Local landscapers display their style at garden show

February 16, 2009

By Jeff Richards

“Self Preservation and peace of mind. Take your space and make home that place. Bailouts, meltdowns, corruption and scandal disappear; only you control what happens here.”

Such thoughts may pass through the minds of those who peer into the oily, dark surface of the reflection pond, as they sit at a wooden patio table in the shape of a flower petal among the natural growth of nature’s garden.

At least, that’s the hope of Issaquah’s John Faccone, who will present his garden design along with the displays of 25 other designers at the 2009 Northwest Flower and Garden Show Feb. 18-22.

Along with full-scale display gardens, the show hosts more than 110 instructive seminars, hands-on demonstrations, and thousands of gardening products and services for sale. The annual event normally brings together between 60,000 and 70,000 people.

Three Issaquah business owners will put on displays — Faccone’s NW Majestic Landscape and Living, New Leaf Creations and Marenakos Rock Center.


NW Majestic Landscape — I Love It!

Faccone said he came up with the idea for his design after flipping through magazines and visiting nearly every nursery he could find in Washington state. The finished product was modeled after a basic lake dock.

“There’s nothing fancy about the design itself,” he said. “I was trying to provide a place where you can kinda go away from everything.”

This is Faccone’s fifth year designing a display for the show. He said he tries to include something special in his display each year. Last year, he used a fountain. This year, he has chosen the Petal Table by famed furniture designer Richard Schultz, who designed it in 1960.

The original is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Faccone purchased a reproduction.

The table is accompanied by a black-tinted reflection pond, a dock and, of course, the plants and flowers that make up the garden.

Faccone said they would auction off pieces of the display in July. Proceeds will go toward Camp Korey, located in Carnation, which offers a weeklong camping experience for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

Kelly Faccone said the two pieces of furniture in this year’s display are worth more than $20,000 combined.


New Leaf Creations — Nature’s Classroom

Steve Haizlip said he was inspired to create a classroom environment he would have appreciated in high school and college.

“It was a way to get students out in nature and learning,” he said. “And it’s not just about students but how do you, as an adult, create an environment where you can learn.”

The display includes a green-roofed classroom that opens into a re-creation of the Pacific Northwest environment, complete with shrubs, stone walkways and a creek.

The idea builds on previous displays in years past. Haizlip said he tries to create environments he would have wanted growing up. Last year, he designed a garden campout.

Haizlip said he enjoys the creative process and the team-building aspect, as New Leaf staff members have 72 hours to put together their display before the show.

“Everybody works together with one goal: sit and create a garden together,” he said. “There are tense moments, but when it’s all said and done, we just try to smile, laugh, have a good time.”


Marenakos Rock Center —  Rock Solid Conifers

“We’re going to bring some really big rocks, and they’re going to bring some really big plants,” Bill Hyde, of Issaquah’s Marenakos Rock Center, said about his joint-display with Wells Nursery, in Mount Vernon, and Planting Design, in Edmonds.

Marenakos has been a part of the garden show for the past 20 years, supplying the rocks for most of the displays. This year, Hyde is designing his second display for the show in addition to laying rock, up to 200 tons, for 17 of the displays.

“You might have ideas of your own, but when you’re working for someone else’s display, you have to do what they want,” he said. “On our own, we can make our own mistakes.”

The display will mix green, blue and gold Evergreen trees with Marenakos’ ornate rocks to craft a view of nature perhaps only found in the imagination.

The Northwest Flower and Garden Show began in 1989. After 20 years, the owners have put the show up for sale, signaling a potential end to the annual event.

Taking place near the end of winter, the show has typically given those who attend a taste of spring just before the arrival of the actual season.

“Everybody’s itching for a sign of spring and we can provide that,” Faccone said.

Hyde said he always looks forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new people, especially now that the future of the show is up in the air.

“I think everybody should pony up the 20 bucks and go down to the show,” he said. “The more people go, the better the chance someone steps up and keeps the show going.”

Haizlip said it has always been his dream to be part of the show, and now that he is, he doesn’t want to see it go away. Hopefully, for him, that feeling of accomplishment after the show ends won’t be the last.

“That’s a great feeling, being able to drive away knowing you did a good job,” he said. “I think the city of Seattle needs [the show].”

If you go

Northwest Flower and Garden Show

9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday

Feb. 18-22

Washington State Convention Center

Seventh and Pike Street, Seattle

Reach intern Jeff Richards at 392-6434, ext. 236, or isspress@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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