Even though the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is held for five days in the middle of February, extensive planning happens all throughout the year. Beginning as soon as three weeks after the Show, we reach out to potential Garden Creators across the area who are interested in sharing their new, exciting ideas with attendees.
Then, Creators are asked to submit a basic idea of their designs seven months in advance. Our Garden Coordinator reviews the ideas and sends out acceptance letters. Around August, the Show finalizes the layout of the 20+ gardens on the Convention Center floor and holds a Creator meeting. The Garden Creator meeting is basically a class on “How to Build a NWFGS Garden.”
Building a garden at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is easily the biggest undertaking in the business, so there’s an entire handbook with at least eight sections of information. Did you know…
- if a structure in a garden is more than 100 ft², it has to have a smoke alarm inside?
- Creators are only allowed to use Gaffer’s tape on the walls/floor.
- most everything in the gardens is pre-built before it even enters the Convention Center.
There is so much information to learn & many restrictions to avoid. On top of it all, the Creators build these high quality displays in only 72 hours! Months of preparation is the only way this process is possible. After everything is said and done, the rewards immensely outweigh the stresses. The Garden Creators take on this immense project for the opportunity to inspire and thrill attendees and audiences across the world.
I personally want to say to this year’s Garden Creators… congratulations! Now go study that notebook, because the last thing you want is a phone call from Lloyd the night before the Show opens. Trust me. -Courtney
Each Garden Show brings us an opportunity to select three prestigious individuals from the horticulture industry to come together and award the medals to each show garden, to vote on the coveted Founder’s Cup Award (Best in Show), and to determine the American Horticulture Society Environmental Award winner. These judges will also be speakers in the Show’s seminar series.
Chris Beardshaw – Gloucestershire, U.K.
With over 30 years’ experience in the horticultural world, Chris Beardshaw is a well-known speaker, author, and a regular presenter for BBC Radio and TV. This year, he won his 9th Gold Medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for an incredible garden based on healthy communities. Chris holds many top accolades from garden shows in the U.K., New Zealand, Japan, and Moscow. We are thrilled to have him join us for the 2016 “America the Beautiful” theme!
Brian Minter – British Columbia, Canada
You may already know Brian Minter if you’ve attended one of his previous popular NWFGS seminars. When he’s not lecturing, he’s working alongside his wife as co-owner of Minter Country Garden, a destination garden center in British Columbia, Canada. Brian writes for many magazines, columns, and hosts a popular radio show with CBC Radio in Canada and BBC Radio in Britain. His informative writing has earned him a spot in the Garden Writer’s Hall of Fame. Whew! What a busy guy.
Tom Fischer – Portland, Oregon
Tom Fischer is Editor-in-Chief at Timber Press in Portland, Oregon. He got his start in book publishing at the University of Chicago Press, and spent 14 years on the editorial staff at Horticulture magazine in Boston. Along with being an editor, Tom has a published book with Timber Press, and his writing has been featured in magazines such as Garden Design, Gardens Illustrated, and Martha Stewart Living. For more on his backstory and deep love of plants, visit his website.
Our three Show Judges will also be speakers in our NWFGS Seminar Series, to be announced late September 2015. Your ticket to the Show includes all Seminars for free! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram to see the latest and greatest updates from the team behind one of the largest Flower & Garden Shows in the world. -Courtney
Attention all plant nurseries, store owners, garden-related businesses, and many others in the horticulture industry:
The 2nd largest garden show in the U.S. will herald spring February 17 – 21, 2016 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. If you are interested in being a part of this rewarding endeavor, now is the time to apply. There are still spaces open to be an exhibitor at the 2016 Show.
By joining the Northwest Flower & Garden Show family as an exhibitor, you will enjoy prime retail and advertising space to over 55,000 attendees from all over the northwest. You will be able to reach a new and ever changing customer base while being promoted by us. Past surveys show that over 75% of attendees end up purchasing something from the Show.
If you are interested, please feel free to look over our online application. Our Exhibits Manager, Linda, can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Linda can answer your questions and guide you through the application process. Due to the high demand for space, contact us as soon as possible to reserve your spot!
