Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gold medal for the 'Birdsong' at the 2012 NW Flower and Garden Show

Above, the lights are tested before the media and judges arrive; there are still some white buckets, brooms and watering cans in the display area.
Our efforts at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show were rewarded with one of the three Gold Medals given out this year - a great result. The concept of the Birdsong was to celebrate birdlife in the Washington Park Arboretum. Three different habitats for birds - marshland, woodland edge and deeper forest -  were planted with vegetation to provide them with food and nesting places. A bird blind was the only built structure in display. The design was by Bob Lilly, Phil Wood and Roger Williams, all three experienced renowned garden designers and plantsmen.

The bird blind was the only built element of the garden; it imitates the structures that bird watchers use to observe wildlife. I got to attach twigs from the arboretum to the outside of the structure... Most of the garden materials - twigs, whole trees and bags of collected leafs -  came from the arboretum.
Of course, a show garden rookie like me didn't have anything to do with the concept or design, but I was happy to shovel, cover, carry and plant things. Here are some of my 'achievements': a perfectly naturalistic flow of dry leaves cascading down the little hill at the back of the display (above), and a planting of ferns and small blueberry bushes by the pathway though the show garden. Maybe I can graduate to something a bit more advanced at the next show? Anyway, I loved being part of the show garden team, so I won't mind even if I just have to shovel sawdust again next year.

Below - kinnikinnick planting by me; well done, don't you think...? Birds love to eat the red berries of this native plant. Behind - humming birds love nectar and are especially drawn to red flowering plants, so red camellias were included in the display even if they are not native to the area. Witch-hazels are also an important source of nectar this time of the year.

And just one more of the building stage... just a couple of hours left, and the garden still looks like a mess. But Bob and Phil had full control over the process so we finished in good time, having over half an hour free time to enjoy the results before the judges arrived.


Hällan Visningsträdgård/Ulrika said...

Ursnyggt! Vilket jobb, ni måste ha varit många som hjälptes åt? visst syns några ormbunkar i kanten på fjärde bilden?
Ha det bra!

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Hej Ulrika - visst blev det snyggt, och inte riktigt traditionellt, eftersom vi behövde inte sälja några prylar utan bara göra den lokala Arboretum-parkens fågelliv mer känd. Vi hade t o m sparat varje träsortens blad och torkat dem för utställningen, så att det blev riktigt naturtroget. Vi var mellan 8 och 12 personer där varje dag (varav två var professionella snickare), det behövs för att få allt byggd och på plats. Jätteroligt var det, och jag vill definitivt vara med nästa år igen!