Top Speakers at 2012 Garden Show
Once again a veritable who’s who in horticulture will be appearing at the 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show, as we announce the roster of 116 seminars set for four stages during all five days at the show. Northwest gardeners can’t get enough of our seminars, and considering you can spend 10 hours every day (eight on Sunday) seeing seminars, for the low cost of a $16 Early Bird ticket, it’s the greatest value in garden education going (tickets go on sale November 1). And if you’re able to clone yourself, you can even sit through three seminars simultaneously, in our state-of-the-art Rainier and Hood Rooms and our cool DIY Stage for demos. Plus we’ll have loads of musical fun each day on our Sprout Stage in the PlayGarden.
We’ll also have 61 book signings after our seminars, conveniently located just outside our three seminar rooms, courtesy of our friends at University Book Store. There you can buy copies and have them signed and chat with the authors. While you’re at it, buy two copies – autographed books make lovely gifts for your gardening friends.
Find out how you can get front-row VIP seats for five seminars by Joe Lamp’l, Graham Kerr, Steve Aitken and Willi Evans Galloway, plus autographed copies of their books. Just stop by the Subaru garden on the skybridge on the morning of their seminars for more information.
Many of our speakers have blogs, so if you’d like to get better acquainted with them and read their musings, check out the list of links of our 2012 Speakers’ blogs on the sidebar.
STARS OF GARDENING
The show is excited to announce some of the top TV stars speaking at the show, includimg Australian Jamie Durie, host of HGTV’s “The Outdoor Room” and author of seven books. And PBS’ “Growing a Greener World’s” host and producer, Joe Lamp’l, returns to the show for two seminars, thanks to show sponsor Subaru. And back by popular demand, Graham Kerr, America’s beloved former ‘Galloping Gourmet’ will return. If you’re on the fence about edible gardening, Graham is sure to make a believer out of you.
Our 2012 Show Judges will each be giving two seminars. Edible gardening doesn’t get any better than landscape architect and author Rosalind Creasy, who started the trend of beautiful, functional edible gardens with her groundbreaking 1982 book, The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping. New York based Stephen Orr, author of the new book Tomorrow’s Garden and garden editor for Martha Stewart Living will share many good things with show audiences. And Fine Gardening magazine devotees will relish the insights from editor Steve Aitken, who is also a master gardener who gardens in Connecticut.
The garden show has a strong commitment for bringing you new speakers every year, and this year will be no exception, as 25 new speakers grace our stages. They include Bruce Bailey, owner of Heavy Petal Nursery in Moses Lake, WA; Dr. Richard Bitner, whose passion for conifers has led him to write two leading books, including the most recent, Designing with Conifers; and Billy Goodnick, aka “Garden Wise Guy,” who blogs for Fine Gardening magazine and is well-known for both his humor and his hats. Other new speakers include photographer and new exhibitor Charles Needle; Kingston designer Wendy Tweten, author of the “Miss Snippy” columns; kinesiologist and master gardener Stacy Walters, known for her ‘Fit to Garden’ expertise; Cottage Lake designer Susie Egan; author and container designer Barbara Wise from Tennessee; and garden designer and writer Helen Yoest, who ‘Gardens with Confidence’ in North Carolina.
Let me start by saying what you all want to hear: Dan is back! Dan Hinkley will be returning after a two-year hiatus, sharing the highs and lows of his Indianola garden (Mother Nature even kills his plants in the winter). Other fan favs include Ciscoe (no last name needed), Lucy Hardiman, Marianne Binetti, Debra Prinzing, and Richie Steffen. Some favorite Northwest writers will be launching new books at the show, so look for seminars by Val Easton (Petal and Twig); Marty Wingate (Landscaping for Privacy); Lorene Edwards Forkner (The Handmade Garden); Willi Evans Galloway (Grow. Cook. Eat.); Jessi Bloom (Free Range Chicken Gardens); and Mary Ann Newcomer (Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Resource). And David Perry will show you how to get incredible garden photography from your iPhone. Seriously. Seeing is believing.
GROW YOUR VEGETABLES! (THEN EAT THEM.)
Eating healthy with home-grown food has never been easier, and no matter whether you’re thinking about starting an edible garden, or are an old hand at it, we’ll have edible gardening seminars for everyone – 32 seminars devoted to edible gardening!
You no doubt remember the very creative edible garden made from an old pickup truck at the 2010 show – the genius of Seattle Urban Food Company designers, including Colin McCrate, co-author of the upcoming new book Food Grown Right. More local authors speaking about edibles include Bill Thorness, author of Edible Heirlooms; Seattle Tilth’s Lisa Taylor, author of Your Farm in the City, and 425 Magazine style editor Alexandra Hedin.
Speakers coming from afar to talk about edibles include Jennifer Bartley, a landscape architect from Ohio and author of The Kitchen Gardener’s Handbook; Idaho’s Teresa O’Connor, co-author of Grocery Gardening; Diane Ott Whealy, founder of Seed Savers Exchange, from Iowa; and British Columbia’s Andrea Bellamy, the author of the best-selling Sugar Snaps & Strawberries. Also sharing edible advice will be Vermont’s Charlie Nardozzi, radio and TV host and author of Vegetable Gardening for Dummies; Milwaukee TV host and author Melinda Myers, and Oregon’s Jayme Jenkins, who will no doubt give you some aHa! moments with her creative demonstrations.
