Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 Portland Yard, Garden & Patio Show

This year the Yard, Garden and Patio Show was earlier than usual. And that was great with me. The YGP is my personal (but completely unofficial) end-of-winter marker. You know, that part of the year where we barely go outside into the garden. Done with that!

I'd be hard-pressed to decide which is the stronger draw for me  -  the speakers, or the actual show with its plant information, display gardens and plants for sale. But luckily I didn't have to decide, since this local event is all things wrapped up into one.

On Friday, I heard Sean Hogan discuss Best New Natives for Design (yes, arctostaphylos!), Dan Hinkley spoke on Noteworthy Trees, Shrubs and Vines for Pacific NW Gardens (many in the pipeline from Monrovia soon), and Maurice Horn made a compelling case for some overlooked Perennials and Shrubs of Merit for Northwest Gardens, including a favorite of mine, Cistus obtusifolius.

Sunday I sat in on half of Ciscoe Morris showing Stellar Plant Combinations, then heard Brian Bauman expound on ten of his best new plants for 2013 (if you've been looking for the elusive Acacia 'Cousin Itt', Bauman Farms will have it this summer.)

Although I wasn't knocked out by any of the official display gardens as a whole, I really enjoyed the color and contrast presented in some of the plant combinations and materials.




Where color was more muted, texture and pattern contrasted.


Hammamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' figured prominently in multiple gardens, as did Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'.

Seating solutions were creative, inviting and often colorful.

The photo above leads us to my favorite garden of the show, and it wasn't even a designated display garden. The Urban Edible Garden had so much going for it. Simple, clean, open, but with great places to grow lots of plants, not just veggies.

Yes, that is a child-sized nest you see above and below - complete with child.

I loved the curving steel and the long narrow pavers in this garden.

Of course there were chickens: we're in Portland, people.


There were bees.

And a number of raised beds.





I came to understand my need for an exterior sink on a beautiful natural plank counter.
With planters on the wall behind it.

This garden satisfied on so many levels.
The Hardy Plant Society had tables full of winter and early spring interest.


Despite many tempting options...
 ... I only came home with two plants. I was on foot and didn't want to traumatize them too much.
Two of Xera's Iris x pacifica 'Meadow Pastels' will grace the Northwest territory this summer.

And now that I'm revved up, it's on to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle in just a week!

19 comments:

  1. So pray tell what did Brian Bauman have to say about Acacia 'Cousin Itt?" Surely he prefaced with it not being hardy? Are they selling it as a container plant?

    I think the Urban Edible Garden was the most photographed and realistic fav for all of us, second year in a row! Maybe the other designers should pay attention?

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    1. Yes, Loree, Brian was refreshingly candid about Cousin Itt's limits. But he loved it, and having seen it in person, so do I!

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  2. Love your pictures of the YGP Show, you actually showed me some things I haven't seen on all the other Portland blogs.

    Are you coming up to Seattle for the NWFGS? I would love to meet you for a walk around the display gardens, and/or buy you a cup of coffee.

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    1. Alison, it would be great to meet for a coffee at the show if you're there on Wednesday. I'm coming up by bus with the Master Gardeners: we arrive about 10 and depart about 5-5:30. If that doesn't work, I'll see you in SF for the Fling - yes, I'm going!

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    2. Oh, I'm so thrilled that you'll be going to the Fling! The one in Seattle was a blast. And I would love to meet you on Wednesday. I'm planning to go for three days, Wed., Thurs., and Friday.

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  3. The Urban Edible Garden was crowded when I was in that neck of the woods, so I gave it short shrift. Now I can see WHY it was crowded. Thanks for documenting it so well. It seems to have benefited from the more natural lighting that so many have mentioned as an annoyance.

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    1. Good call, Ricki - that may be part of the reason I found it so compelling. And happy to have shown you more of its charms.

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  4. Good photos in challenging garden show lighting conditions--bravo!

    My surviving 'Cousin Itt' isn't looking all that great, and here cold hardiness is not an excuse. Hmmmm...

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    1. Your "surviving" Cousin Itt? Sounds as though you lost one, or more?

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  5. Hi ~ great write up and photo's of the event! Glad to have found your blog! Thanks for visiting mine :) Cheers, Jenni

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    1. Always nice to "meet" another Portland gardener, Jenni!

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  6. I agree...it always feels like garden shows are equal parts inspiration and frustration. LOVE those Iris!

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    1. Hope those iris love our Northwest Territory!

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  7. This has been so fun to see what everyone took away from the show. Like Ricki, I headed over to the edible garden and it was so packed I turned around. I can't wait to see that iris in bloom!

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    1. I'm realizing how lucky I was to have visited the show on Friday!

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  8. Stupid me , I got all the seminarsdays muddled , I ws so miffed on Sunday morning and it was nice and sunny ,so I stayed home and tidyed the garden...next year!

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    1. I have to say I also succumbed to the lure of my own garden that weekend, Linda, hence no seminar report for Saturday!

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  9. Such gorgeous photos. Thanks for the tour.

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