Today I switch my Social Media Manager hat to my Seminar Manager hat as I report that the entire seminar schedule is now on the garden show website!
With 125 seminars on four stages over five days, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show has the largest roster of horticulture seminars of any garden show in the world. This year we’ll have the largest lineup of speakers in show history – 95 in all, including 55 author book signings. That’s testimony to the passion of gardeners here in the Northwest, and the support and affection that professionals all over the country have for this venerable show.
Where, oh where, do I start? There are so many gardening luminaries speaking at the show, and so many great topics, I won’t be able to include them all here – go to http://www.gardenshow.com/ to see the schedule in its entirety. I’ll start with some of the 33 new speakers appearing at the show for the first time, with new books that are hot off the presses. These include Andrea Bellamy, author of Sugar Snaps and Strawberries; Arden Bucklin-Sporer, co-author of How to Grow a School Garden; Emmy Award winning TV star Graham Kerr, whose book, Growing at the Speed of Life makes its debut at the garden show; Roanne Robbins, author of Continuous Container Gardens; The Revolutionary Yardscape author Matthew Levesque; Seattleite Alexandra Hedin, author of Entertaining at Home; Ivette Soler, aka ‘The Germinatrix,’ author of The Edible Front Yard; Garden Up! co-authors Rebecca Sweet and Susan Morrison; and Jayme Jenkins, co-author of Garden Rules, speaking with Teresa O’Connor, co-author of Grocery Gardening.
Other new speakers include National Wildlife Federation’s David Mizejewski; Ballard Bee’s Corky Luster; Kate Frey, Shirley Pinchev Sidell, Bill Thorness, David George Gordon, Leilani Wood, and Zsophia Pasztor.
Of course we will have our returning favorites, local speakers who never fail to inspire and entertain garden show audiences every year. Look for seminars by Ciscoe Morris and Meeghan Black, Lucy Hardiman, Marianne Binetti, Mary Robson, Roger Gossler, Debra Prinzing, Robin Haglund, Mary-Kate Mackey, Nita Jo Rountree, Richie Steffen, Wendy Welch, Rose Marie McGee, Linda Chalker-Scott, Greg Butler, Beth Evans-Ramos, Mallory Gwynn, Karen Chapman, Phil Wood and more.
‘THE GARDEN SHOW’
This year we’re featuring ‘The Garden Show’ – four entertaining seminars modeled after late-night talk shows. Each episode of ‘The Garden Show’ will have a guest host and three guest stars, focusing on a different topic. It’s meant to be totally spontaneous – and possibly combustible – conversation! Wednesday’s show features Lucy Hardiman questioning Val Easton, Cole Burrell and Richard Turner for their thought-provoking views on “The Future of Gardening.” On Thursday the always irrepressible Ciscoe Morris will host Cass Turnbull, Marianne Binetti and Steve Lorton, for what is sure to be a zany hour as they share “Our Most Unforgettable Characters.”
Richie Steffen hosts Friday’s episode of ‘The Garden Show,’ with guests Panayoti Kelaidis, Kelly Dodson and Sue Millikan, recounting their adventures in the “Plant Explorer Chronicles.” And on Saturday Lorene Edwards Forkner and her guests Graham Kerr, Willi Evans Galloway and Teresa O’Connor dig into the trials and tribulations of edible gardening in “Incredible Edibles.”
Speaking of edible gardening, we’ll have a wide variety of seminars on growing fruits and veggies, each with its own unique flavor. It’s such a huge topic these days, as people seek gardens that both nourish their soul and their body. Willi Evans Galloway will show us how to “Love Your Vegetables!” and create “Salad to Go,” while Bill Thorness will talk about “Year-Round Edibles.” Lorene Edwards Forkner will demonstrate how to have “The Herbal Kitchen,” Sue Goetz will share her “Herb Garden Favorites,” and Milwaukee’s Melinda Myers will entertain with “Garden-tainment – Tricks for Using Fresh Garden Herbs.”
For the first time at the garden show we’ll be welcoming the former ‘Galloping Gourmet,’ Graham Kerr, with a delightful seminar titled “My First Ever Kitchen Garden!” Graham is a recent convert to edible gardening, and boy is he hooked! Jessica Bloom will show how to “Have Your Garden and Eat It Too,” based on her multi-award winning 2010 show garden, and will also share her chicken-keeping secrets in “What the Cluck?!” Alexandra Hedin will teach “Plant Now, Eat Later,” and garden show favorite Ed Hume, who always has wonderful, time-tested tips, will be share how to have “Your Best, Bountiful Garden.”