Being an exhibitor at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is a huge business advantage with fantastic perks. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity. We look forward to working with you for the 2016 Northwest Flower & Garden Show! -Courtney
Every year, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show integrates an overall theme throughout the Show. In case you missed it, the 2015 theme was “Romance Blossoms,” and oh how it blossomed!
We had a 14 foot tall heart created completely from succulents, full scale Display Gardens with plenty of romantic settings, and quaint patios in our City Living area. It was the perfect winter escape.
In 2016, we are excited to announce we’re going a little more natural (but just as colorful). For the 28th annual Northwest Flower & Garden Show, the theme will be “America the Beautiful.” Our displays will be inspired by well-known United States landmarks. Why? Well, we are joining in on the celebration of the National Parks Service turning 100 years old!
The non-profit National Parks Foundation is thrilled to be celebrating their Centennial anniversary. But they say it’s more than just a birthday.
“We want people everywhere to embrace the opportunities to explore, learn, be inspired or simply have fun in their 407 national parks.”
Attention all garden designers, landscape architects, contractors, and many others in the industry: The 2nd largest garden show in the U.S. will herald spring February 17 – 21, 2016 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. If you are interested in being a part of this rewarding endeavor, now is the time to apply. There are still spaces open to be a Display Garden creator and a City Living garden creator.
The Display Gardens are often regarded as the main attraction of the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. These gardens greet all attendees and are anywhere from 400 square feet to 1400 square feet (sizing options can be discussed with our Garden Coordinator). The gardens receive immense press recognition and are judged for prestigious awards by top influences in the industry. As a creator, you have the ability to demonstrate your talents, unique ideas, and products… all while advertising your company to the Show’s 55,000+ attendees.
Staged on the Convention Center’s Skybridge spanning Pike Street far below, our City Living displays garner attention from condo/apartment dwellers and people with limited garden space. 2015 was the first year of City Living and the response was overwhelmingly successful. City Living is perfect for showing off creativity in small spaces, bold plant containers, cozy seating and much more. This is an excellent way to create a beautiful first-time garden at the Show.
If you are intrigued by either of these options, please feel free to contact our Garden Coordinator, Lloyd with your ideas. He can be reached by email: email@example.com.
Lloyd will answer any questions you may have and guide you through the application process. Please note, applications are due by July 1st. Due to the high demand for garden space, contact us as soon as possible!
Being a garden creator at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is a top accolade with fantastic perks. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity. We look forward to working with you at the 2016 Show! -Courtney
It was a beautiful year at the 2015 Northwest Flower & Garden Show. For some, it was even award-winning beautiful. On top of the standard gold, silver, and bronze medals given to the Display Gardens, there are 12 additional awards each with their own set of judges. Here are the awards for the 2015 Display Gardens.
“Over the Moon” by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.
Winners of: gold medal and the Founder’s Cup – best in show.
“Pining Over Yew—A Love for Every Season” by Oliana Gardening.
Winners of: gold medal and the American Horticultural Society Environmental Award – for skillful design and incorporating environmental stewardship.
“Birds Do It…Bees Do It…” by West Seattle Nursery.
Winners of: gold medal, Pacific Horticulture Magazine Award, South Sound Magazine Award – most eye-catching, breathtaking and interesting, and the Fred Palmer Exhibitor Award – voted the most accomplished by fellow garden creators.
“Step by Step, Side by Side” by Treeline Designz.
Winners of: silver medal and the “X-Factor Award” – garden that best captures the imagination of the next generation of garden designers, judged by recent horticulture programs graduates.
“A Garden Built With Love” by Adam Gorski Landscapes.
Winners of: gold medal, the Fine Gardening Award and the Best Use of Show Theme Award – judged by board members from the Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America.
“Knotty & Nice…Here’s to WE time” by Karen Stefonick Design.
Winners of: gold medal, the Sunset Western Living Award, and the 425 Magazine Editors’ Choice Award.
“The Romance of Steampunk” by Whitby Landcare & Design.
Winners of: silver medal and the Ethel Moss People’s Choice award.
“Picture Yourself on Azalea Way” by the Arboretum Foundation.
Winners of: bronze medal and the Golden Palette Award – Judged by regional horticulture experts.
