things to do this weekend

Yard Garden & Patio Show 2011 Preview

By Kate Bryant February 18, 2011

This is the show floor as of Thursday evening, viewed from the VIP lounge. Below, workers were busily building pergolas, laying down stone walkways, pushing carts full of plants around, and setting out plants in designs that were created six months ago in preparation for this huge event. The Yard, Garden & Patio Show takes nearly a week to physically set up and just a day to tear down!

I attended Wednesday night’s YGP show tour with the Oregon Association of Nursery’s Ann Murphy. (I invited you, too, back on Feb 10 !) It was actually an interesting opportunity to see the mechanics of how a show this large is built. It was fun to meet other gardeners, writers and designers, and then schmooze at a wine-and-cheese party at the outdoor living seating area afterward. I should say, I have set my sights on a few plants already… one of the benefits of the pre-show tour!


Stumpery – a Victorian craze wherein old stumps were planted with shade plants – makes a come-back this year, thanks in part to speaker Richie Steffen’s stylish stump plantings. Check out this lovely, mossy old stump (planted by another designer) festooned with natives like evergreen huckleberry and ferns – situated by the main entry doors. It makes a case for leaving a stump in a shady part of your garden, should you need to cut a tree down… hollow it out, let the elements do what they will, maybe help Mother Nature along with some appropriate native plants and voila! you have a beautiful Pacific Northwest stumpery of your own!


The Curiously Cool plants display includes some interesting daphnes, olive, gardenia, and other plants that either seem like they shouldn’t be hardy here or are just plain weird-looking (like the wire netting bush, Corokia cotoneaster). These Ilex crenata ‘Drops of Gold’ were appealing – almost as pretty as the Corokia x virgata ‘Sunsplash’ that I keep losing to cold in winter but infinitely more cold-hardy!


The delightful Kym Pokorny (left), garden writer and blogger for the Oregonian, and Loree Bohl (right) of Plant Lust and the blog Danger Garden were also on the pre-show tour.


Karen Wolfgang, co-owner of Independence Gardens, was working on installing the chicken coop she and co-owner Isabel LaCourse had built for the Incredible Edible Garden, a lovely installation designed by Karen Schwartz of Magnolia Manor, a new nursery and garden store in Lake Oswego. The Incredible Edible area includes a chicken coop, raised beds, a potato bed, a little garden on wheels, a greenhouse, wildlife-attracting elements and many more features.


Dennis 7 Dees designer Mulysa Melco collaborated on the show garden for the nursery. Increasing numbers of great designers with training in Permaculture and organic gardening are lending a fresh perspective to YGP show displays that were – it must be said – once dry and bark-dusty. I personally think this show is getting better every year, thanks to tireless work by long-time volunteers and employees and to fresh new creative energy.

{% display:image for:post image:6 align:left width:350 %}

{% display:image for:post image:7 align:right width:350 %}

{% display:image for:post image:8 align:right width:350 %}

WHEN: Friday Feb. 18 to Sunday Feb 20; 10 am to 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday; 10 am to 5 pm Sunday
WHERE: Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
GETTING THERE: Several TriMet bus routes stop near the convention center and MAX light rail stops at the door. The parking lot costs $9/day and is accessible from NE Lloyd Boulevard or First Avenue. Other area parking lots range in price. There is also metered street parking in the surrounding neighborhood, although it can be hard to find during the show. There are bike racks on the east side of the building.
TICKETS: $12 at the door, 12 and younger free; there may still be $2 discounts available through Dennis 7 Dees.

Filed under
Show Comments