If you haven’t attended the show before–or even if you have–check out the terrific array of guest blog posts from the 2008 show.
Their reviews, observations, and reflections about every aspect of the show will make you drool with anticipation for this year’s show.
- Junior Bonsai Warrior – our most popular post–ever–written by a 12-year-old!
- Gen Xers Go to Market and Buy, Buy, Buy!
- Review: Container Garden Exhibition
- Eat Your Vegetables! Edible Beauty at the Show
- High School Students Rate the Show ‘Really Cool’
- Celebrating the Harvest…in February
- Seminar Reflections
- Unbeatable Plant Picks for Your Garden
- Organic Gardening with Children
- Eavesdropping on Show-goers
- Live, from the Show, it’s Dianne
- So Much To See at the Show
- Gidget Goes Green
- Container Gardening Ideas
- Orchids Coming Out My Ears
- Tools of the Trade for Home Gardeners
It greatly saddens me to tell you about our press release that we had to release this morning. You can read it at the Seattle Times. I know that hundreds of people rely on the show each and every year and in particular the artists who are struggling to make it financially in these tough economic times. But without sponsorship, shows don’t make it and due to the economy, sponsorship is down 50% this year-ouch.
The Northwest Flower and Garden Show/San Francisco Flower and Garden Show need a buyer. And the asking price is very reasonable, considering what the shows can bring in. If a buyer steps forward, we can all continue to enjoy (and learn from) the shows each year. If not, the doors are closing and thousands of people in the northwest will be without the annual flower show that they love.
This year’s show is on as scheduled and there is a great line-up of speakers, vendors and people to help you with your gardening needs. Please join us this year and help us celebrate what is known as a garden pillar of our community. Support your northwest artists, garden vendors, garden speakers/authors by your presence at the show. Buy your ticket today.
See you there!
Gary Lewis, from Phoenix Perennials, will be teaching at the Show this year. I look forward learning more from him there. He specializes in unusual plants. You know-those ones that make people stop in your garden and say “What is that? Wow!”
Flora-Tell us about the seminar(s) you are teaching at the NW Flower and Garden Show?
Gary-I’m teaching two seminars at this year’s NW Flower and Garden Show. “Avoiding the Summer Doldrums” is a response to one of my first gardening lessons which was to plan for that most critical of seasonal transitions of colour and interest in the garden from spring to summer. So many of us succumb to the colour and temptation of spring shopping and planting, often achieving wonderful spring gardens that soon fade with summer.
This talk is an antidote to the onset of the “summer doldrums” and is filled with tonnes of month my month suggestions from my nursery, Phoenix Perennials, for summer and early fall planting. The other talk, “Weird and Wonderful Plants of the World“, is about my love for the “botanically intriguing” and highlights a different segment of plants that we grow at the nursery. In this talk we travel first through time and the evolution of plants and then around the world, continent by continent, to discover cool, rare, recently discovered, and underused plants for our gardens.
Flora-How do you choose the “distinct perennials” for your nursery?
Gary-I am an avid gardener and plant collector. Over the years I’ve gotten to know the plants commonly available at nurseries on the West Coast. While we do carry lots of these “garden stalwarts” I am constantly searching the world – both in travels, on the internet, and through nursery connections - for new sources of cutting edge and intriguing plants. We import plants and seeds from places like India, Japan, South Africa, Europe, Chile, the US and Canada in order to offer an unparalleled selection of plants. We are also beginning to grow seed collected on some of my travels.
Our customers marvel at all the plants they see at our nursery that they have never seen before. Other nurseries in Metro Vancouver often send their customers to us saying that “if anyone has that plant it will be Phoenix Perennials.” Deciding what is distinct is knowing what is already out there and being driven enough to search for something more.
Gary-If you mean Campanula Elizabeth Oliver, it is a creeping bellflower with cute blue double flowers. It is one we have grown off and on over the years. A great “doer” amongst the campanulas though would be C. posharskyana ‘Blue Waterfall’. It was introduced a few years back and is great for masses of blue on half mounding half trailing plants over a long season.
Flora-Do you take orders online or over the phone?
Gary-We currently only sell plants from our nursery location in Richmond, BC, part of Metro Vancouver and only a few miles from Vancouver Internation Airport. However, we can arrange phytosanitary certificates for our American visitors so they can take plants home. Arrangements and logistics must be planned ahead of time. There is information on Phoenix Perennials about this process. We have a growing customer base throughout Western Canada as well as from the Washington State towns near the border who include Phoenix Perennials as part of their business or personal trips to the Vancouver area.
I hear that gardening can be therapeutic. Is this true?
Running for the Garden
She said: “I have one customer that met me at a show several years ago. He was with his Mom who had lost her husband, (and his father) of many years. The son was trying to cheer her up, as she was in this state for paralysis for several months. He came back the next weekend and told me that my miniature gardens were the only thing that she got excited about. He bought one for her, took it home to her, and it worked. She started caring for the little garden and eventually got out of her grief and started ‘living’ again. Gardening is great therapy!”
I don’t have room for a garden! Any suggestions?
-A Windowsill Maybe
Dear Windowsill Maybe,
Janit Calvo says, “This movement on planting trees and growing your own food is wonderful if you have a house and garden beds – and the time and energy to do it. But, what if you are in a condo, an apartment or an assisted living space of some kind? What if your time is at a premium and you still want to grow something?
With miniature gardening, you can have a full garden, complete with trees, bedding plants, patio and furniture that you can care for and grow. You can get your fork out on Sunday afternoon, do some raking and still go to work on Monday and brag about how you worked in your garden! (And they don’t have to know it took you 2 minutes to do.)”
I agree! Mini gardens sound like a great option for you!
BEST ADVICE FROM JOE GARDENER (this past year anyway)
Joe Gardener Recommends Shredding Your Branches. Joe has a great point that has already resonated with me in my neighborhood. Your neighborhood may have a dumping ground for the green stuff but then it just sits there…and sits there…and piles up and looks awful. We are much better served to shred and USE the remnants for our gardening and landscaping needs.
MOST EDUCATIONAL POST
Friendly Urban Container Plants. This is a great list compiled of plants that work well in containers for urban gardens. It is very educational and I hope that you learned much too. There is even a list of great urban fruits and veggies! Check it out!
MOST SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS POST
Feeding the Hungry. OK-you knew that I had to add this one in because it is important to me. How can you help the world with your gardening? It’s not as hard as you might think. Check this post out and please determine to make a difference in hunger this year.
BEST COMMUNITY ACTIVITY POST
The Benefits of Farmer’s Markets. You betcha! Farmer’s Markets are the next best thing to having a 10 acre garden yourself. The many benefits include:
Supports local growing & sustainability
Saves money, gas and time
Goods are fresher and often organic
A lot of variety is available in one place
Sometimes there are unusual finds that aren’t in your grocery store aisle
You can get to know neighbors in your town-and so can your dogs
You can ride the shuttle and live green all day