Inspirations from the NW Flower & Garden Show

Hello Everyone, Happy Monday to you. Recently I attended the N.W. Flower & Garden show. I always enjoy seeing what other designers and architects in the area are doing. This year, while not as impressive as years past, yielded several new ideas and trends that I am on board with. Several of the inspiration pics are just random things that I found to be cool. As I look through them I notice a theme emerging: Green Roofs. I have been eager to work with these for some time.
But first let’s take a look at the ‘random’ ideas, then we can finish on green roofs.
The first neat thing to come up at the show was this innovative pattern utilizing a very mundane paver. It is perhaps one of the cheapest paver styles available, yet as shown it becomes quite remarkable.

By separating each paver in the row and placing a bit of black Mexican Beach Pebble in between it really adds a texture and a style that is unique. I think that if I were to re-produce this with one of my clients that I would use a black mortar and have the stones mortared in, thus reducing the maintenance and the temptation for kids to throw them.

Also I really enjoyed seeing several of the displays going back to a less… fussy style of garden. I find this aesthetic to be more appealing than a lot of today’s geometric, sparse and quite frankly, sterile “California design”. This is inviting, intriguing and best of all low-maintenance.


This water feature from Elanden Gardens was really well done. The vast majority of water features have the water falling from a series of stones. Not that there is anything wrong with that, in fact if done well they can be amazing, but I found it refreshing to see water falling off the end of an old trunk. It feels as if it were in an old growth forest and a natural little spring is flowing across this old log. Dare to be different.

So here are two different displays that incorporated green roofs. The first, the uber-modern stainless steel wave has grasses, or more specifically sedges on the roof.
The other just has a green roof, or more specifically Astro-Turf! The point is that having a green roof not only looks cool but is very effective at mitigating your water runoff. In other words, it absorbs and disperses rain water rather than sending it downstream.
(As a side note, I really like this ‘floating’ patio. I thought it to be a nice way to incorporate a pond and a patio into a small area.)
I found this company called LiveRoof http://www.liveroof.com/ at the vendors section. They provide a fully grown modular green roof system, thereby taking out some of this technology’s biggest drawbacks: placing that much soil and getting plants to establish. That means that green roofs can be done at a residential scale easier and cheaper than ever before.

Anyhow, those are my musings about neat and new inspirations for your outdoor enjoyment.
‘til next time,
Caleb D. Nelson – grounded landscape design

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