“Unusual” is a word with many implications, both good and bad. But when we talk about the Flower Show exhibits created by Michael Petrie, unusual is meant as the highest form of praise. Michael has exhibited at the Show for years, first for other nurseries, and more recently for his own landscape design company, Michael Petrie’s HANDMADE GARDENS.
With a background in art and horticulture, Michael has managed to make exhibits that are a cross between a garden and a museum installation. (See the slideshow above.) In the process he’s garnered a cache of “Best-in-Show/Landscape Design” trophies.
Garden of the Gods? How difficult could that be, you ask, picturing lush vegetation, fragrant blossoms, and a beach fit for deities? But here’s the thing: there are next-to-no plants in the Garden of the Gods. In fact, the Garden of the Gods is a high desert area with a strange, lunar-like landscape composed primarily of…rocks.
Legend says ancient gods created Garden of the Gods by dropping boulders from the sky while clearing their gardens. Another story states that two priests (kahuna), one from Lanai and one from Molokai, had a contest to see who could keep a fire burning longest, and the Lanai priest burned up all the vegetation in the area in the process.
So what kind of garden can Michael and HANDMADE GARDENS make out of this fantastic story and stark landscape? You’ll have to come to the Flower Show to find out.