As I try to tolerate the dreariness that is Washington in February, I find hope when I walk outside and see my tulips peeking out and preparing for the sun….
And I find an oasis of joy attending the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. Every year my dear friend, The Doc, and I spend the whole day at this event. It’s our thing. I’m pretty sure we start talking about it and plotting as early as October. It is THE event of the year for any garden aficionado. We had such a fantastic time, I wanted to share highlights from this years show with you! Enjoy!
The Display Gardens
These elaborate creations are always so impressive. Meticulous attention to detail with everything perfectly in place. They are so inviting, it’s hard not to just walk in the space and spend a little time there.
It always impresses me that they are able to get full sized trees up to the 3rd floor of this massive event center. This Royal Star Magnolia definitely caught my eye.
Joy everywhere you look.
The Orchid Display
Of all the display gardens, the Orchids are always a favorite. So many strange and beautiful species. Hordes of people crowd around this display waiting to get pictures of these miraculous blooms.
I’m a big fan of the ones that look more like aliens that flowers.
This year’s “It” plant
When I got home last night, Mountian Man’s only question to me was “What was this year’s “It” plant?” I paused and asked him what he meant. He informed me that every year I come home raving about a fantastic new plant I discovered at the show and how I would not rest until I had my own. Again I paused and then smartly replied, “Oh honey, you Do listen!”
In 2015, my first “It” plant was the Paper Bush. I had to drive to Portland to find my own. The flowers have the most amazing fragrance. It’s pretty much all you smell in the display garden area. I’ve have mine for 2 summers and have yet to get any flowers. Alas, I think we live just a little too north for this plant to actually bloom. But I’m still trying!
Last year’s “It” plant was the Chilean Fire Tree. Ciscoe Morris mentioned it in his lecture as the plant that will bring every hummingbird within a 30 mile radius to your back yard. I do love my hummingbirds!
This year’s “It” plant goes to the Dawn Viburnum. These tiny blossoms have a very refreshing fragrance. Somewhere between a paper bush and a cherry tree with blossoms for days. People were lined up to check out these beauties.
Besides the plants, there are tons of artisans with fantastic crafts and wares for your home. Here’s Doc and I taking a break on stools made from wine barrels.
These had my laughing pretty hard.
I do love my cephalopods.
A Great DIY idea!
Whimsy and wonder.
This was my favorite artist this year. Take a closer look and you’ll see this piece is made out of teeny tiny paper cut outs meticulously placed. Check out Doug Roy! The Paper Carver.
The Vintage Shops
One of my favorite areas to check out is the vintage corner. Every inch covered in knick knack and nostalgia you never knew you needed.
The Plant Shops
This is where most of my money gets spent, naturally. All the big nurseries of the PNW in the same place? Here, just take all my money now!
Dinner at the Carlile Room
After a long day of walking, ogling, and shopping the Doc and I like to go out for a nice dinner. The last two years, it’s been the Carlile Room which is just around the corner from the Convention Center. Besides it’s convenience, the atmosphere, food, and service are above and beyond amazing. This is the dining experience that you recommend to everyone, it’s that good. And it’s always packed. We were pleasantly surprised to get a couple seats at the bar practically the moment we walked in. The hostess told us we had impeccable timing.
Their menu is an excursion in flavors. I’m more of a simple ingredient kind of gal and this menu always intimidates me. The descriptions tend to have a bunch of ingredients I’ve never used or am not familiar with at all. Here’s my trick: find the main ingredient you like to eat and order it. Trust that the professionals know what they’re doing, because they really do!
For starters we had a roasted acorn squash with halloumi cheese, mint, with mango chili sauce (I believe). It was out of this world! We also ordered a cheese plate, because it’s cheese and cheese is awesome!
Later we enjoyed the Pork loin listed above. The description (maple butternut butter, nut, butternut) had us cracking up so we had to try. It was so delicious! Perfectly cooked and paired!
I adore their Carlile Cup cocktail. It’s very refreshing. Fashioned after the popular British drink, Pimm’s Cup, it is made with Pimm’s, ginger ale, and cucumber. Delish! I this this will be my new summer go to drink.
Since I apparently need to buy Pimms now, I had the bartender bring out the bottle so I could find it in the liquor store later. This began a fantastic conversation about what Pimm’s really is. A few customers got involves, along with our server, and eventually the owner who came up with the drink. It was delightful to have such an intriguing conversation with so many strangers. Apparently the recipe is a secret and no one really knows what it’s made out of. It’s taste is like a very light whisky with orange overtones. Doesn’t that just sound like sparkly heaven? It is. The British win.
On this adventure I found a great “elkome” sign, more dahlias than I actually need, and my mom’s Mother’s day gift, which I’d love to show you, but she reads this so it’s in the blue bag.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my adventures. I hope you have the opportunity to go to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show someday!