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.
'Arnold Promise' figured prominently in multiple gardens, as did Camellia sasanqua
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
'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!