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Flowers, romance and the 'oh my!' factor

Earlier this week a few of the local romance writers (members of Greater Seattle RWA) were asked to judge at the NW Flower and Garden show. Anna Alexander, Olivia Waite and I were thrilled to agree--once we got over the initial shock of being asked. I mean, a garden show? really? My master-gardener mother-in-law had a much harder time accepting that this is something I would be asked to do because of my writing, but we were excited. We were to judge the displays before the show opened to the public to help pick which of the displays spoke to the theme of "Romance Blossoms."

We were given our clipboards and set to work...and quickly realized that while we might not be master gardeners or landscape artists, we were very critical when it came to the subtleties of the displays telling a story. We spent a lot of time checking out the details, reading the descriptions and discussing if the various display lived up to their promises.

And, as a person who loved to dabble in the garden myself, I felt incredibly humbled by some of these displays. The gardens were gorgeous, all across the board. We wished we could have awarded them all something, just for the sheer amount of time and effort all the artists put into each display.

Overall, it was so much fun and we loved every minute of it.  Rather than try to narrate my way through all the photos, I'll share bits and pieces...

This steampunk inspired garden captured all of our imaginations. It was a spectacular display. We later discovered it was a first time designer who put this together. My cell phone photos doesn't do justice to the level of details in this display (or any of them really).

This rustic cabin display really captured our imaginations. It wasn't until our second pass through that we discovered the very subtle nod towards the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. (When we mentioned it to the coordinator she hadn't realized the tie in at all. At the time, we were the only ones to see it.) Ultimately, we all decided we'd love to spend a weekend here.

I called this one my "happily-ever-after" garden. And, again, my cell phone photo doesn't do it justice. There were so many really wonderful things happening in this display, with an assortment of textures, mediums and levels. I would love to have this garden in my back yard. (There's a Valentines Day gift idea! LOL)

There were so many really wonderful details in the various gardens:

I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into the garden show. Which is your favorite so far?

And lastly, I'll show you one more really spectacular garden. This one was huge, but every angle you looked at it you discovered more really wonderful details: