Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gearing up for the NW Flower and Garden Show

OK, I'm here. Sorry for the lack of updates to those who actually take the time to check up on me and my blogs. It's taken two or so years to realize it, but blogging takes up SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much time. Some people have the financial stability to blog regularly and engage their readers each day, but I can't afford to do that. So, pardon the lack of posts and if you've contacted me before to feature a special event, product, or tropic, I'm sorry I just can't share everything that falls on my lap.

OK...that's to the fun stuff.

It's only a matter of weeks until the start of the NW Flower and Garden Show and it's time to build the hype, garner the support and interest and hope that MANY MANY MANY people will come and soak in the upcoming season.

"Once Upon a Time" is the theme to draw in a younger crowd and the older generation to be able to walk through memories lane and marvel at the displays and take home some ideas and inspirations for their home garden, small plot, patio, deck, or container.

The show always aims to have something for everyone. Aside from my usual plant shopping, presentation speaking, schmoozing, and catching up with old friends and happy plant people, I'm also looking forward to these gardens and events:

A friend's 17 y/o daughter will design a show garden!!!!

Paradise (to be) Regained – …borrowing Thoreau
I'm seventeen years old and my generation is looking for paradise in a shrinking world. There is so much clutter and it continues to grow exponentially every day. While no universal remedy exists, it could start with simple changes that every person can contribute. This is my idea– I want to share a garden that seeks sustainability; including plants that don't beg for water and a container that is repurposed for a unique shelter. This garden uses the power to reclaim and "recharacterize" what is left behind. So when Father Industry comes to battle with Mother Nature, who wins?

Courtney Goetz
Creative Gardener

A former student of mine re-telling "Alice in Wonderland" through her ecologically driven design and potentially using plants I'm lending her!! (can you guess which plant? I've mentioned it before on this blog!)

Alice In Wonderland
"The first Thing I've got to do is to grow to my right size again and the second Thing is to find my way to that lovely garden." – Lewis Carroll – Today we face many unpredictable personal and environmental challenges and a garden can be a sanctuary for contemplation and enjoyment. We need to think "outside the rabbit hole" and in our garden you will see creative and unique ways to do this. So will you think BIG… or small? Relax, enjoy the garden, and consider which paths you will choose going forward in the world.

Zsofia Pasztor
Innovative Landscape Technologies

Then, of course, there's the crazy Judith Jones of Fancy Fronds Nursery who's teaming up with ALBE Rustics to do:

Wind in the Willows - A River Odyssey

Come enjoy the enchantment of a beloved English children's classic, "Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of life along the river. Plants suitable for Northwest gardens range from the dappled shade of Badger's wild woods, on down to the marshy verge of "Portley Otter's" rain garden swale, over to the open meadow gracing the ancestral Toad Hall Your garden can tell a story which will provide a unifying theme to help guide your choice of plants and accessories. Join "Ratty", "Mole", and "Badger" as they rein in the mischievous "Mr. Toad" on the river and the road. You too may discover that there is nothing quite so fine as messing about in the garden.
Judith I. Jones
Fancy Fronds

Vanca Lumsden
ALBE Rustics

There are so many other gardens to see and, I'm sure will look spectacular, while some will just simply say, "WTF is that?!" Totally normal. Totally normal. Show gardens are as subjective as any other art form. We just have to admire the process and the marvel at the overall magic a show like this can possess!

Then there's the attempt at catering to the urban gardener and, most likely, us Gen Y folks who want to venture into gardening, but don't quite have the space or time, they've got "Living It Up":

LIVING IT UP ~ Small Space Patio Gardens

Living It Up City-dwellers, this is for you! Now you can enjoy the excitement of an urban abode with a view of the city and make the most of your terrace, deck or patio. We'll show you how at "Living It Up," in the South Lobby.

This attraction features 3 unique designs that combine stunning outdoor environments. Combining elements of nature and urban living, you'll find inspiration drawing from the best of both worlds.

Explore distinctive designs using outdoor décor, planters, containers and more. know what song's stuck in my head now:

Imagine this happening at the Flower and Garden Show. LOL!! Perhaps a DJ could keep things hoppin' and interesting.

So the FEATURED SPEAKERS should be quite fun.

I'm friends with Kelly and Sue of Far Reaches Farm who will share their stories of plant hunting and collecting. Sue is recovering from a injured ankle from a recent expedition to China this fall and, I hear, is recovering very well. Can't wait to see their finds and see what they hope to share with avid gardeners here!!

One interesting talk I would definitely like to sit in and pay close attention to is a panel that's composed of friends and colleagues I've gotten to know over the years. It takes some pretty big credentials to speak on a topic such as "The Future of Gardening", but it will be VERY interesting to see where things are going and where they think it'll go:

THE GARDEN SHOW – The Future of Gardening
What's In & What's Out in Gardening Trends
Wednesday, February 23 at 2:30 pm in the Rainier Room
Join us for something completely new on the seminar stages as four gardening luminaries get together to talk about what's in store for gardeners and the future trends. This conversation, hosted by Lucy Hardiman, popular lecturer, teacher and author, will explore the what's in, what's out, what should be in, and what should be out, and more. Guest starring Val Easton, Seattle Times columnist and author of four books, including The New Low Maintenance Garden; Richard Turner, editor of Pacific Horticulture, the magazine for West Coast gardeners; and Cole Burrell, designer, photographer and author of 12 books, including Perennial Combinations. This is sure to be a thought-provoking hour of conversation.

Yikes, I just realized that that's the same day I give my DIY talk. It's not until the evening, but I should just be well prepared and set up well in advanced. PLEASE COME so it doesn't look like THIS:

DIY stage poor attendance

The Year-Round Container Gardener
Simple Solutions for Maximum Impact
Rizaniño "Riz" Reyes
Wednesday, February 23 at 7:00 PM in the Smith & Hawken DIY Stage
Everyone deserves to have and be around a COOL PLANT in their busy lives. Find simple solutions to a creative endeavor by learning to plant a container throughout the seasons for maximum impact and minimal maintenance. The talk will cover topics such as selecting containers, potting mediums, plant materials, composition, and maintenance.


  1. Riz, I'm actually looking forward to the garden show more than usual this year. The local hort/gardening scene seems to be undergoing some shifts in direction; it will be interesting to see to what degree the show reflects this and how people respond to it.

    We have contributed some plants to the WSNLA display garden.

  2. I so wish I could catcall, and heckle nicely from the last row, in addition to taping you on my vid cam....BUT, I will be out of the country, unfortunately. Next year, my articulate, pedagogic friend!!

  3. Ian, I try and pick up on the vibe of the show each season and talk to colleagues about their impression of the show. With most of my friends being plant vendors, it's all about sales that really matter to them. It's not always the best indicator of where things are going.

    d.k., hope they ask me to speak again next year! Thanks for your support! hehe!