Part of the annual ushering-in-of-spring ritual for many Portlanders is the Yard, Garden & Patio Show. I've gone almost every year since moving to Portland several years ago, and it has become a bit of a tradition for me to drag Norm along with me to the Convention Center.
As you walk down the steps to the show's entrance, you are greeted with colorful banners, people handing out tote bags and...the unmistakeable smell of bark dust. Actually, the bark dust smell was not as bad as I remember it in years past. This could be, however, because the overpowering "cat-pee" smell of boxwoods practically brought tears to my eyes on numerous occasions. Note to designers for the show...it's an enclosed space...please put a limit on stanky plants!
When you first enter the show, you are greeted with several display gardens, which ths year, were themed around certain regions of the world. The first one we went through was the Chinese-inpsired garden...and one of the better ones (IMHO). It was lovely...and indeed had a serene atmosphere, greatly aided by the large pond, which reflected the plants grown along it's banks. It was also one of the gardens that seemed more plant-focused and less about hardscaping theatrics.
Hamamelis blooming in the Chinese Garden
One of my favorite winter-blooming shrubs, the Witch Hazels were well-represented at the show.
This fabric-draped structure was certainly high on style...but I'm not sure how practical all that fabric would prove to be in all but the gentlest breezes.
Again, so not my style...but Palms do make impressive specimens in situations like this, don't you think!
In spite of myself, I rather liked these urn water-fountains...except the spouts looked like they were slathered with gold paint. I'd have preferred something a little more subtle...perhaps bronze or copper with a bit of patina?
I'm so old-fashioned...I do NOT get the appeal of random "Fire Pits" and features, and I do wonder, in Eco-Conscious Portland...is an open flame used purely for decoration really wise a use of resources?
Norm and I were both baffled by this "garden". It was almost entirely bare...most of the space was just gravel (and maybe some decomposed granite?). Where are the plants?!?
I have to admit, I'm no fan of "formal" gardens, in general, but I found this to be one of the better display gardens. Even so, like most of the others, it felt more like a park...or a space to pass-through, rather than anywhere I'd imagine lingering.
I DID like this fountain and cobblestones. Oh...to have room for such extravagance (not to mention the funds)!
I've tried to grow Heathers several times and always kill them...so I'm resigned to admiring them in others' gardens. Love this patchwork of them...so lovely.
If you want a water feature...this was the place for you...it definitely seemed like the favorite for most of the kids at the show!
Of course, the big reason to go to the show is the vendors! Several area nurseries were in attendance selling green goodies to area gardeners. I have to admit, nothing really caught my eye this year...running out of space means being judicious about plant purchases!
I was really intrigued by the urban beekeepers...and judging by the little crown around them, I wasn't alone!
YUM...honeycombs on display!
I've never understood what the fuss with Hellebores was all about...but these new colors might just bring me around :-)
My one purchase! Last year, I wanted to get some of these iron cattails, but the girl who sells them was SOLD OUT...argh! I have no idea where I'm going to put them...but I have all summer to figure that out, right?
Did any of you in the Portland area make it to the show...did you see anything good...did I miss anything amazing (it happens quite often)?