Local gardeners team up for Flower & Garden Show

Walk through this field of dreams and smell the flowers.

“Monet Dreamed Here” is the title of a display garden by three Snohomish County garden gurus.

It’s among about 20 gardens on display at the Northwest Flower &Garden Show going on now through Sunday. “Art in Bloom” is the theme of the Seattle event — a much-needed sneak peek of spring for gardeners.

Edmonds landscape designer Kristy Ditmore dreamed up the Monet theme for the display garden.

“I’ve had it in my head all year,” said Ditmore, owner of Under the Arbor Landscape Design.

She teamed up with McAuliffe’s Valley Nursery in Snohomish for the plants and Falling Water Designs in Monroe for the water feature.

The French Impressionist painter provided the inspiration.

The garden is 840 square feet, with 800 flowers, a dozen trees, two stained glass windows and an artist studio.

A relaxing seating area and bubbler pond enhance the feeling of escape and solitude. Low maintenance plantings allow time for the painter to focus on the canvas. On the easel in the studio is a watercolor version of Ditmore’s design blueprint.

Ditmore earned a degree in horticulture from Edmonds Community College in 2006. This is her eighth display garden at the Seattle garden show, and she’s won awards every year. Last year’s retro California- themed garden with surfboards and palm trees nabbed Ditmore and her team a Silver medal.

The annual show gives her a palette for ideas she gets during the year while working on projects for clients.

“I do the designs I always want to do,” Ditmore said.

Her role is like that of a wedding planner, coordinating everything to fall into place for the event. Hoping for the best yet bracing for the worst.

“I can show them on paper, but I’m the only one who has it in my head,” Ditmore said.

Turns out the garden gurus were all on the same page.

“It is always exciting to see it come together,” nursery owner Tiffini McAuliffe said. “It always turns out better than you can imagine.”

Other display gardens include: “Leisurely Morning in Mexico City,” “The Art of Zen” and “The Poetree: Rhythm and Rhyme in the Garden.”

Garden show highlights include:

  • “Small Space Showcase” has small space and container gardens for those seeking inspiration for gardens on their deck, patio and terrace.
  • “Floral Competition” has lavish displays of blooms.
  • “Funky Junk” gardens display the creative handiwork of local high school horticulture students.

Free seminars offer tips for new and seasoned gardeners. Speakers include Ciscoe Morris, Marty Wingate, Marianne Binetti, Debra Prinzing, Rizanino Reyes and Bill Thorness.

If you go

The Northwest Flower &Garden Show runs through Feb. 9 at the Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $22; $31 for two-day pass. Ages 13 to 17 are $5; 12 and younger are free.

For more information, call 800-343-6973 or go to www.gardenshow.com.

Show highlights

FRIDAY

1 p.m. Coryanne Ettiene: “From Farm to Table, Year-Round, Prolonging the Freshness of the Season.”

2:45 p.m. Theresa Loe: “Canning the Harvest for Peak Flavor.”

5:30 p.m. Teresa O’Connor: “Kitchen Gardens with Style, Design Secrets for Beauty &Bounty.”

6:45 p.m. Cass Turnbull: “No More Flying Saucers, How to Prune Japanese Laceleaf Maples.”

SATURDAY

10 a.m. Dan Hinkley: “Good Weed: Best Ornamental Grasses and Grass-Like Plants.”

1:30 p.m. Ciscoe Morris and Meeghan Black: “Highlights and Hijinks from Our Favorite Garden Duo.”

4:15 p.m. Jessica Bloom: “What the Cluck? Getting Started on Gardening with Chickens.”

SUNDAY

11:15 a.m. Joe Grienauer: “Orchids Demystified, Even Brown Thumbs Can Grow Stunning Orchids.”

3 p.m. Linda Chalker-Scott: “Going Native, Are NW Natives the Best Choice for Gardens?”

4 p.m. Drew C. Zwart, plant pathologist: “Diagnosing Pesky Plant Problems, Identifying and Controlling Diseases and Insect Damage.”

Resources

Under the Arbor Landscape Design: 425-319-8221 or go to www.underthearborlandscape.com.

McAuliffe’s Valley Nursery: 360-862-1323 or go to www.mcauliffesvalleynursery.com.

Falling Water Designs: 206-323-2873 or go to www.fallingwaterdesigns.com.

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com.

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