NW Flower and Garden show Unofficial Judge

2017 NW Flower and Garden Show
Food in the Garden was the theme.  We helped Dakara Designs implement the Silver-Medal winning design, “A Victory Garden”, that interspersed edibles amongst the ornamentals Check out some photos and updates at facebook.com/eatyouryard

Unfortunately, we snoozed on getting our application in to be the primary designer.  It is a good thing for the rest of the designers, because had we done so, we would have stolen the show with a 100% edible city!    Oh well, next time the NW Flower and Garden Show wants to be cool and relevant again, we’ll be there. Anyhow, come check out the show for the various ways to incorporate food into your garden.

During the wild build out (3 days to build what could normally take 1-2 weeks, with large machinery and forklifts zipping on by us) I realized that we should not be helping another designer build a garden, we should be one of the judges of the show. Through our almost 10 years, we have incorporated food growing plants into a variety of situations, from dozens and dozens of vegetable gardens tiny porch gardens, rooftop gardens, food forests, huge permaculture installations, using food plants interspersed with ornamentals (although we believe that is an arbitrary line).  We have used over 250+ varieties of vegetables, herbs, perennial-edibles, berry bushes, fruit trees, vines, natives to qualify us for the unofficial judge. Plus we are Certified Awesome!  Show gardens are fictitious, and do not necessarily have a base in reality with spacing of plants, siting of plants, and most obviously bloom time.  It is still amazing to see what people envision over the course of 6-12 months, and build in a matter of days.

So anyway,  I will be finally doing a thorough walk through discussing the Gardens

They are so diverse, so I will be honoring up the 2-3 I think did the best job at incorporating food. Here’s the Gardens we liked and why. I am disqualifying ours from the conversation for now since I am biased.  I’ll finalize things by Sunday afternoon.

  1. “Honey I Shrunk The Farm”.  Designer: Farmer Frog  Showing you can generate a lot of food in a small space, introducting the public to aquaponics and high  tunnel greenhouses.
  2.  “Nourrir Les Espirits” Nourishing the Spirits.  Designed by Treeline Designz and Calluna’s Garden. Incorporating some beautifully pruned peach trees into a hardscape. (more notes to come
  3. Anyone that did an outdoor kitchen with herbs around. There were four of these, so if you want to know more, come check out the show.

NOTE: I will be editing this with more notes from various gardens at the show as I walk around.

  • Espaliered Trees
  • Herb ground covers
  • Mixing in Edibles
  • Fruit tree-blocks (groups of similar trees)
  • Pruning Trees into cool shapes
  • Aquaponic production
  • vegetable garden production

 

 

 

Prepping soil for Spring crops in the NW

In an ideal world, you would have covered cropped in the Fall.
If you did this, you want to till or chop in the “green manure” in the cover crop in February before it goes to seed.

If you did not, then you can still add in compost. Depending on your soil type, tilling it in may be necessary or not. If you have heavy clay soil, the compost helps create air pockets, so it is good to till in. If you already have decent soil, you can top dress and let it get worked in over the coming year.

It is also good to test the pH of your soil. An ideal pH for a veggie garden is 6.0-6.5. If your pH is less than this, then it is good to use dolomite/agricultural lime, available at most garden stores (you can grab from us at Farmers Markets in March).

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