ROBIN HAGLUND, GUEST BLOGGER
Last night during the Arboretum Foundation fundraiser Arbor Eden event, I was able to grab a few moments with my friend and co-hort Theresa Loe, Associate Producer of Growing a Greener World TV (http://www.growingagreenerworld.com/), founder of Living Homegrown Fresh® (http://www.gardenfreshliving.com/), Master Canner, and well, so much more. We’ve been hearing a lot about Growing a Greener World TV (GGWTV) from Executive Producer and Host, Joe Lamp’l, I hoped to get a little insight from someone else on the team who works hard both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. In my brief Q&A with Theresa, I found out a little more about why GGWTV chose to film at the 2011 Northwest Flower & Garden Show, what to look forward to in forthcoming season 2 of the program, and which are Theresa’s personal “must see” gardens at this year’s show.
Robin: Theresa, tell me why Growing a Greener World TV is filming an episode for season 2 of the program at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show this year?
Theresa: We work to feature people, places and organizations that are doing great things for the planet through gardening. In general, garden shows are fantastic places for people to get new, fresh eco-friendly ideas. It’s your opportunity to meet and pick the brain of garden designers who have just created gardens that you love. I have been attending the Northwest Flower and Garden show for 15 years; Joe has been attending for at least 10 years now. We both attend other shows, but we chose to feature the Northwest Flower & Garden Show on GGWTV because it is our favorite show. The people, designers, nurseries and the whole Pacific Northwest community really understands and lives the eco-conscious lifestyle, which is the message our show endeavors to communicate.
Robin: Among so many fantastic displays, have you had a chance to pick out any personal “must-see” favorite 2011 show gardens?
Theresa: I’ve got two (so far). I love Courtney Goetz’ “Paradise (to be) Regained.” At only 17 years old, Courtney has created something magnificent. To be that young and thinking outside the box and already wanting to let anyone on any income know that they can do this really spoke to me. My other favorite is one I simply want to go live in. The Christianson’s Nursery “A Day Well Spent” reminds me of England. I love the repurposed material greenhouse and the cold frame made from recycled materials. It is charming.
Robin: Might I add that A Day Well Spent reminds me of your garden?
Theresa: (Laughing) Oh you’re right. It is definitely my style!
Robin: Any chance you’ll share a little bit about what viewers can look forward to in the new season of Growing a Greener World?
Theresa: Sure! One of our most popular episodes last year featured my garden and focused on backyard chickens.
Robin: (Rudely interrupting Theresa) And what an amazing backyard farm you have – in Los Angeles, within throwing distance of Los Angeles International Airport. If anyone ever says they can’t farm in the city, your garden is a testament to the fact that anyone, anywhere can farm!
Theresa: Because of the popularity of this episode, we are expanding on this idea with programming including an episode featuring Rosalind Creasy on Edibles. We are also putting together a show about gardening for the hungry, which not only talks about planting for those in need, but we also share information about gleaning programs and more. And, we’ll be sharing more about Joe’s explorations in growing a victory garden on a $25 budget, which will also include more tips on canning and preserving your harvest.
Robin: It’s been great following your GGWTV website posts and Podcasts (link: http://www.growingagreenerworld.com/category/podcast/) on all sorts of topics. In particular, I love learning more about food preservation from you in these ways. I can’t wait to learn more in your Master Canner episode in season 2!
If you want to learn more about Growing a Greener World TV, visit their website or check out Janet’s blog post here (http://nwf.gs/hAQYyZ) . If you see the crew filming during the show, don’t hesitate to say hello between takes. And set your DVRs for July 30, 2011 when local PBS affiliate KCTS9 is scheduled to air our Seattle hometown Garden Show episode of Growing a Greener World TV.
Don’t miss Robin’s seminar appearances at the 2011 Northwest Flower & Garden Show: Sprout Stage Saturday and Sunday at 5pm. Here Robin will be sharing the wonderful ways worms eat our garbage and turn it into fantastic compost for our gardens.
Hood Room Sunday at 2:45pm. Together with renowned urban beekeeper Corky Luster of Ballard Bee Company, Robin will share her insights about urban beekeeping and ways we can improve our gardens to attract and feed honeybee populations.
Robin Haglund, CPH, is president of Garden Mentors® inc, offering Garden Coaching, Design, Consulting, Writing & Seminar Services. Visit her website at www.gardenmentors.com or follow her blog at www.gardenhelp.org. All photos by Robin Haglund. - Janet
MARTY WINGATE, GUEST BLOGGER
Each year, garden creators are offered the chance to decorate and hide a certain object somewhere within their displays. It’s a fun game for both kids and adults; this year, you’ll be looking for piggy banks. But in addition to the pigs, you’ll find another theme running through the displays: sustainable materials used interesting, odd, and funky ways. The designers give us ideas for incorporating re-purposed items into our own gardens. Search for these, among many others.
