to speak. They’re part of this instrument called voice too.

The image above is a recent effort and I was deeply touched by it when it came together. A lot of what’s going on inside of me came out and I’m sad that my arms have become heavy again but tomorrow that might change.