Scene & Heard: Islander wins big at Flower Garden Festival

John Coghlan’s edible landscaping company won gold at the Northwest Flower Garden Festival.

Islander John Coghlan’s edible landscaping company, HomeGrown Organics, won a gold award at this year’s Northwest Flower & Garden Festival, held at the Seattle Convention Center from Feb. 14-18.

Coghlan’s showstopping garden display — billed as a tribute to his cherished family garden on Vashon — featured a blend of orchids that were created, years ago, at Vashon’s Beall Greenhouses, and traditional and exotic edible crops. Designed with all ages in mind, the garden featured a meadow of sedges — a resilient lawn alternative designed as a play area for the whole family.

Coghlan is an experienced contractor with the City of Seattle’s RainWise program and has designed and built dozens of low-maintenance urban farms.

In 2016, he decided to open a new branch of Homegrown Organics — this time focusing particularly on homesteads on Vashon. He now offers his services to his neighbors — and with them, hopes to build a more resilient community and a more beautiful and productive relationship with the land.

Find out more about Coghlan’s work at