Gabions – rusted metal boxes that hold rocks – take on a new look in “Paradise (to be) Regained,” the garden of Courtney Goetz (Creative Gardener). She’s made gabions filled with plastic water bottles and black-plastic nursery pots. Courtney, the youngest garden creator, shows a real flare for design.
Huge metal bands used as concrete forms act as the front edge of the garden in Susan Calhoun (Plantswoman Design) “Life’s Journey in a Garden – Expect Great Things.” Susan took metal bins that had been used to hold a display of screwdrivers at a hardware store and turned them into moss baskets. Rusted metal goes with anything in the garden.
Evan Pease designed the garden for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers – Washington Chapter (APLDWA), building an enormous spike high-heel shoe out of recycled metal. Stand back and admire “Wish ‘Shoe’ Were Here.”
Talk about recycled materials – John and Toni Christianson (Christianson’s Nursery) created a 1940s nursery complete with old metal plant cans (the forerunner of the black plastic nursery pot), salvaged greenhouse windows, and wooden seed trays.
What about the plants, you ask? This is the best display I’ve seen in a while at the show – fabulous flowers, unusual selections – you’d better have pen and paper ready. And your camera, of course.
COLLEEN MIKO, CPH, GUEST BLOGGER
The first day of set up for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is always a highlight of my year. The energy of 20+ plus teams of garden creators starting on the displays they have been planning since last summer is overwhelmingly positive. “It’s finally here”, they are thinking, or would be anyway, if they had time to ponder the occasion as the forklifts whirl around, boom trucks place tons of rock (literally) and rack after rack of tempting plants are rolled in.
Yesterday my husband and I participated as volunteers for the Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association (WSNLA), following the lead of garden creators Megan Pulkkinen, Kirsten Lints and Kate Easton in the installation of their garden “Cook’s Endeavor Returns with Treasure”. Their selection of plants knocked me out. I ogled the Melianthus major ‘Antonow’s Blue’ (honey bush), an immense Cordyline ‘Festival Burgundy’ that has to be 5’ across and a number of plants exotic to our clime—Banksia, Grevillea and Tasmanian tree ferns. All of them: lush, full, so out of season!
That’s one of the standout things about the show in my mind: the quality of the plants and the skill in “forcing” them in greenhouses. The four Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ that Megan and Kirsten rounded up and tended for months were flush with leaves, covered in buds and one was already sporting fluffy, yellow blossoms. Those of us who regularly participate in the show sometimes take these minor miracles for granted—slap us! It’s still February folks, with day temps in the 30s, last night in the teens. AMAZING.
The master of forcing, in my mind, is Christianson’s Nursery. When they put on a show, they don’t mess around. John and Toni Christianson have an amazing collection of huge, old plants that they maintain in greenhouses explicitly for forcing for their Northwest Flower & Garden Show displays. Just cruising by their stockpile of plants yesterday for their display “A Day Well Spent” was mind blowing. Among their treasures: a gorgeous seven foot Wisteria floribunda “Longissima Alba’ (White Japanese wisteria), fresh with tender leaves and dripping in blooms and an even taller Wisteria sinensis ‘Alba’ (Chinese Wisteria). There have blossoming roses of all kinds, Viburnums–and not just the “easy” to force Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, but doublefile Viburnums that flower much later in the season. As you can imagine, the air was heavy with floral fragrance.
In 2003 when I designed the display garden for WSNLA, Christianson’s had taken a one year hiatus from doing the show, and so Christianson’s (being a long time WSNLA member) forced much of their treasured plant material for our garden. When John showed up with large, floriferous plants, including roses, Deutzia and Hydrangea, of all things; I just about fell out with gratitude. He can force plants that people say just can’t be done. I can’t wait to see Christianson’s display when the show opens.
The size of the plants that are brought in for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show is another thing that never ceases to floor me. Walking the show floor of the Convention Center yesterday, I was dwarfed by many a tree whose crown reached the ceiling of the building, which is quite high, considering full 18 wheelers and boom trucks operate within to deliver materials for the gardens. This imposing tree, for instance, will make its way into one of the gardens, creating an illusion of scale that will no doubt make it feel quite real. Our first task yesterday was rolling in a dozen 18-20’ tall Phyllostachys nigra (Black bamboo) for WSNLA’s garden backdrop. We all remarked at just how impressive they are.
The creative energy in the Washington State Convention Center this weekend is absolutely contagious. So, take some time to see the show that these garden creators are preparing for you February 23 – 27. You’ll return home with incredible ideas to jump start your gardening season and will be moved by the quality and variety of luscious plants both in the elaborate display gardens, but also for sale in the plant market. See you there!
Colleen Miko, CPH
Colleen’s, A Landscape Design Company
Landscape design, horticultural consultation, garden seminars and freelance garden writing
Blog: VERDURE http://www.colleenmiko.wordpress.com/
The past few years, when I would go to the Washington State Convention Center during move-in of the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, I always had one primary objective – not to get run over by a front loader or trip on a piece of lumber and face plant into a pile of compost. But when I went to the show today during the first full day of move-in, I had another objective (in addition to the above) – snap some scenes for The Garden Show Blog. Going to the show during move-in is an adrenalin rush. The cacophony of noise from the many trucks and loaders and forklifts; the controlled pandemonium of 300 people working; and, of course, the masses of flowers and foliage, with brilliant colors, huge leaves, spiky stems and fluffy flowers. Nirvana.
