2014 NW Flower & Garden Show

If keeping up with landscaping trends and outdoor spaces is important to you, there’s no better event to go to in the Seattle area than the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.  It’s an annual destination for Colby and I, and what many local garden aficionados consider to be the harbinger of spring’s soon arrival.

Garden Show

‘The Artist’s Studio’ designed by James Sprague of Fancy Plants Gardens, Inc

This year we went for one day only – on Saturday – which meant we had to bob, weave and really move in order to see everything on our list.  After all, we’re talking about a show that includes a full acre of show gardens, over 300 exhibitors and vendors, and 5 days of back-to-back horticulture seminars.

Garden Show

‘Terra Cadence – The Rhythm of Earth’ designed by Susan Calhoun of Plantswoman Design, Inc

The show gardens are our absolute favorite thing about the show, a feeling I’m sure is shared by many.  Regional landscape architects, designers, landscapers, suppliers and nurseries collaborate to create jaw-dropping show gardens which are constructed in less than 72 hours.  It’s an awesome feat; you can watch the process here.  This year’s theme was ‘Art in Bloom,’ so it’s no surprise that every garden featured garden art.  I’m talking about serious wow factor, as these pictures corroborate.

Garden Show

‘The Art of Upcycling’ designed by Judith Jones of Fancy Fronds & Vanca Lumsden

One of the first gardens we viewed was Dan & Will Robinson’s of Elandan Gardens, pictured below.  I cannot speak highly enough of Dan’s work as a designer and landscaper.  Colby and I were both in awe of his artful arrangement of decorative rock, some of which appeared to be 5-man rock (landscaping speak for really, really large rocks).  Even more impressive was the fact that many of the black pines included in the landscape were pruned and trained for over 50 years from seed by Dan himself.

Garden Show

‘Quiet Beauty – The Japanese Garden Aesthetic: Celebrating Traditions, Transforming Visions’ designed by Dan & Will Robinson

Across the way was Karen Stefonick’s show garden which, in our opinion, should have won the Founder’s Cup (Best in Show) award.  Complete Landscape, Inc and Moon Shadows Landscape Lighting, LLC installed this dramatic landscape.  Elegant and meditative, this garden featured clean lines that were softened by natural rock, thoughtful plantings and a refined sense of color.  A massive blown glass orchid created by Seattle glass artist Jason Gamrath reigned over the garden, while a group of striking pitcher plants created a focal point in the rectangular pond.  I could have sat in this garden for hours.

Garden Show

‘Darwin’s Muse – Art Imitating Life’ designed by Karen Stefonick Design

The show garden that won the Founder’s Cup award is pictured below.  Designed by Gardens ALIVE Design and installed by Avid Landscape Design & Development LLC, it featured an eye-catching circular sculpture that integrated well with this forest landscape. It also won the X-Factor award, bestowed upon the garden that “best captures the imagination of the next generation of garden designers.”

Garden Show

‘Nature’s Studio – AROUSE | EVOKE | CREATE | GROW | CHILL’

Colby loved the pond; we spent a good amount of time taking it in.  Large metal pieces and natural elements such as driftwood felt proportionally balanced and perfectly placed, no matter where we stood.

Garden Show

In association with WALP – King County Chapter & WA State Nursery & Landscape Association

If you missed the show this year, mark your calendar for 2015 as the dates are already set for February 11 – 15.  And if you did make it earlier this month, log in to Facebook and let us know which show garden was your favorite!

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties

HOA Landscape Maintenance

We’re excited to have recently signed on another homeowners association to our landscape maintenance client roster, the White Horse Golf Community HOA.  White Horse Golf Course is Kitsap County’s premier course, and we are committed to keeping the neighboring grounds well-groomed and tidy.

HOA landscape maintenance kitsap county

With the growing season soon upon us, now’s the perfect time to get a quote for maintenance services.  Our employees are qualified, reliable professionals, and we operate start of the art equipment.  We have full-time office support for quick response customer service.

We appreciate the opportunity to serve you!

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.

Outdoor Seating Area

We’re already longing for afternoons spent lounging outside on an outdoor seating area, book in hand. If you’re dreaming of the perfect outdoor space and this is the year to make it happen, this project will help you visualize. Temperatures may be frigid outside, but it’s never too early to begin planning!

outdoor seating area

photo via Gardenista

For the do-it-yourself crowd, here’s how an outdoor seating area with pavers is done:

1.  First consider, do you want the top of the material surface to be level with the ground? Take inventory of the dimensions of your pavers and any base materials.  You may need to dig out some of the original dirt.

2. Once your sub-grade is level, install a compacted layer of 3/8 minus gravel to mitigate settling, and to keep the material installed on top of it level. We use a compactor to do this and install at least a 2″ compacted base. This needs to be very level. Consider that a slight slope may be needed so that water can drain properly (2% or 1% is recommended). Wherever your slope is directed, keep in mind that’s where water will collect. Preparing for rainfall is an absolute must here in the Pacific Northwest.

3. Apply a 2″ layer of sand on top of gravel.

4. Then lay pavers.

5. After pavers are laid, apply sand into the joints (the spaces between pavers), and broom the sand until all of it has fallen into the joints.

6. Now, lay a plywood sheet atop the pavers to secure the pavers and sand more firmly into place without breaking your paver material. This important step will help to mitigate them moving or shifting out of place. We use a 4×8 sheet of plywood for this along with a compactor. You’re almost done!

7. Sweep any excess sand.

Below are great resources to help you get started:

To see the multitude of square paver products available on the market and how they’ve been used in outdoor projects, click here.

If you’re ready to purchase materials, click here.

Once you’re finished, all that’s needed is a warm, sunny day, a good book and a glass of strawberry lemonade. If all of this sounds like more work than you have the time or energy for, give us a call or email us at info@northwestcl.com. We’d love the opportunity to help you plan and budget for your outdoor seating area.

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.