I’m especially excited to bring you some unique new seminars. Mary Lou Sanelli is an author and performer who will be doing dramatic readings from her books in her seminars, “Women in the Garden” and “The Literary Gardener.” Judging from the reviews of her performances, these will be two unforgettable seminars. Shirley Pinchev Sidell, a national expert on Biblical gardens, will present her fascinating work in “Plants of the Bible.” Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Pringle’s seminar, based on their new book of the same title, will show “How to Grow a School Garden.” This is a must-see seminar for every parent and educator who would like to introduce gardening and nature to school age children.
Dr. Iain Robertson, a UW professor of Landscape Architecture, was really thinking outside the box with his seminar proposal – literally. He will be leading two tours of the newly renovated Freeway Park, just beyond the walls of the Washington State Convention Center. Attendees will meet in the South Lobby and head outside as Dr. Robertson explains why certain trees and shrubs were removed from the park during a recently-completed major renovation, and discuss more suitable replacement plants. Finally, back by popular demand, David Perry will be presenting “Conquering Your Digital Camera.” If you want to learn how to take better photos, David will show you how in hilarious fashion.
Two very popular container gardens last year were those created by miniature garden designers, Janit Calvo and Geralyn Rudolph. Now they will each be giving you their best how-to tips for creating your on miniature gardens. Janit demonstrates “How to Garden in Miniature,” and Gery inspires you to “Create Small Worlds Within Reach,” both on the DIY Stage.
GREAT FOR BEGINNERS
Many people new to gardening don’t realize how many seminars are geared just for them, especially pruning seminars (and even veteran gardeners can always brush up on their pruning skills). I’m excited to be welcoming aesthetic pruner Yuki Nara to the Northwest Show for the first time. I first heard her speak in San Francisco. The audience was in awe of her mastery in pruning Japanese maples, so don’t miss her “Pruning Japanese Maples for Grace and Beauty.” The doyenne of pruning, Cass Turnbull, will take the mystery out of pruning vines, in “Devine Vines,” and Mallory Gwynn teaches “Learn to Prune Your Favorite Plants.” Bess Bronstein will talk about “All the Right Cuts,” and Christine Pfeiffer explains “How to Prune…So You Don’t Have to Prune So Often!” Both are certified arborists and excellent teachers.
We will have some popular exhibitors speaking at the show, and this is a great way to get more in-depth knowledge. Monrovia’s Director of New Plants, Nicholas Staddon, will share ideas on great plants in “Small Space, Big Ideas,” Charley Yaw, of Charley’s Greenhouses, will talk about “Hobby Greenhouses 101,” and Joe Grienauer, owner of Emerald City Orchids, will talk about “The Seedy History of Orchids.” Barry Hoffer, owner of Maples for All Seasons, will share his passion for maples in “Container Gardening with Japanese Maples,” and Sam Benowitz, owner of Raintree Nursery (who spoke at the very first garden show) will talk about “The Best Fruit Trees for NW Gardens.” Mutual Materials’ rep Marty Njaa returns with his popular “Retaining Walls 101.” If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, this is a great seminar for you.
We’ll have speakers on focusing on gardening with wildlife, sustainable gardening, container gardening, seed starting, many plant varieties (roses, Iris, hydrangeas, lavender, and clematis, to name a few), garden design, water conservation, and floral arranging. Plus our fabulous SPROUTS STAGE on the weekend is filled with entertainment and activities for children and parents alike. Children will be able to plant seeds, sing songs, dance to lively music, learn about worms and even eat bugs! Every week I’ll be posting a Seminar Spotlight on The Garden Show Blog, so you can read more about your favorite speakers and topics. Look for the latest blog on seminars that will be focusing on ‘cultivating books,’ at http://nwf.gs/cR8jAq.
GREAT NEW SEMINAR LOCATION!
And don’t forget – the seminar rooms are now located in the spacious new Conference Center, which can be accessed from the east side of the North Hall. The Rainier Room and Hood Room seat more people than ever before, so seminar passes are no longer needed! For those who like to keep track of such things, there are only 121 days until the show! – Janet
Robin Haglund, CPH, sent me this recipe for Huckle-Bear-y Honey Muffins along with a guest blog about bees and honey. She and Corky Luster, owner of Ballard Bees, will be speaking at the show about “The Sweetest Buzz! From Politics to Plants – Keeping Bees in the Urban Garden” on Sunday, February 27 at 2:45 pm in the Hood Room.
