Garden Photo of the Day

Our favorite garden at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show

One of the biggest components of a great garden show is the amazing show gardens. Garden designers spend months planning them, and then only have a day or two to assemble them on the conference center floor. It’s pretty miraculous when you see them, to think of what goes into them.

This year at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle, Fine Gardening got to present an award for the garden we loved best, and the one that came out on top was a charming mother/daughter garden created by Sue and Courtney Goetz from Tacoma. They each interpreted their own version of a garden getaway, with back to back garden cottages and gardens.

Both sheds were painted the same great smoky shade of purple, and both sported lots of glass, but Sue (Mom) says that her version of a getaway involves turning off all the electronic distractions in her life and reading a good book, so her little getaway was quaint and old-fashioned inside. Meanwhile, Courtney (Daughter) says her idea of winding down is settling down with a good video game, so her getaway had a computer and lots of references to popular culture. The gardens were similarly themed. It was so much fun, and while I wasn’t on the FG judging team, I wholeheartedly agree with the choice! The first three photos (first 3 in left column) are from Sue’s getaway, and the next four are from Courtney’s. I love the zombie-fighting station!

Beyond the gardens, I had so much fun at the show, and the talk went over well. Everyone loved your gardens, and they were definitely inspired by your stories, so THANK YOU! I MUST give a special shout-out to May (GrannyMay) & Catherine (GrannyCC), who SAVED MY LIFE. They chatted me up (I begged them to) until the last possible second before the talk began, and kept me calm and distracted so I didn’t faint. I was just a bit nervous… May even got to stand up and get a round of applause when I featured her garden, as did Glenda (Nurserynotnordstroms) and Linda (Meelianthus)! Everyone was so impossible nice. I even got to meet Cherry (PerenniallyCrazy)! I swear, we need to plan a GPOD meetup. In the meantime, I have a feeling we’ll be back in Seattle for the show again next year….

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’ve been getting feedback that, while all the snow pics lately are nice, everyone’s feeling the need for more GREEN pics in the GPOD these days. I think we’re all getting a bit weary winter…. so I need your help! Send in photos of your gardens from last summer! ([email protected]) Be sure to tell me a bit about yourself and your garden when you send in your pics. You’re much more likely to be featured if I have all that stuff at hand. Thanks, everyone!

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  1. perenniallycrazy 02/14/2014

    The Art of Retreat is a slam dunk choice for the Fine Gardening Award. I can actually see such a retreat cottage as a new project in your home Michelle. I wouldn't be surprised if other GPODers create their own if they haven't already.

    It was a pleasure to finally meet you Michelle. I was actually glad that you remembered my name. The thought did occur to me after I shook your hand...

    "I swear, we need to plan a GPOD meetup. In the meantime, I have a feeling we'll be back in Seattle for the show again next year..." - What say you "Chairman of the Board" (aka tntreeman)and your muses (Sheila, meander1 and Annek) and everyone else? I hear next year's show will be held February 11 -15. I'm game.

  2. user-1020932 02/14/2014

    these garden show displays always amaze me and i would be hard pressed to pick a favorite if i had been on a judging team. it's hard to create a space like that in the real world but to create it with only 1 or 2 days of time is incredibly difficult and then to be seen by tens of thousands,,,,,,,,stress overload. i feel as if i know many of the gpod people from having coffee each morning with them here but to meet in person would be so much fun amazing group of people.
    BTW, i am President of the PerenniallyCrazy fan club, contact me for information about joining.

  3. flowerladydi 02/14/2014

    What fun it must have been to be at the show Michelle, and see all those Fabulous gardens,,, and people interpretations!,,, and so glad you were able to meet with May, Glenda, Linda and Catherine!,,, that must have been great!,, and nice for your nerves!,,, and congratulations to for having their gardens mentioned as well!
    We have the Flower Show at Navy Pier in Chicago in March,,, which I haven't actually gone to for a couple of years,, but after seeing these lovely photos,,, will Definitely try to make it again!! I am sure your talk went off beautifully!
    And again I will agree with Jeff,,,, while I have never met any of you personally,, it is like a coffee club,, with all like minded friends here.
    Thanks for all you do!

  4. wGardens 02/14/2014

    A great Award choice and a wonderful feature for today's post. Love how everything ties together. I too, love the garden shows and am always in awe as to what goes into the display gardens in such a short amount of time and looking like it could have been there for years! I am headed to the RI Flower Show on the 22nd; my third visit there, SOOO looking forward to that.

    Thanks for sharing, Michelle! So glad you had a great time, great talk, and great interaction with everyone including some of our GPOD'ers that were able to attend! And congratulations to those who had their gardens featured.

