Arboretum Display Garden
February 5 to 9, 2014
Washington State Convention Center, Seattle
Each year the Arboretum Foundation, with support from its City and University partners at the Arboretum, presents a horticultural display at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
Garden of Artful Delight
Homage to the Art and Garden of Ginny Ruffner
The theme of the 2014 Garden Show is “Art in Bloom,” and for its display garden this year, the Arboretum is delighted to be teaming up with renowned Seattle-based glass artist Ginny Ruffner. Our display will pay homage to Ginny’s home/studio garden in Ballard—an exuberant courtyard garden filled with interesting plants and wonderful, playful art works.
When the Arboretum staff first learned about the “Art in Bloom” theme, we knew right away that we wanted to collaborate with an artist who worked in glass. The Arboretum is a cultural landmark in Seattle, and by the same token, glass art is uniquely represented in our city and region. We’re very excited to be working with Ginny Ruffner, whose sparkling heart-of-the-city garden is a perfect complement to the urban “jewel” that is Washington Park Arboretum.
Ginny is a creative pioneer whose work spans many different media, from sculpture to painting to pop-up books. Her glass sculptures helped create the field of touch-worked glass art, and her work is housed in permanent collections in more than 40 museums around the world. Many Seattleites are familiar with her colorful “Urban Garden,” a giant, metal flowerpot and flower sculpture on the corner of Seventh and Union, outside the Sheraton Hotel.
The artwork in the display garden will be a mix of pieces from Ginny’s home garden plus new work that she will create in January as Visiting Artist in Residence at the Museum of Glass, in Tacoma. Luminous glass flowers, balls, and other sculptures will ornament the display and complement colorful, textural, and fragrant plants to create a sensory feast for Garden Show visitors.
A brick wall with mirrored windows will anchor the display, and an arbor with bark-clad log columns will attach to the wall and provide support for flowering vines and other plants. Sitting areas tucked in among plants and art will create a sense of cozy enclosure. Three screens mounted with glass balls will enhance the feeling of privacy and enclosure.
As with the artwork, the plants will echo those found in Ginny’s home garden. Japanese maples, Azara, and a tree fern will create a tapestry of foliage and provide contrast with the glass art. Sweet fragrances from the flowers of lilies, Sarcococca, Azara, Daphne, and Clematis will perfume the air.
This year’s design team will be Bob Lilly, Phil Wood, and Rhonda Bush, who all worked on last year’s multiple-award-winning hobbit-themed display. See “The Garden of Artful Delights” at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center from February 5 to 9 (or at Opening Night on February 4).
Interested in Volunteering?
If you’d like to help out with the display garden, please email our Volunteer and Outreach Programs Manager Randall Hitchin or call him at 206-325-4510.
“Birdsong”—The 2012 Display
For its exhibit in the 2012 show, the Arboretum joined forces with the Seattle Audubon Society, a non-profit organization working to protect regional birds and nature through conservation advocacy. Entitled “Birdsong,” the display educated viewers about some of the beautiful bird habitats and bird species found in the Arboretum’s 230 acres. The garden won three top awards at the Show: a judges’ Gold Medal, the Pacific Horticultural Society Award, and the American Horticultural Society Environment Award. A special online “Bird of the Arboretum” encyclopedia allowed Show visitors to access detailed information about the habitat needs of each of the featured birds in the garden. See photos of the garden on the Foundation’s Facebook page.
Photos of Recent Arboretum Displays