If you enjoyed Washington Rock’s display or didn’t have a chance to see it, please check out pictures below. You can also find a list of the plants from the Spring Fair here.
The Community Garden display started with a rough sketch of a garden path leading to a sitting area surrounded by plants. I approached a few businesses about helping bring this idea to life.
Alpine Nursery & Landscape agreed to oversee the design and furnish the display. Valley Sign took on the task of designing and building the entryway sign and A-frame. The Old Cannery allowed me to borrow pieces from among their gorgeous furniture selection.
Finally, Rainier Landscape Supply—who also carries Washington Rock products in their Graham supply yard—lent their classy stone benches.
With only two-and-a-half days to set up, our crew got to work. Martin and Alejandro from Alpine Nursery brought their tools and landscaping expertise. Daniel, Hunter, and Sam from Washington Rock brought their brawn. Bret, the owner of Alpine, and I worked together on managing the setup.
Rockslinger brought topsoil in their ultra high-tech truck. Using a remote controller attached to his belt, the driver shuttled topsoil from the truck bed to the end of a conveyor belt. He used controls to agitate and move the conveyor side to side, resulting in neat piles.
After the topsoil had been placed, we moved onto constructing the patio. The work crew formed something of a congo line: the Washington Rock crew transported bricks to the middle of the display while Alejandro and Martin organized the bricks into a beautiful basket weave pattern. Eventually our efforts resulted in a patio with paths breaking off from it in three directions.
Our biggest challenge was getting the mammoth pieces of basalt in place with a relatively small excavator. But Martin worked his magic and gingerly set stones in place as Bret directed placement over FaceTime.
Our only problem was that when unloading, wind gusts blew down an entire row of booths. Thankfully, they were still unoccupied, and we managed to get them set back up before our neighbors arrived.
After the soil and rock were in place, Martin and Alejandro worked with Bret to place plants. Simultaneously, Daniel and Hunter placed river rock around the display border and finished the brick edging.
I brought in the kids’ gravel table, which got its own mini garden.
Then the furniture arrived. It took four men to move the heavy barnwood bar into place. The entry sign was set up.
The final touches were the brochures on top of the bar and the jars of candy.
Hundreds of fairgoers walked by and through and on the display. We had large gatherings of families—lots of parents resting on benches and chairs while their kids played with loaders and dump trucks.
I did my best to answer questions about the plants and rock products. We had a lot of great feedback about the 1/4″ Minus Trail Mix (and, of course, our beautiful blue landscape rocks). The star plants were the Coral Bark Japanese maple, the Leyland Golden Cypress, and the Edmee Gold Honeysuckle. The bright greens of these plants looked stunning against the blue rock.
Even those too shy to walk up close admired the display from afar. I heard everything from “Beautiful!” to “We need something like this at our house.”
By the time I arrived on scene Monday, most other vendors had already packed up and vacated the Showplex. First, our work crew quickly cleared the plants. Then the furniture went back to The Old Cannery. Brick and rock headed home to Alpine. Our angel of the moment, Brett the forklift operator, cleared out the remaining dirt and plastic lining with his Komatsu tractor. What took days to put up took only hours to take down. It was bittersweet to see the garden gone so fast.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to drop by, ask us questions, and play at our children’s display. A special thanks to our awesome work crew who made the Community Garden beautiful through their sweat and elbow grease.