Just in time for the winter holidays, the mini “Schitt’s Creek” Rosebud Motel is back on Queen Anne, this time with a garden addition and a brand-new second story.
Neighborhood resident Richard Knowles III built the mini motel, based on the one from the quirky TV sitcom, in front of his home for the first time last year. It quickly went viral. This year, one of the most noticeable additions is The Moira’s Rose’s Garden 4856.
Fans of “Schitt’s Creek” know that this is the little garden that Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy) had installed on the side of the Rose Apothecary in Season 3 to appease his wife, former daytime soap star Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara).
In the “Stop Saying Lice!” episode, son David Rose (Dan Levy) reads the plaque in the garden aloud: “The Moira’s Rose’s garden. So this garden is dedicated to a rose that Moira owns?” (Insert exquisitely raised eyebrow.) Johnny bungled up the order form, hence the bonus apostrophe S’s and the last four numbers of his credit card number being engraved on the rock.
Like the TV version, The Moira’s Rose’s Garden 4856 in Seattle doesn’t contain an actual rose. Knowles collected faux flowers from Goodwill over the past year to re-create the garden in front of his house.
“I’ve known that I wanted to do this,” Knowles said. “That was the easiest thing I could come up with, because I don’t have the energy to build the apothecary or the cafe.”
The mini Rosebud Motel, located on 10th Avenue West at West Bothwell Street in Queen Anne, will stay up until the third week of January.
“Schitt’s Creek” swept the 2020 Emmy Awards, winning a record nine Emmys for its final season. Along the way, the eccentric Rose family picked up a cult following. Knowles says he’s watched the series probably six times.
On a recent rare sunny afternoon, Knowles had the day off and roped two buddies into helping him engineer flying crows. He hooked up a motor to bicycle wheels around his yard, connected by string, so crows could “soar” from wheel to wheel.
Knowles pointed out other upgrades: He airbrushed the paint job on the siding to make it look dingier. He added little piles of snow, using crumbled Styrofoam bits and spray adhesive.
“It actually looks really cool,” Knowles said. “I like how it turned out.”
The “brick” wall of the garden is made of 12 pieces of Styrofoam. Two weeks ago, a property manager friend unpacked a new weight room, so Knowles upcycled the sheets of Styrofoam into a brick wall. He used an X-ACTO knife and his finger to scrape out the grout lines; each of the 12 sections took an hour just to carve.
The second story of last year’s Rosebud Motel didn’t fit in his garage, so it didn’t survive the Seattle winter. This year, the Rosebud Motel got a remodeled second story, 2 feet wider, with new painted and shellacked block letters from Hobby Lobby. “I hope it lasts,” Knowles said. “We’ll know in a couple of weeks.”
Knowles’ house is also famous for the mini Bates Motel he builds at Halloween — 850 trick-or-treaters came through this year. He spitballed ideas for next year: maybe the Bates Motel for Halloween, but dressed up in a haunted Christmassy theme. Then an apocalyptic zombie Rosebud Motel for Christmas?
“I think next year is going to be the last year for Bates,” Knowles said. “I‘ve done it so many times, I can’t get any bigger with it. I have one going-out shebang left.”
Wait, is he going to retire the Rosebud Motel too?
“I think everybody would kill me,” Knowles said. “I’ve got to do something different. It’ll be back, one way or another.”