Entering the show there is excitement in the air. Air which is filled with light and fragrance and color. Soft colors, bright colors, spring colors and joyful colors. Leaving a cool and windy Seattle and walking into the show is like suddenly being in the southern hemisphere where seasons are turned around and it’s spring or summer. And then walking onto the main floor there is magic all around. When I stood in front of the Tetons garden I felt like I was in another place. Like I was very small and in front of me was a grand valley, with a meandering river, flowing down from a rugged mountain. It was an amazing feeling and I wasn’t the only one struck by this illusion, as there was a constant crowd gathered in front. Another favorite was the Hoh rainforest garden. Even though this garden reminded me of my own backyard here in Washington, it was so well put together. It had glistening wet moss and an enormous nurse log which appeared whole but was really cleverly disguised sections. There were so many other little pieces of wonder like Lewisia blooming in a desert and chocolate scented orchids. An octopus shower and a Japanese soaking tub. A new experience around every turn.
One of my favorite things at this show was the garden language spoken by so many. This is a language that is not written down or even acknowledged by those in attendance. But it’s expressed through a general glow on the face and with sparkling eyes, with pointing and exclamations of delight and smiles everywhere. This language isn’t sharp and fast, but rather fluid, following the natural lines of stone and wat. I didn’t notice it was going on all around until someone who didn’t speak this language entered the show. They moved quickly past the gardens and were more interested in sugar gliders and lunchtime than the green surrounding them. It was so fun for me to rub shoulders with others that speak my language. To be around all these garden lovers and plant geeks. There is always an abundance of conversation with fascinating topics to discuss and debate, such as how long bamboo lives before it blooms and dies and the epiphytic life of orchids with their tightly wrapped roots. The Northwest Flower and Garden Show is a great place to immerse in all things green. It was another unforgettable year.