Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show
February 23rd, 2009
I’ve just returned from spending three days at the fabulous-but-possibly-final Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle where I saw many, many gardening friends, hung out with my Hortus Posse pals and enjoyed a week of Seattle Sunshine (Seriously, folks. It was raining in Burbank when we flew outta here on Feb. 16th and sunny when we landed in Seattle!).
Of course, I was preaching the message of Stylish Sheds, and I’m happy to say, my “Shedar” (that’s like Radar, but it’s my own version of being alert to shed-spotting all around me) zoomed in on several fantastic garden structures, sheds, arbors, pavilions, shelters and enclosures.
It seemed as if every display garden at the show featured a fanciful structure in the garden. That goes to show you how important it is to design with not just plants, but architecture in mind.
Bill Wright, my collaborator on Stylish Sheds, and I kicked off the week with a Tuesday lecture for his peers in the Seattle chapter of American Society of Media Photographers. We participated in “The Odyssey of a Book,” a panel with two other book-savvy photographers, Dick Busher, of Cosgrove Editions, and Rosanne Olson, creator of a beautiful new book called “this is who I am — our beauty in all shapes and sizes”. The audience included fellow photographers, some of whom are also members of Garden Writers Association (David Perry, Mark Turner), friends Marcia Gamble Hadley and writer Robyn Cannon, as well as my former cohort from Seattle Post-Intelligencer days, Steve Shelton (what a treat to see him in the audience!). While we writers were definitely in the minority in the crowded room at Seattle Central Community College’s photography studio, it was a great experience talking books with kindred spirits.
On Wednesday, I took a tour through the Flower Show and snapped a bevy of shots to document the veritable bevy of sheds and shed-like structures featured in the show (see below). I was particularly gratified to see two Modern Shed structures by the talented Ryan Grey Smith and his team. Ryan adapted his awesome prefabricated shed architecture for two display gardens, including Michael Hancock’s “Serene Scapes” garden and Tony Fajarillo’s “Collaborating with Nature” garden.
On Thursday, I was back on my soapbox, speaking about backyard architecture in “Your Personal Escape,” my lecture illustrated by many of Bill’s awesome photos from our book. Bill joined me for a booksigning afterwards and we’re pleased to say that University Bookstore sold out of copies of Stylish Sheds. Hopefully, they’ll order MORE books next time!
The week went by way too quickly, but upon reflection, it was a perfect moment in time; a perfect experience to savor for months to come. I’ll close by sharing some of my favorite structures: A Gallery of Garden Architecture from the 2009 Northwest Flower & Garden Show’s designers.