"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Water features in the garden.

Yesterday was my turn at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.  I hadn't been in several years and bought our tickets several weeks ago.  Since buying the tickets I was disappointed to learn that this would probably be its last year.  Knowing this I tried to make the most of it, I didn't want to miss anything.  My husband, both of our girls and my Mom had a great time viewing the display gardens and shopping in the market place.  Several times my  2 year old daughter asked if we were at Molbak's.  Molbak's is a nursery that isn't far from here, I guess we've been spending too much time there.   Anyway, on to what we saw.
I'm always attracted to water features in the gardens, so I thought that would be what I would try to pay close attention to.  I enjoy the more natural looking ones and like to see how they have planted around the edges.  Making something look natural inside a convention center isn't easy, but still I was able to gather some new ideas.  It seemed there was a water feature of some sort in almost every display.  From a simple stone with a basin shape to collect water to much more architectural looking ones.  There seemed to be a style to attract almost anyone.

I liked the large boulder here, a great place to sit and enjoy the water and plants.  Azaleas and rhododendrons bloom in the background.
My dream, a beautiful little potting shed with a stream running past it.  Lots of heucheras and ferns.  In the foreground were 3 metal lily pads.
Maybe an urn isn't something you'd really see in nature, but overall this had a more natural look with the larger stones near the edges and trees and azaleas nearby.
I really liked how the hammock almost hung right over the stream.  How relaxing would that be to rest while listening to the water flowing by? 
This was probably my least favorite.  It's difficult to see in this picture, but the pyramid shape is actually all mirrors with water drizzling down.  The plantings around it were very pretty though, mostly these burgundy tulips. 
 I liked the polished stone used in this very relaxing fountain.  The water fell silently over the edges.  
This had a very unnatural, natural look.  I overheard people discussing how unnatural it looked.  I think it's the very straight lines and uniform stone stacking that made it seem that way.
The pool of water around this patio had a small pump running to give the water a slight rippling effect.  I think this would even look nice with some marginals planted along the edges, and possibly even a few fish.  I like how it has the potential to be very clean and simple or softened up with some plants.
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  1. I stopped and read your blog and looked at the photograph. I just wanted you to know. My wife and I have had many different kinds of ponds over the years and all were hard to clean out. So at the moment we don't have any.

  2. Good morning! I haven't check my pictures, yet. If mine are bad, I can look at yours! Thanks!

  3. You captured the water features beautifully. I have always wanted one but didn't want the heavy maintenance that comes with cleaning one. For now I have yours to look at and can revisit these pics too.

  4. You have a very nice blog. Gardening shows are great to get ideas.

  5. The first three are my favorite.I love the rocks and plantings so much. The big urn is lovely also.The hammock could get tricky by the water for me. It makes me want one of each :-)

  6. Nice pictures, almost as good as being there. Water features are so alluring especially those designed in the natural with riparian plantings and a bit of water trickling and lots of cool rocks--and moss! Sounds like you and your family had a good time.

  7. Abe Lincoln - thanks for stopping by! They can be hard to clean out, luckily ours is fairly small. It's due for a spring cleaning this year.

    Tatyana - I wish the pictures weren't so dark, but it as dark in there. I hope you will share your pictures.

    Heather - Thanks. I will visit your chickens and goats on your blog and you're welcome anytime to visit my pond. I see new lily pads shooting up and soon will be able to share more recent pictures.

    Rusty - Thank you for visiting! I love garden shows :)

    Lona - Those are my favorites too. I guess it could be tricky with hammock. I thought about getting so relaxed you rolled over and fell in the water.

    Grace - I'm always looking at the water features wherever we go. There is a huge water garden nursery near us and I just drool over their plants and fish :)

  8. Catherine,

    I've built several water features and small ponds, I am known as the Liberal Handyman you know. Some easy tips to remember, get nursery a grade liner, not the box store stuff. Dig out the hole and line it with carpet, newspaper, cardboard anything to pad it from ripping. the more padding the better. You might want to line it in such a way that the liner does not show, by layering rocks on the liner then rolling back the liner on the second from the top rock. Oh, fill with water before you set the rocks in place so you can see that it is level,

    Get a good pump and filter, nursery again. have fun.

    PS I'm pulling out a liner in a month or so, it's a big one.

  9. Beautiful! I would love to go to an event like that. All there is around here is home shows featuring siding and storm doors! Lol... I do go to garden tours, but so many of them are gardens done by professional that are very landscaped, I love a more cottage look. But right now, I'd love to see just about anything green! Those tulips we're to die for.

    Thanks for visiting my site, I have you saved as a follower now so I can visit again!


  10. Looks like a very nice show. Sorry it may be the last one. I would so be up in that hammock with a good book!

  11. Oh, how fun Catherine! I love these kinds of shows but haven't been to one in a while either. This is so timely for me since I think I've mentioned before that I'm planning on installing my first pond this spring? Perfect place for ideas. I like the notion of relaxing in a hammock with a stream nearby too. I can't think of any better destressor!

  12. Randy - Thanks for your advice. We definitely learned from the pond we put in, especially about the liner not showing. Oh, well it still looks nice and I know what to do and not to do the next time.

    Brooke - I'm with you. I definitely prefer the cottage garden look. Much more relaxed. I've never gone on a garden tour, but I may try this summer. I love seeing what other people can do. Thanks for visiting me! I'll be back to your blog too :)

    Darla- It was very nice, hopefully someone will come through and they will be able to have it again. It's great for the visitors as well as the business for all the vendors.

    Kathleen - Maybe you can find an idea or two here. There are some nice water garden nurseries around here. Maybe there is one near you, they are a great place for ideas!

  13. I'm so glad you were able to make the garden show! Isn't it amazing what they put together... and wouldn't it be interesting to see it BE put together? Very inspiring! :-)

  14. Shady Gardener - I would love to see it put together. I'm always thinking, "How did they get that tree in here?" It was a lot of fun!

  15. Thanks for the pictures, Catherine! I visited the show a few years ago when while we lived in Renton for a few months. I need to get to the Spokane show, though it's much smaller. Thanks for sharing some fun pictures - VW

  16. It's always good to see showcase ponds - and your photos confirmed for me that my pond building afforts are well worth it!

    We've gone to great lengths to hide the liner, have NO straight lines (despite Himself's efforts to sneak 'em in when I'm not looking!)and to achieve a natural look with mixed sized stones, rocks and pebbles, so it's nice to see that 'proper' gardeners are doing similar things with their ponds!

  17. These are Some really beautiful gardens.

  18. Hello, I came over from Mildred at Nalley Valley. I absolutely love flower/garden shows. They always have the most wonderful water displays. Of course the bad thing about that is I immediately want one!

  19. VW - I hope if you go you will share pictures. I'd love to go to more. Hopefully this won't be the last year!

    Nutty Gnome- Yours will look so much better I think. You are really smart to spending the time to do it the right way. Next time we will spend more time on ours, it's worth the effort.

    Richard - They really are! Glad you visited :)

    Susie - I'm glad you came by. I always want a new one too. My daughter suggested we take everything out of our yard and start over :)

  20. I was there at the show and still have not got around to blogging much about it.

  21. keewee - There was so much to see it was hard to narrow down what to show. It was a lot of fun wasn't it?


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