Gold medals –
- “Love the Space You’re In” by Susan Browne Landscape Design.
- “Lettre d’ Amorchid” by the Northwest Orchid Society.
- “Rekindled Rendezvous” by McAuliffe’s Valley Nursery.
Silver medals –
- “Romantic Folly” by Pamela Richards Garden Design.
- “A Moment to Remember” by Nature Perfect Landscaping.
- “A Bi-O-Cycle Built for Two” by Evergreen Landsacaping & Ponds.
- “The Root of True Romance: Beautiful Chaos…Love, Art, Nature” by Elandan Gardens.
- “Three Phases of Love…Young, Passionate, Forever” by the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals.
Bronze medals –
- “Will You?” by Fancy Plants Gardens.
- “A Woodland Nymph’s Dream” by The Grounds Professionals.
- “Giovanni’s Grotto” by Dakara Landscape Design.
Congratulations to all of these winners for their months of hard work and effort. Looks like it paid off! Stay tuned to the Garden Show Blog for more awards from our Floral Competition, Exhibitor displays and City Living displays.
In the meantime, keep track of the Northwest Flower & Garden Show for year-round inspiration on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. -Courtney
Interested in using fresh ingredients from your garden right to your dinner table? Here’s the seminars for you.
As a gardener, you can be a great canner because you understand the value of well-grown produce. All you need are some solid canning skills and you can “put-up” seasonal food that is locally sourced, organic, GMO-free, delicious and available year round! Theresa Loe will show you how.
Pacific Horticulture magazine editor Lorene Edwards Forkner will extract, infuse and mix things up with garden-based shrubs, tisanes, and punches right in front of you while teaching you how.
Learn how to make cheese using farm fresh ingredients — with no complex or hard-to-find ingredients, and little prep time with Claudia Lucero, owner of Urban Cheese Craft.
Beth Evans Ramos shares her boozy beverages created with herbs & lots of organic garden ingredients. Tipsy twists on classic cocktails, plus all new Mama Beth original recipes. It’s a happy hour brimming with gardening, bartending, herbal medicine, and delectable drinks.
Something as big as the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is not an easy undertaking, by any means. The gardens are almost always jawdropping, but it’s the foundation that’s important. That’s why we partner with notable local businesses to help supply those foundations.
Since pretty much the beginning, Marenakos Rock Center & Sawdust Supply have sponsored the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
Marenakos Rock Center is willing to provide our garden creators with whatever rock they need for their creations to come to life. They are onsite every day of building with trucks, cranes, and manpower. Bill, Scott, and Jan from Marenakos may only deal in stones, but that makes them ever so important to the functioning of this Show.
To create the illusion of a real garden, the gardens create retaining walls to ‘build earth.’ Sawdust Supply is in every NWFGS garden providing that ‘earth’ in the form of mulch and sawdust. Without them, well… it’d be just a pile of plants. Sawdust and occasionally wood pallets are used as the base layer to every Display Garden because it is cost-effective. Mulch is then piled on last to hide plant pots in the displays. The finished product is what you see when you come to the Show!
Even though they aren’t real balconies, a small space dweller will definitely be inspired by our City Living displays. Overlooking Pike Street in downtown Seattle, these little spaces will hold tons of ideas for your own personal porch. A balcony vignette will be created with Mutual Materials blocks and walls from Ballard Reuse. Make sure to stop by Ballard Reuse’s booth at the Show to see what other great things they will bring (Booth #2626).
Our new charity event called “Garden Wars” will feature local celebrities battling it out in their own 10ft by 10ft space to win for their chosen charity. To build the gardens we’ll definitely need plants, so thank goodness for Sky Nursery who will be loaning us a wide selection of colorful selections for our contestants. Mulch provided by Sawdust Supply, rocks and retaining walls will be provided by Marenakos Rock Center and Mutual Materials (also sponsoring the Display Gardens & City Living), while all of the necessary tools will be on loan to us from Corona Tools!
The Northwest Flower & Garden Show wouldn’t be possible without all these little details provided by our sponsors. Make sure to stop by their websites or booths at the Show to see more of the products they provide. Thank you again! -Courtney