Here are some photos of the garden floor from 1 – 2 pm today; the O’Loughlin Trade Shows team and production crew had been at it for just over 12 hours, most only getting a few hours of sleep. The first thing that had to be done last night is “strike the floor,” which means carefully measuring the shape and exact square footage for each garden, so the garden creators will know where to build. And I mean exactly. The floor plan has to allow for a certain width of aisles so that we meet fire codes, so exuberant garden creators just can’t decide to ad lib on their designs and expand their gardens a few feet. Big no no.
Next comes rigging the hundreds of lights, which get laid out on the floor and then hauled up into the rafters. The garden show is renowned for its theatrical lighting over the gardens, all very carefully planned to meet both the design objective and electrical codes. Of course this all happened about 3 am last night. Sorry there are no photos. I may be dedicated, but I’m not that dedicated.
By noon today all of the gardens were well on their way. Piles of sawdust from Sawdust Supply Company were in the gardens, spread out and shaped to form a base for the plants. Stacks of turf from Sound Turf Farms were nearby. Structures, most pre-fabricated in advance but some built on-site, were going up and being assembled like big puzzles. Water features were being built. Columns and pillars and huge sculptures were awaiting placement. And of course there were plants, thousands of plants, grouped near most gardens, awaiting artful placement. And some very awesome trees.
The garden show’s new partnership with Windmill Gardens in Sumner has proven to be so popular with the garden creators that far more plants ended up being forced than originally anticipated. Many garden creators planned to pick up their plants – all perfectly timed to burst into leaf or bloom during the show next week – and hold them in their own trucks overnight, until bringing them to the Convention Center today or tomorrow. Mother Nature said “Not so fast.” The record-cold temperatures last night meant everyone had to change their plans quickly, and the plants needed to stay in the greenhouses until they could come directly to the WSCC.
During move-in everywhere you look there are knots of people; all the teams installing each of the gardens along with the OTS production staff. Dirty and exhausted people; bundled in layers of clothes, most wearing puffy jackets, since the huge bay doors of the hall are kept wide open, and it was about 40° F inside. You will note that there aren’t any photos of the garden creators. That’s because I would like them speaking to me in the future. So I’ll save their photos until their enormous task is accomplished, and they’ve had a chance to get a good night’s rest and clean up. Except for one – 17-year-old Courtney Goetz,
who is designing her first garden at the show, titled “Paradise to be Regained.” When you’re 17 you never look dirty and tired. Courtney has helped her mother, Sue Goetz, with many a show garden. This year Sue’s taking a back seat and Courtney is driving the process, with Sue proudly telling me Courtney’s “negotiating skills are amazing.”
Tomorrow there’s lots more action: The Subaru gardens go in (one on the skybridge and one in the South Lobby), Alaska Airlines flies in to set up, the “My Garden Gate” artists bring their incredible gates, “Living it Up” takes shape in the South Lobby, Container Gardens arrive on the skybridge, and in the North Hall, the Outdoor Living area is built and the PlayGarden also begins to take shape. So I’ll be back down there to give you a sneak peek at some of the other special features we’ll have at this year’s show. - Janet
Everyone familiar with the Northwest Flower & Garden Show knows that for years the all-important Show Guide is printed in the Seattle Times Pacific Northwest magazine the Sunday before the show opens. This year that day would be Sunday, February 20th. So you’ll be surprised when you open the magazine and find the Show Guide isn’t there! What’s up with that?!
The Northwest Flower & Garden Show is now distributing the Show Guide in the Monday, February 21st Seattle Times – wrapped around the advertising supplements! It will be going to all home delivery subscribers as well as in newsstands.
The good news is this change allows us to print more show information and also to design it in a format that is easier to read. So you can find all the seminars you want to see, search for your favorite exhibitors, and read all about the show gardens and other special features we will have at the show.
Of course you’ll also be able to find the Show Guide as a downloadable PDF file on the garden show website (http://www.gardenshow.com/). Follow the show on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gardenshow and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nwfgs. I’ll tell you as soon as the Show Guide is posted to our website.
But be sure to read the Sunday Pacific Northwest magazine. You won’t want to miss their special gardening edition, filled with timely gardening articles by garden writer (and show speaker) Val Easton. She’ll be bringing you stories on some of the most unique gardens – and their creators – in the Northwest.
Next Monday’s Seattle Times will fill you with excited anticipation for the Northwest’s beloved gardening extravaganza as you review your Show Guide and plan your strategy to attend the show. It’s been a gardening tradition for 23 years and one thing hasn’t changed – our commitment to bringing you a world-class garden show brimming with inspiration, education and entertainment, for seasoned gardening veterans, budding “grewbies” new to gardening, and children of all ages – the charming gardeners of our future. - Janet