Arboretum Display Garden
February 2014, Dates TBA
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.
A Hobbit’s New Zealand Garden—The 2013 Display
The inspiration for the 2013 garden came from two sources: the Garden Show’s movie theme—“The Silver Screen Takes Root: Gardens Go Hollywood”—and the 2-acre New Zealand Forest being planted in the Arboretum in summer 2013. What do you get when you cross-pollinate Hollywood and the flora of New Zealand? Answer: “A Hobbit’s New Zealand Garden.”
The display paid homage to the Arboretum’s new forest exhibit AND Peter Jackson’s new movie of the classic fantasy novel, “The Hobbit,” which was filmed on location in New Zealand. The garden showcased plants native to New Zealand and at the same time was a cozy home for hobbits—creatures famed for their love of gardening and growing things.The garden created a rich color palette using dramatic foliage plants, including ferns, New Zealand flax (Phormium), and variegated Coprosma, Corokia, and Veronica (Hebe). Most of the plant used were drought tolerant species that are hardy to the Pacifici Northwest.
Multi-award winner: The 2013 garden display delighted both adults and kids alike, and won 6 top awards at the Show: a judge’s Gold Medal, the Pacific Horticulture Magazine Award, the Sunset’s Western Living Award, the 425 Magazine Award, the Fred Palmer Exhibitor Award, and the Ethel Moss People’s Choice Award.
Design & Planning
Once again, the garden was designed by Phil Wood, Roger Williams, and Bob Lilly—the same trio who created the Arboretum’s multi-award-winning 2011 and 2012 displays. Several other individuals are playing important roles in the planning and implementation of the garden, including Rhonda Bush (associate designer), Randall Hitchin (plant advisor), Clint Staaf (Seattle-Christchurch Sister City Association), and Paige Miller (Arboretum Foundation executive director).
New Zealand Sponsors & Partners
Thanks to the New Zealand Consulate General, Los Angeles, for its generous sponsorship of this year’s display garden. Thanks also to Seattle Christchurch Sister City Association for helping with the authenticity of the garden and for providing volunteer docents knowledgeable in the history and culture of New Zealand.
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