Bothell landscape designer creates show winner

  • HBJ staff
  • Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:37am

SEATTLE — James Sprague of Bothell-based Fancy Plants Gardens turned in another award-winning performance at the Northwest Flower &Garden Show, winning a silver medal for his playful display garden “Backyard Box Office.” The garden is one of nearly two dozen on display as “Gardens Go Hollywood” at the Washington State Convention Center through Feb. 24.

It’s the fourth year running on the garden show’s medal platform for Sprague, a certified professional horticulturist. This is his second year as lead designer, and his 840-square-foot L-shaped garden has nearly 2,000 flowers, bushes and trees wrapped around a patio movie-viewing area.

“I wanted to capture that feeling of a cozy and intimate garden space, yet with the splashes of bright color and subtle lighting of a movie theater,” Sprague said in a press release.

His favorite features are crowd-pleasers: A fountain with a 10-foot-tall flower made of welded steel movie reels. Nearby, low-voltage LED lighting is tucked into retaining walls to mimic the soft lights that guide moviegoers to their seats.

Judges awarded Sprague’s display garden a silver medal on Feb. 19. He also won a silver medal at the 2012 show for “Peter and the Wolf.”

Sprague said it’s thrilling to be part of such a massive and unique event year after year, among the biggest in the country and attended by thousands of garden lovers.

“Every day I transform people’s yards into their dreams, but the garden show is my chance to shine and express my own artistic vision,” said Sprague, 36. “Winning a medal on this stage is a huge honor, and makes all of the hard work worth it.”

Sprague is a seasoned pro with two decades in the landscaping and design business. He comes from a family of gardeners who team up with friends at show time to help build his display garden. He also collaborated with carpenter Anders Hagen of Bothell-based Home Restorations Inc., outdoor furniture was provided by Mukilteo Cedar Products, and Bedrock Industries provided the recycled glass mosaic movie screen and a rainbow of super-sized, glass lollipops.

Sprague’s Fancy Plants Gardens designs and installs landscaping, walkways, fences, garden structures and lighting. Learn more online through the company’s Facebook page.

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