By Marcy Stamper
Thousands of flowering plants, trees and shrubs (2,232 to be exact), a tower of shiitake mushrooms, huge metal urns and three-foot-high letters that spelled out “You & I” were among the components of an award-winning garden at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show that had roots that extended to Winthrop.
“Nature’s Studio,” a garden designed by Kirsten Lints, the daughter-in-law of Olivia Rose and Craig Lints, who both live in the Methow Valley, won seven awards, including People’s Choice, at the annual explosion of early spring in Seattle earlier this month. Lints is the owner of Gardens ALIVE Design in Duvall, Wash.
Lints’ garden was conceived with two sections —one where artists or writers could sit and sketch, and the other, accessed through a moon gate, where they could derive inspiration, relax or celebrate, she said.
The garden incorporated moss-covered spheres, a waterfall and pond, a vegetable garden, an 11-foot-tall tree stump, and that crowning pillar of shiitake mushrooms. The entire assemblage was one of two dozen show gardens installed on the fourth floor of the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.
Among the metal accents were three-foot-high letters that Lints discovered at Inside Out Home and Garden in Winthrop on a visit to the Methow Valley. Inside Out has had a separate booth at the show for six years and has been included in other show gardens several times, said Terri Price, co-owner of the store.
“My goal was to bring something to the show that was new and maybe had never been done before,” said Lints. “We thought through every single plant and every single thing.”
Among the awards given to Lints and her co-creator, landscaper Rob Boyker, was special recognition for a garden that would appeal to Generation X for its integration of innovative design and new trends.
In addition to designs for Western Washington gardens, Lints, who grew up in Eastern Washington, creates landscapes for people in drier climates.