I love flower and garden shows. I’m crazy about them. As well as attending them, I’ve helped build display gardens, I’ve given talks, I’ve written about them (Sunset’s Secret Gardens—153 Ideas from the Pros) and I’ve even judged them. So when I knew my garden was going to be open for The Garden Conservancy on July 7, I knew I would be able to gather ideas at the winter shows.
The first idea actually was inspired by a display garden in the 2009 Seattle Northwest Flower and Garden Show. It was a moon window, and I loved the idea of the perfect round framing a view.
Mine is fashioned from a metal rim of a wagon wheel that our kids found on our property. Sergio Millan, who has done so much in the garden, welded legs on it, and we erected it under the kiwi arbor.
I painted the chairs to complement the color of the ring of red bricks in the paving.
Another idea came from the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. The rectangular pavers seem to float in the gravel.
In my garden, Sergio came back again to help me finish the patio that holds the fire bowl. One of his finest qualities is that he listens to my ideas, looks at my drawings, and never tells me what can’t be done. You’d be surprised how many contractors don’t do that. And he adds his ideas to mine. Even if privately he thinks the project might be goofy, he never says so. At least until after it’s completed successfully.
I had all these square pavers left over from the round garden paving job, but not enough to lay a whole patio. So Sergio and I devised a sort of rectangular carpet in the stones that would hold the fire bowl and some chairs.
Then, next to it, we made these stripes of pavers, like the solid ones at the show.
It really worked. The stripes echo the deck stairs, and the repetition of the shapes gives calm and order.
But not too much order. I had started the rock garden when Sergio first built the step down. Now I expanded it, so it appears to be playfully bursting out of the regimented paving. It also feels like it has been there forever. Every plant I’ve put in has, in quiet slow rock garden fashion, taken off.
I’m really pleased by this newest addition. I hope our visitors will be as well. Just one more reason to visit flower and garden shows.# # # #