We have a bounty of local experts in edible gardening right here in our own backyard, and many are speaking at the show. Among them are Annette Cottrell, co-author of The Urban Farm Handbook; Kathryn Wadsworth and David Deardorff, who manage to turn scientific writing into how-to advice we can understand; Bellingham’s Jennifer Hahn, author of A Cook’s Guide to West Coast Foraging & Cuisine and show garden creator Sue Goetz, who will go herbal with tips on using fresh herbs.
Sustainability isn’t just about growing edibles. It’s also making wise choices in what you use, ‘repurposing’ items into something new and clever, and knowing your garden conditions so you plant wisely. Matthew Levesque, author of The Revolutionary Yardscape, will share his amazing ideas for creating new things from old stuff. Author Jeff Lowenfels is back with his all-new inspirational talk on the soil food chain, and Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott will get you in touch with your own garden soil. Designer Colleen Miko will demo how to set up a rain barrel system so you can start collecting your own rainwater (something we seem to have a lot of) and Seattle Tilth’s Amy Ockerlander will help you create beautiful container gardens that can survive neglect (we all do that on occasion).
Sustainability also means sharing our planet with other creatures, and gardeners do have a passion for encouraging native wildlife into their gardens (well, except perhaps deer). David Mizejewski, spokesperson for the National Wildlife Federation, returns with his popular talk on creating wildlife habitats. New exhibitor Jim Ullrich, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Gig Harbor, will also share his tips on inviting mason bees and birds into your garden. And garden creator Zsophia Pasztor will help you feel at home in a habitat garden.
PLANTS, PLANTS AND MORE PLANTS
OK, admit it. Many of you are bonafide plantaholics. So we’ll have plenty of speakers talking about plants in many ways. Long-time exhibitors Kelly Dodson and Sue Milliken of Far Reaches Farm will talk about shade garden plants; garden creator Vanca Lumsden will not bog you down with her talk on the best plants for bog gardens. Of course, Lucy Hardiman, who never fails to entertain audiences, returns with a talk on mixed borders and plant combinations.
Writer Mary-Kate Mackey brings you great plants for drought-tolerance; hort head Riz Reyes will be ‘scentsational’ as he talks about the best plants for fragrance; Mary Ann Newcomer will weave garden plant tapestries and designer and author Vanessa Nagel will show you how to best use bold, structural plants in the garden.
Succulents are the big thing these days, since they are so unthirsty and totally awesome. We’ll have two of the leading experts talking about succulents. Robin Stockwell, owner of Succulent Gardens Nursery in California, will be speaking for the first time and demonstrating how to create vertical succulent gardens, his specialty. And Debra Lee Baldwin, author of two best-selling books on succulents, returns with her latest design ideas to wow you.
Most people don’t start their gardens with a design – and often regret that. Our seminars on garden design will give you inspiration and help you avoid common mistakes. California designer Rebecca Sweet returns to talk about creating harmony in the garden, and Swansons Nursery manager Meghan Fuller shares ways to be successful with small space design. Monrovia’s Nicholas Staddon will show you designs for creating mystery and drama in the garden, and 2010 and 2011 Founder’s Cup winner Karen Stefonick will present beautiful and livable outdoor rooms. If you’re not a confident designer of floral arrangements, Val Easton, Debra Prinzing and Lana Finegold will all talk about how to use your outdoor foliage for stunning indoor arrangements.
GREAT FOR BEGINNERS
If you’re a gardening “grewbie” we have plenty of seminars just right for you, and you don’t have to be fluent in botanical Latin to enjoy these practical tips. Maple expert Barry Hoffer shows you how to plant and prune Japanese maples the right way, while pruning guru Cass Turnbull takes the mystery out of pruning difficult plants. Portland’s Mallory Gwynn will demo how to get the best drip with drip irrigation, and both Nan Sterman and Farmer John Muller will get you started off right with your seed starting.
Avoid common garden problems by getting your garden off to a good start. Garden mentor Robin Haglund will help you avoid murder and mayhem (of plants, not your relatives); designer Greg Butler will show you how to solve problems before they get out of hand, and master storyteller Steve Lorton will give you his top tips for inexpensive garden solutions.
THE KID IN EVERYONE
The show is again teaming up with Seattle Children’s PlayGarden to create the wildly popular PlayGarden, the perfect place to bring children to learn about nature and gardening. This year’s theme will be “Rockin’ Robin,” so to go with the musical theme, we are bringing in popular children’s entertainers. Children and parents alike will dance and sing along to the playful tunes of Caspar Babypants, aka Chris Ballew, the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter with the group “Presidents of the United States of America;” “Your Imaginary Friends,” a singing duo with Jana Vitols and Greg Ruby; children’s singer/songwriter Nancy Stewart, and Seattle Tilth’s ‘Creepin’ Critters.’ We’ll have lively musical programming on the Sprout Stage every show day at 10:30 am, 12:30 am, and 2:30 am.
NEW CONFERENCE CENTER
Each week I’ll be posting more details about all of our outstanding seminars, so check back regularly for the full scoop. And don’t forget – the garden show inaugurated the new Conference Center at the show last February, to rave reviews. Audiences loved the spacious rooms, with plenty of seating for all, new chairs with twice the padding, and best of all – no lines and NO seminar passes! So drop in to hear your favorite speakers every day, for the best in garden inspiration, entertainment and education. The full seminar schedule should be posted on our website by early November. ~ Janet