  5. wGardens 02/14/2014

    I add my "CONGRATULATIONS!" to Sue and Courtney, also. Hope we see your home gardens featured on GPOD. Would LOVE to see them!!!!!!!!

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/14/2014

    What a thrill that must have been for the mother/daughter team to have their vision and hard work be so well rewarded. It took my involvement in gardening for me to become a fan of any tone of purple (as a kid growing up prone to freckles and sunburn, purple was not my color for clothes) and now, I definitely appreciate its allure. Michelle, is that a bare bed spring "carcass" at the zombie fighting station?

    Congrats on the successful talk and the great mix and mingle with fellow gpod-ers.
    Hmmm, in today's super connected world, maybe in the future there can be a live stream to events like this? Then we could all cheer you on in cyber-person!

  7. bee1nine 02/14/2014

    Most truly amazing work and effort indeed, goes into creating
    such incredible displays. Not to mention, the very short time
    allowed for assembly.
    I always feel the fun, it totally refreshing and inspirational going to flower and garden shows when I can.
    Especially during our most needed time- the drab winters!
    Do enjoy the vendor sections, as well. Though, it seems they
    tend to be taking up more space in various shows.

    And would have been a pleasure to meet and see you
    Michelle, along with the other lucky GPODer's who attended and to have taken-in all there was to this special event. But
    $-means wouldn't allow! So very glad ALL went well!!

    " HAPPY HEART'S DAY" Everyone!!!!

  8. tractor1 02/14/2014

    Kudos, Michelle! You're a wonderful ambassador for GOPD and all garden folks. Your accompanying cheering squad is proof of your success... job well done!

    Two feet of snow in the Catskills and more on the way... I'll be spending the next few hours plowing my way out of here... I hope all are safe.

  9. Jay_Sifford 02/14/2014

    This is very timely for me. Later today I begin installation of my Asian garden at the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show here in Charlotte. I've done orchid exhibits there before, but never a full scale garden at almost 850 square feet. Thankfully we have six days to install here. The snow and ice are starting to melt off the road, also thankfully. Wish me luck!

  10. wittyone 02/14/2014

    What lovely cozy looking retreats. I'd take the one with the loaded bookshelves but both are very creative and offer a range of relaxation for varied interests. What a clever idea for their display.

    I love that shade of purple----not totally in your face but it does stand out and catch your eye.

    Michelle it's good to hear that your presentation went well and you are now a seasoned speaker. All it takes is a lot of knowledge and a little experience.

  11. pattyspencer 02/14/2014

    The first picture captured me and drew me in - gorgeous! Love the purple color (might be eggplant?)and congratulations on it for receiving the GPOD award!

  12. terieLR 02/14/2014

    All our best to you Jay as you begin the task of setting up your Asian garden. I am always enthralled by the displays at Garden shows and this was no exception. I certainly would have made myself at home in this mother/daughter garden getaway. Congratulations Sue and Courtney! Loving this shade of purple. Happy Hearts Day GPODers.

  13. sheila_schultz 02/14/2014

    What a great choice for the Fine Gardening award! I do love the Mother/Daughter garden retreat, it must have been an exhausting labor of love for this Tacoma team. I have to admit that purple is not my fave color, but it is perfect for these charming retreats. I also have to admit that I am partial to Mother/Daughter teams since I am part of one... life doesn't get mush better!

    Michelle, I know your presentation took you out of your comfort zone, but we all knew it would go well. How could it not when you were speaking on a subject you are so passionate about? Plus to be surrounded by Cherry, May, Catherine, Linda and Glenda... what could be better? Yep, a gathering is in order. I already have the Feb. dates in my calendar!

    Finally, good luck with the install of your Asian Garden for the show in Charlotte Jay. Hopefully the weather Gods will be kind... have fun!

  14. GrannyMay 02/14/2014

    I am so glad I didn't have the responsibility of being a judge at the show! There was so much to see, and being a gardener, I was constantly distracted by the plants! Duh!! It is lovely to see other peoples photos to relive the whole experience. I didn't even remember seeing The Art of Retreat, and now reviewing my own photos I see that I took only one picture of the purple cottage and 2 close-ups of plants in their garden. They certainly deserved to be chosen as the Fine Gardening winner!

    Michelle your talk was absolutely fantastic and it was great fun to chat with you, you didn't need to beg! Yes, it would be lovely to have a GPOD meetup - did you say you'll be back in Seattle next year?

  15. GrannyMay 02/14/2014

    Forgot to say, best of luck with your Asian Garden, Jay! I hope the weather cooperates. Please, please do take lots of photos to share the experience with us.