Bees, Bears & Berries
By Robin Haglund, CPH
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: I’m glutton for honey. Once, as a kid, my folks stopped at the local apiarist’s to pick up several pounds of honey for mom’s weekly bread baking. As a special treat, each kid got a honey bear squeeze bottle full of honey to enjoy. I managed to down that sucker that afternoon, and yes, I felt pretty sick afterwards. But, it didn’t end my love for honey. To this day, both my husband and my friend and Ballard Bee Company (http://nwf.gs/af8f2z) apiarist, Corky Luster, refer to me as the “honey bear”.
Now that I’ve admitted to my addiction, I want to be clear: I host honey bees in my garden many reasons eclipsing my infatuation with the sweet, golden oozy stuff they produce. As I’ve known for many years now, bees and other pollinators are facing declining populations. Despite any number of reports on the issue, we simply do not know yet what exactly is causing the overall decline. It may be a combination of problems ranging from pesticides to mites to pollution to stress to fungi and bacteria team efforts to possibly things we still don’t recognize. And, if the bees and other pollinators go, we’ll follow shortly behind them. (links: http://nwf.gs/aVAzRD and http://nwf.gs/bN26Uo)
Consider this: one of every three bites of food we eat can be traced to the work of pollinators and over 80% of flowering plants rely on pollinators for survival (source: http://nwf.gs/armqzA). Without the work of bees and their fellow pollinators, fruit formation on plants will weaken as well.
So, I keep honeybees. Corky makes sure the hives are healthy and well fed. I provide a space for their hives and create a pesticide-free, floriferous haven in which they thrive right along side wild bees, hover flies, wasps, hornets, hummingbirds and mason bees, which I host through Hunter’s Mason Bee program (link: http://nwf.gs/aiI50m).
In my own garden, I strive for planting diversity inclusive of herbs and native plants, which the bees love. One native I adore for just about any garden is Vaccinium ovatum (Evergreen Huckleberry). Not only does this plant look great throughout the year, but the pollinators love it, and it produces some of the most delicious berries ever – blooming repeatedly summer into fall. During late summer and early fall, I visit the local farmer’s market where foragers sell bountiful, forest-ripened huckleberries. To augment my small urban harvest, I buy them by the pound and freeze them for use in cobblers, jams, pancakes, and muffins in the winter months ahead. Combining two favorite foods of bees and bears, I fashioned a tasty muffin recipe that we enjoy year-round.
Robin’s Huckle-Bear-y Honey Muffins
Since these muffins are only mildly sweet, the flavor of the huckleberries is prominent. Still, I often can’t resist drizzling just a bit of fresh honey over a warm, just-out-of-the oven morsel. Go ahead. Call me a honey bear. I don’t mind. Muffin photos by Robin Haglund
1 ¾ cups unbleached, all purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup fresh or frozen (not defrosted) huckleberries (blueberries may be substituted; bees love these too!)
5 Tablespoons butter
½ cup honey
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ cup milk
¼ t lemon zest (optional)
Preheat oven to 375F. Oil muffin tins thoroughly. Set aside.
Melt butter. Combine with honey. Stir until honey melts into butter. Add milk and egg.
In large bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Place huckleberries in small bowl with lemon zest. Add 1 T. of flour mixture and toss to coat berries to help keep them from “bleeding”.
Stir butter mixture into flour mixture. Stirring until just blended; dough will be sticky, not runny. Stir in berries.
Spoon about ¼ Cup globs of dough into muffin cups of tin.
Place in preheated oven and bake 15-20 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean of dough.)
Enjoy these delicious muffins! For more information visit Robin’s website at http://nwf.gs/c00db4 or follow her on Twitter @gardenmentor. And don’t miss Robin and Corky’s important seminar at the show! For the complete seminar schedule, go to www.gardenshow.com. - Janet
The Northwest Flower & Garden Show’s 2011 theme, “Once Upon a Time…Spectacular Gardens with Stories to Tell,” challenges our inventive show garden creators to interpret a beloved storybook or classic novel in their imaginative show gardens. They are well into the design process, and they are rising to the challenge!
Books also serve as the source of inspiration for some of our seminars. Cole Burrell delves into his list of the most influential garden books, while Shirley Sidell shows how you can create a Bible-based garden, using plants mentioned in scripture (many of which grow well in our climate). Mary Ann Newcomer shares the gardening techniques used by the early pioneers depicted in Willa Cather’s beloved novels, and Richard Greenberg brings his mellifluous, rich voice to a reading of his favorite garden poetry. Here are some highlights:
In today’s fast-paced information age, it is hard to imagine a time when gardeners relied on books rather than YouTube videos for inspiration and practical advice. This lecture examines the shifting roles that gardens have played in our culture and highlights some seminal books that changed the way we envision, design, plant and maintain outdoor spaces.
