Portland’s iconic Home & Garden Show turns over a new leaf.
Iftikhar Ahmed is kind of a rock star in the garden world. An international award-winning landscape designer, Ahmed has gardens in his blood — and his soul. “It is my calling, my purpose in this life to give people a chance to experience a spiritual connection with nature,” says Ahmed.
Ahmed’s pedigree in the garden world is unmatched. The founder of Portland-based Treeline Designz, he is from a long line of gardeners and horticulturists hailing from Pakistan’s “Garden City” of Lahore. His ancestors were the custodians for the UNESCO world heritage Shalamar Gardens for 350 years. He grew up helping his father tend their private botanical garden and public nursery. “I started out helping my father’s customers plan and plant their gardens,” says Ahmed.
Most recently, Ahmed received a gold medal and best use of colors at the Philadelphia Flower Show and had the honor of being the first American invited to Russia’s International Garden City Festival. He won their coveted international recognition award, best international design award and gold medal.
The Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, which runs the biannual Portland Home & Garden Show, is graced this year with a new vision by Ahmed as Garden Creative Director. Ahmed will create an immersive experience that visitors will step into immediately upon entrance. “Interior designers and florists will come together to create individual rooms with a view to a central garden feature,” Ahmed says. “Visitors will be immersed into a living spring garden — moving from room to room in the theme of ‘Every room is a garden; every garden is a room.’”
Ahmed is excited to bring his passion for nature to a hometown audience. “Each show is a one-of-a-kind experience. I feel so grateful to achieve this calling to share the happiness of the garden with people and to make a living doing this work.”
Iftikhar Ahmed’s Top 5 Garden Trends for 2022
1. Naturalistic planting and water features: Mix up flowers, perennials, and evergreens to give your garden color and texture throughout the year. The addition of a water feature reflects the colors for even more visual impact.
2. Sustainable gardening: Now more than ever, gardens should work in tandem with the local weather, conserve water, be climate-change adaptive and attract pollinators.
3. “Soft” landscaping: Skip the hardscaping and create dynamic areas and outdoor rooms through organic materials alone.
4. Artisanal touches: Integrate sculptural and three-dimensional art elements that become one with nature or are built from nature.
5. Garden design for health and well-being: Create accessible spaces for people of different abilities and ages so everyone can enjoy nature.
Visit the Portland Spring Home & Garden Show and experience Ahmed’s award-winning gardens for yourself! It’s never too early to get garden inspiration.
Portland Spring Home & Garden Show at the Expo Center | February 24-27, 2022 | homeshowpdx.com