    How wonderful it would be to spend these late winter months travelling from one garden show to another... hmmm!

  16. annek 02/14/2014

    I'm admiring those wonderful colors in sue's getaway! The eggplant is so elegant...what are the gold and blue colors inside? A fabric shade? Patterns on the ceiling? They're beautiful! And wooden rafters too? Wow. Courtney's zombie wall is a hoot. Beautiful wood siding on the inside. Great job and obviously prize-worthy

    Glad your presentation was a winner, Michelle. The show was lucky to get you to present and I bet the attendees are on GPOD now! The more the merrier

    Granny May, you've nailed it! A garden show hop. Spend a few weeks going to the best of the best! I wonder if they are scheduled close enough together?

    Crazy, great idea. I'll commit to be at the February 2015 show with you next year. Meander? T-man? Granny? Sheila? Others? And of course, Michelle?

  17. Meelianthus 02/14/2014

    Thanks so much for refreshing my visual memory with those wonderful garden show pictures Michelle. There is SO much to see there it is really overwhelming, so nice to have that refresher. And, once again you did such a great job with your presentation. I enjoyed the whole thing but especially meeting you and having a little chat. I will really look forward to seeing you again next year. I hope you did get to see a bit of Seattle. I hope Spring will come early for all of you folks buried in feet of snow!

  18. andreabn 02/14/2014

    Wow, Michelle! That was my favorite too! I didn't know Fine Gardening was giving an award. I loved the color of the retreat and how it set off many of the plants. Could just pic myself there very happy! Your presentation was great and I really enjoyed seeing all the gardens and learning about what some folks overcome to build amazing gardens! Andrea ,

  19. janeeliz 02/14/2014

    Love the mother/daughter creation FG chose! Especially like the eggplant color with all the shades of green and the scarlet tulips. Sounds like a wonderful show. I'm not surprised your talk went well, Michelle. I'm sure you deserved the rave reviews!
    I am always blown away by all the work it takes to put on a great flower show-especially dealing with winter weather. Good luck Jay! Hope the weather cooperates.

  20. GrannyCC 02/14/2014

    Great choice for the award. I really enjoyed that one too. More interested in the Mother's side of things. Not into zombies.I wouldn't want to be a judge either too many choices.

    Yes meander1 that is a bed spring. In fact we saw several in different exhibitions. So keep an eye out never know when you might need one. Trellis anyone!!

    It was a pleasure to meet you Michelle and your talk was amazing. You seemed very calm, cool and collected and not at all nervous when you spoke. Maybe this will be a new calling for you!

  21. NevadaSue 02/14/2014

    Michelle, I' m so glad your presentation was a success . It sounds and looks like you had a wonderful time. There was much excitement in this house when my daughter saw your pictures today. She is friends with the guy and his wife who creates "Little Mansions". . She had already seen pictures of it on his wife 's face book page. He does create some amazing little mansions.
    I have been to the Seattle garden show in the past and it is amazing. So glad you were able to enjoy it and thanks for sharing some of its inspirations with us. :). Loved that bed springs. :)

  22. tractor1 02/15/2014

    I'm sure those mother/daughter cottages would sell as a kit... they are lovely... someone can even live in them, and add on as needed.

    I'm tired today, from moving all that snow, the hardest part was finding places to put it. And the big plows coming down the road built a 10' wall at the foot of my driveway, and my mailbox is down, that's why I have a PO Box.

    I've been doing more research on the stewartia and am hoping to get one, it will be a memorial tree for my DIL who recently lost a 15 year battle with the big C.

    My two barn kittens went to the Vet just before the snow to be fixed, they are doing great, you'd never know they just had surgery.

    I have more than 30" of snow, those are 5' posts fencing in my Acer griseum, there's less than two feet out of the snow:

  23. perenniallycrazy 02/15/2014

    @Jay_Sifford: Good luck Jay and please share your experience with us.

    @tntreeman: You're such a tease. Thanks for pulling me back into the fold, or "sucking me back into the GPOD vortex" as my kids would put it. If anything, you are really the glue that binds this "very nice group of gardening people."

    @Annek: Looking forward to meeting you next year! As with GrannyMay, GrannyCC, meelianthus, nurserynotnordstroms, Chrisseattle and any of you GPODers who are interested. Of course, with no less than Michelle and other FG editors and staff too.

    Congratulations again to Sue, Courtney, May (GrannyMay), Linda (meelianthus), Glenda (nurserynotnordstroms) on your beautiful gardens and divine garden design ideas!

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