C. Colston Burrell
Cultivating the Written Word
Books That Changed the Way We Garden
Thursday, February 24 at 9:30 am in the Hood Room
C. Colston Burrell is a certified chlorophyll addict, an acclaimed lecturer, garden designer, award winning author and photographer. He is principal of Native Landscape Design and Restoration, which specializes in blending nature and culture through artistic design. In 2008 Cole received the Award of Distinction from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. He is the author of 12 gardening books, including Perennial Combinations (revised, Rodale Press, 2008) and Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide (Timber Press, 2006), winner of the 2007 AHS book award. He is a contributing editor for Horticulture and frequently writes for Landscape Architecture and American Gardener.
Willa Cather’s novels, My Antonia, Death Comes to the Archbishop, and O’Pioneers, make reference to the gardens of American settlers and homesteaders. These brave people grew gardens for food and beauty with nary a drop of pressurized irrigation water and without the aid of the combustion engine. It’s now 2011 and heirloom gardens are hotter than ever. This enlightening program will look at what kinds of gardening techniques and principles still work in today’s gardens, and why.
Mary Ann Newcomer
Pioneering Gardening Techniques
Why Heirloom Gardens Still Work Today
Thursday, February 24 at 1:30 pm in the Hood Room
Mary Ann Newcomer, scribe-scout-and-speaker, blogs at http://nwf.gs/99ixh9 and appears regularly as the “Dirt Diva” on the River Radio, 94.9 in Boise, ID. An accomplished horticulturalist, garden designer and former President of the Idaho Botanical Garden, she has wielded her creative and design talents on public, private and commercial gardens and landscapes. Mary Ann is currently finishing The Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Resource, to be published by Cool Springs Press in 2011. In 2009 her blog was selected as one of Horticulture magazine’s top garden blogs for her writing.
Many of the plants mentioned in the Old and New Testament are surprisingly hardy and suitable for our public and private Northwest landscapes. Gardeners and religious groups desiring a deeper understanding of the plants of scriptures, and for planning a Biblical garden of their own, will enjoy this entertaining inter-denominational slide lecture full of Biblical references, art, history and folklore. The lecture shows examples of how to design, plant and label an unusual and attractive theme garden for the home, school or church based on plants mentioned in the Scriptures.
Shirley Pinchev Sidell
Plants of the Bible
Planting a Scripture Garden in the Pacific Northwest
Thursday, February 24 at 5:30 pm in the Hood Room
Avid expert gardener, Shirley Pinchev Sidell is called a visionary by those who know her. Combined with her Master of Fine Arts in Photography, Shirley’s passion is her garden and taking photographs of flowers and plants from world famous gardens, such as Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Monet’s garden at Giverny, France. She conceived the Biblical garden theme during a trip to the Holy Land several years ago, since so many plants were familiar because of similar growing conditions with her own garden. Traveling throughout the world and studying Bible gardens, Shirley has obtained a wealth of knowledge on Bible plants and Bible gardens. Website: http://nwf.gs/bn4YsY.
The beauty of gardens has inspired poetry for centuries, uniting our love of words with our love for the landscapes and plants that feed our souls. Hear the words that have thus been inspired and inspire us to continue our pursuit of gardening, encompassing our passions, motivations, frustrations, foibles and successes with all their attendant sorrows, joys, anger and humor.
Poetry Inspired by Gardens
Speaking to the Spirit & Psych of Gardening
Wednesday, February 23 at 12:30 pm on the DIY Stage
Founder of Earth Wizardry Landscape, Richard Greenberg is a designer that specializes in small urban gardens with low maintenance and drought tolerant plants. He is a past president of the King County Iris Society and is involved in the Northwest Perennial Alliance, the Northwest Horticulture Society and the Arboretum Foundation. He is a regular speaker at area nurseries including Swansons, Molbak’s, Sky and City Peoples Mercantile. Richard is originally from the Boston area and has been living in the Pacific Northwest for 28 years. – Janet
Bob and Iris Jewett, owners of Wilberton Pottery, have been a fixture at the garden show since 1995. Their creations of fine tiles have graced many homes and gardens and – full disclosure – I have two tiles decorating the new outdoor cook top structure my husband and I built three years ago, and a group of four floral tiles in the master bedroom.
Bob originally studied for his doctorate in Chinese history and then started a business designing printed circuit boards. Iris was a registered nurse and then worked with Bob in his business. But at age 45 Bob’s artistic muse was calling him, and he needed a way to express his creative talents in drawing and carving.
