Monday, March 15, 2010

Portland Home and Garden Show

At the end of February I dragged my family to the Portland Home and Garden Show.  While my husband chased our toddler around I absorbed design and plants and was extremely in my element.

There were two buildings of home related products (my daughter loved climbing into all the empty hot tubs) and only one building of garden and of course I wanted more.  I have been to the garden show down in San Francisco which was held in the Cow Palace and was huge.  I loved it.  So I had my expectations set a little high for this event and was a little disappointed but as always, I looked for the positive in the experience and got some great ideas out of it. 

The Shop People, an industrial arts club of Portland, had their members displaying their wares and I saw these lovely dog sculptures which I think would be great in a garden.

The next craftsperson I came across really blew my socks off.  Art of Rain does a wide range of functional metal art pieces, mostly copper it appears, that raise the bar on functional art.  I was drawn in by his water sculptures and his downspouts pieces but his catalog shows range hoods for the kitchen, architectural chimney caps and sconces for the interior or exterior.

Here are some of his water sculptures, in the second photo, you can see one of his downspouts in the background - what a beautiful piece!:

These next images were created by Solterra Systems:
What I love about these designs is the use of the unconventional surfaces such as the walls and the roof.  I also love when functionality and aesthetics are married in such a fantastic way. 

Creating a green roof can significantly reduce the heat pool effect that occurs in cities and can also reduce storm water runoff.  In cities particularly, where space is at such a premium, green roofs enable people to have gardens and places to relax they would otherwise not be able to experience so easily.

These next few photos are all surrounding the Idea House and I apologize in advance that I do not remember the name of the designers involved in the landscaping.  Different sides of it showed different styles of design all of which I thought worked very well.

This image shows a great use of space in combining edible plants into the ornamental landscape.  Edibles are no longer relegated to their own section of the garden but can be incorporated into all your beds.
It's difficult to see but it's a mix o perennials, blueberry shrubs and an espaliered fruit tree (which I love).
If you are interested in mixing edibles into your garden please contact me, I would love to help you with that.
 We have made almost a full circle around the Idea House and I love all the modern design elements, especially this blend of rock, grass and metal here in this last photo, it just speaks to me in a certain way.

What you see here is just a portion of the space that The Bamboo Man created for the show.  He had a variety of bamboo product (fences, gates, etc.) and obviously can make almost anything out of bamboo.

 This is a fully furnished yurt as a destination for this more contemporary landscape.

This next one is called Dream Garden and was created by Natural Landscapes, it does look dreamy.

This last one is a sculpture by Ivan McLean:

All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable show and I look forward to more and more shows packed full of plants and design.  
If any of these designs struck a chord with you, please contact me and we can discuss designing your landscape to fully reflect your style.


  1. Love the fireplace waterfall - great for the notion of bringing the outside in.

  2. You know I have a soft spot for yurts! But the rest of these photos are great, too -- thanks for sharing ideas!

  3. Jeez. I can't believe all the things I missed seeing! Love the waterwheel downspout. I posted some photos of some marine animal downspouts I saw in Seaside.
    But the waterwheel takes it to the next level.

    Your photos of the Idea Box landscape were much better than mine, too. That outdoor fireplace was one of my favorite finds.

  4. Oregon Plants and landscape design are almost the same. Landscape designers may be required to have a license, depending on the level and detail in the design plan, as well as the location. Landscape design landscape planning is concerned with small and large scale projects. The establishment of landscape plants over a period of time is not landscape design, but is considered "landscape management". Landscape architecture and landscape design can, and should, embrace garden design, landscape management, landscape engineering, landscape detailing, landscape urbanism, landscape assessment and landscape planning.

  5. It's always valuable to get good design. My friend that does Web Design Tampa can attest to that. His design work is sweet.

    Great work on your designs and keep up the great work.