Arboretum Display Garden
February 22 to 26, 2017
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.
To mark the reunion of the Seattle Japanese Garden with its original support partner, the Arboretum Foundation, the 2017 Arboretum display garden will have a Japanese theme.
The design is inspired by a traditional Japanese farmhouse (minka) and garden, depicted during hanami, the annual spring viewing of the cherry blossoms. The setting will be tranquil, informal, and understated—as a working farm would be—with a small entry garden blooming at the height of the cherry color display.
As is customary during hanami, family and friends will be able to gather on mats beneath the trees to spend the day relaxing, picnicking, and singing. In addition to flowering cherries, the display garden will feature some traditional Japanese flowering shrubs and edible plants, such as bamboo and tea. A blanket of moss will knit the plantings together.
Hanami—Savoring Spring will attempt to capture the design and spirit of a rural domestic scene in a miniature space. The display will also have a timeless quality—because it will capture a scene that would have changed little across centuries of Japanese history. Hanami is a unique nationwide custom of Japan, welcoming the new season. Think of it as a combination of the lively celebrations Americans have during New Year’s and 4th of July.
Our traditional rustic farmhouse will have a steep-pitched, thatched roof typical of those in Japan. You’ll also see art objects such as baskets, picnic items, a deer chaser, tea implements, and a bamboo fence.
Gardeners looking for ideas for their homes will be able to see how you can expand a small space with a variety of traditional Japanese-gardening techniques, such as the use of moss, different paving textures underfoot, and shifting focal points. The display will demonstrate that many of the elements of a traditional Japanese garden—from stone arrangements and water (whether real or metaphorical)—can be incorporated into a small home garden
For the eight year in a row, renowned local plantsman Bob Lilly and award-winning designer Phil Wood will create our display garden. They will be joined by Seattle architect Roger Williams.
If you’d like to help with the display garden build or take down, or if you’d like to act as a docent, please email email@example.com or call 206-325-4510.
Photos of Past Arboretum Displays