In 1986 Bob started studying pottery at Bellevue Community College at night, but found he really didn’t like throwing pots on a pottery wheel. He needed something similar, but different. He started working with slabs of clay, and originally made all-weather garden containers. Because Bob is a consummate plant collector, he had a desperate need for garden containers that could withstand freezing weather, so he set out to create them. Thus began Wilburton Pottery, named for the area where Bob and Iris live in Bellevue. Iris and daughters Laura and Leonora joined him in the business.
Bob finds his inspiration in nature, especially from the woods on Wilburton Hill Park. He peruses his large collection of art books, and he and Iris love to visit the Asian art museum library. Customers also ask for special designs and custom work. Right now Bob is designing a large mountain and lake scene for one customer.
This isn’t a nine-to-five endeavor. It takes countless hours to come up with a design that will work well in a tile or series of tiles. Many designs are never offered for sale because they don’t meet Bob’s high level of standards.
There are many steps to each finished piece of Wilburton Pottery. After the design drawing is finalized, the mold has to be carved. Some tiles use up to eight molds at a time. The porcelain clay is then hand-pressed into the mold, dried for several days and then loaded into a kiln for a bisque firing. Then the tiles are glazed in black and fired again. The colored hand-painted tiles are painted before the first firing. They use only safe, non-poisonous glazes when painting the tiles.
Wilburton Pottery tiles can withstand the test of time and withstand any Northwest weather for decades. They look beautiful both inside the home and in the garden, and many customers request custom tiles to line a shower stall, incorporate into fireplaces or serve as a backsplash over a stove.
In December, 2008 a Wilburton Pottery woodland scene was awarded the ‘Tile of the Month’ award from the Tile Heritage Foundation. Designs range from delightful insects, frogs, birds, flowers and trees, to serene nudes and portraits. Visit Bob and Iris at the Wilburton Pottery booth #1414 or check out their website at http://nwf.gs/cXDHd5- Photos by Wilburton Pottery. – Janet
Teresa O’Connor (aka @SeasonalWisdom on Twitter) writes about gardening, local foods and seasonal folklore for online and print publications as well as on her blog http://nwf.gs/d9HAQX. Teresa co-authored Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Foods (Cool Springs Press, 2010) where she reported on nutritional research about produce, and provided tips for purchasing fresh foods locally.
Teresa will be speaking at the show on “Tips for the Time-Crunched Gardener” with her co-hort, Jayme Jenkins, on Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, at 1:30 pm. She’ll also be a guest star on “The Garden Show: Incredible Edibles” along with fellow foodies Lorene Edwards Forkner, Graham Kerr and Willi Evans Galloway, on Saturday, February 25.
Teresa explains why she shared this tasty way to eat more healthy winter greens. ”This recipe combines nutritious kale with bacon and goat cheese to create a delicious dish your entire family will enjoy. Lucky for us, kale grows well in winter in many places, and it’s hard to beat this green’s high nutritional content. Kale is simply loaded with vitamins A and C, not to mention B vitamins, calcium and other minerals. At our house, we make this dish whenever nutritious comfort food is needed on a cold, winter night.”
3 slices of bacon or vegetarian-style bacon (preferably organic, local or sustainably raised)
1 bunch of kale leaves, chopped
1/3 cup of chopped red peppers (I use frozen peppers from my garden)
1 medium sized onion
1-2 cloves garlic
2/3 cup of vegetable broth
1/4 cup of dry white wine
1-2 tablespoons of feta cheese
1 tsp of Dijon style mustard
1 tsp fresh thyme (1/2 tsp of dried thyme)
1 tsp fresh rosemary (1/2 tsp of dried rosemary)
Pinch of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon until crisp. Place cooked bacon on paper towels to drain. In remaining bacon fat, sauté garlic and onions in cooking pan at medium heat until onions are translucent. (If using vegetarian-style bacon, add olive oil while cooking bacon and also while cooking onions.) Then, add red peppers and cook a minute or so to soften.
Add herbs, mustard, broth, white wine, and salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.
Then add chopped kale and stir well. Cover pan and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. A few minutes before done, add feta and stir well. Serve warm.
This recipe makes a yummy side dish. But these greens also make a great quiche: simply add a cup of milk or almond milk; 3/4 cup of shredded cheese; and three eggs to the above recipe. Pour mixture into uncooked pie crust and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when a toothpick stuck in the center of the quiche comes out clean. Let it sit a few minutes before serving. Photos by Teresa O’Connor – Janet