This is the tiny floor of my tiny garden. The size was determined by the number of white stone squares available. Tom Fitzpatrick, of Seattle Hardscapes, and I liked the stone and wanted to use it, even though it meant reducing the patio. (If we had used an additional stone in each row the garden would have been too large for its previously agreed to space in the Show.)
The pattern is lovely, large creamy slabs of brushed India Sandstone set off by cobblestones. Tom laid this directly onto the Convention Center floor, using sawdust to raise the height of a few of the cobblestones. As soon as the patio was finished we covered it with a dropcloth--the white stone shows every bit of dirt that settles on it. Tomorrow, once everything else is done, we will wash and brush the stone and then stay off of it. When my daughter Phoebe waters she will walk on the stone in her stocking feet.
Once the patio was done Corey, the Lake Washington Technical College horticulture student who is helping install the garden, and I planted a few containers. First he filled them about 3/4 full of sawdust. Then we put cardboard down on a slab of stone and Corey somehow moved a very heavy pot onto it, and we started planting. We were laughing about how strange it is to plant in sawdust and steer-co, and to put in so many plants that (hopefully) all the steer-co will be covered.
The Show is fantasy and yet it is packed with information about and ideas for actual gardens. Show visitors will look at the pots and perhaps discover a "new" plant or new plant combination. They will understand they can re-create the patio at home, just not in the two hours it took Tom at the Show. Both garden creators and the public love the Show because it is practical and imaginative.