Northwest Flower & Garden Show brings together local designers, myriad ideas

craig.sailor@thenewstribune.comFebruary 5, 2014 

For the Tacoma mother-daughter team of Sue and Courtney Goetz the generation gap spans just inches. That’s the amount of space that separates the pair’s two cottages that take center stage in their display garden at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.

The two veterans of the show were busy finishing their garden along with the other designers and garden creators Tuesday inside the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

The show opens Wednesday when downtown Seattle will be filled with the 12th Man celebrating at the Seahawks victory parade.

The two art studios in the Goetz garden, “The Art of Retreat,” reflect the interests of the two women. Sue’s has no electricity, save for lighting, while Courtney’s is fully wired.

“She’s plugging in, and I’m unplugging,” Sue said.

The pair form the Creative Gardener/Urban Garden Company and the art studios were built by Schuan Carpenter of Little Mansions. Sue’s is a more traditional look, with a nod toward Parisian storefronts, and features stained glass. Courtney’s is ultra modern, designed to accommodate video gaming.

The two cottages are painted in Valspar’s Purple Fury. The choice came after looking at dozens of purple paint samples. “Who knew there were so many shades of purple?” Sue said. “Purple can go really bad and purple can be really amazing.” The plant palette of green and purple mimic the two art studios.

A newcomer to the show, Olympia’s Nature Perfect, built a small but elegant Japanese-inspired garden called “No Stress Allowed.” Designer Landen Moore calls it a space of tranquility.

“At the end of the day you can have a quiet sanctuary to relax from the everyday hectic life,” Moore said.

The garden is small but holds a lot of visual interest including a hand-crafted stone wall and flagstone patio, Nature Perfect’s specialty. Dominating the space is a rustic torii gate with an engraved stone.

Using the Japanese art of garden composition, Moore has created a 15 foot square picture with carved boulders holding water and a cedar fence.

Moore kept to his stress-free theme while creating it. “We want to get a taste for what it’s like.”

One of the most eye-catching gardens in the show was designed by Kirsten Lints and features a waterfall and pond built by Sumner’s Mark “The Pond Guy” Harp and his son Daniel.

Huge metal sculptures along with a stump reflect several styles in “Nature’s Studio.” The originality continues even in detail. A large pyramid of shiitake mushrooms adds an edible element. Nearby a hollow log has been outfitted with doors and filled with canned goods – nature’s root cellar.

On one side of the vast hall Tacoma deck-builder Jason Russell was wowing members of the media with his Seahawks-themed deck and garden, which was featured in this section last week. With a touch of a button a 12-foot long staircase became a wheelchair ramp. With another button a Seahawks logo embedded in the deck rose to become a picnic table.

Russell, the owner of Dr. Decks, employed a variety of technicians and artists to create his over-the-top display which includes a living plant wall, a water wall, hydraulic powered “phantom automated furniture” and a bubbling tube that glows in green and blue and spouts fire.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541

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