Container gardening is huge! Containers are so perfect for any garden style, space or growing condition. They are adaptable to gardens seasonally as well, or they can become a permanent focal point with year-round interest.
You will be truly inspired by our speakers coming from around the U.S., as well as right in our own backyard. It doesn’t get any better than this, and when it comes to container gardening, it’s so easy to do with the top tips from these speakers.
If you want to spice up the containers in your life, or add a few more, then catch one or all of these must-see seminars. Karen Chapman, Christina Salwitz, Dee Nash, Bruce Bailey and Barbara Wise will be wowing you with their designs for containers of all sizes, shapes and styles that will really enhance your garden, large or small. (Click on their name above for their full bio and seminar details.)
To see more speakers coming to the 25th annual Northwest Flower & Garden Show February 20 – 24 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle just click here. Tickets are still only $16, but you better hurry – Early Bird Tickets must be purchased before February 20. ~ Janet
The Small Space Showcase (formerly called the Container Exhibition) on the expansive, light-filled sky bridge is always hugely popular with attendees at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. After all, these are doable gardens! With a small footprint — only 6 ft. x 8 ft. — they are gardens that speak to those who live in urban homes, condominiums or apartments.
And they definitely say ‘small’ does not have to be boring!
We will have 16 designers at this year’s show, each creating memorable gardens with a message. Here’s a sneak peek from a few:
“The Teddy Bears’ Picnic”
Judith Jones & Vanca Lumsen
Fancy Fronds Nursery
Do you like surprises? Teddy bears? Picnics? If you do, you’ll love the delight by the scene of teddy bears nestled into a woodland setting having a picnic, with plenty of honey no doubt. Bears of all sizes and colors will be gathered to enchant you as they celebrate the textures and colors of Spring.
Nancy Clair Guth
Artistic Garden Concepts
Thanks to Van Zanten Landscapes
‘Electro-Cute’ is comprised entirely of salvaged items, mostly building-electrical related. Electrical caging as a background trellis, a rusty radiator re-born as a bench, 50 year old conduit wire woven into Baskets, nicely worn commercial grade ceramic lamp shades flipped upside down to create containers brimming with drought tolerant plants. Everything old is new again!
Aquarium Zen LLC
Discover the Japanese art of “Nature Aquarium” aquascaping– artfully designed planted aquarium gardens glowing with vitality. ”Aquarium Zen” will inspire tranquility and a sense of wonder for the beauty of nature.
Wildflower Farm’s EcoLawn
Thanks to Gardener’s Supply, BedRock Industries, J Foss Flowers, Glass Gardens NW
Celebrate sustainable gardening with Eco-Lawn – the Eco-Logical turf for the northwest gardener. Recommended by Sunset Magazine, learn why Eco-Lawn drastically reduces mowing, watering & fertilizing; why Eco-Lawn works beautifully in sun, shade & even under pine trees and how to over seed your existent lawn or create a new Eco-Lawn.
“The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette”
Janit Calvo, Two Green Thumbs Nursery
Bruce Bailey, Heavy Petal Nursery
Sneak away to this secret garden. Enter within, sit, relax, and privately enjoy a garden oasis through the eyes of history’s most notorious fashionista: Marie Antoinette. The Queen of France spent a fortune not just on jewelry, gowns, and shoes, but on creating her ideal gardens and sanctuaries complete with rivers, orchards and farm animals where her family and friends could roam and play in peace.
West Seattle Nursery
Jennifer Gaikowski, Jeannine James, Marcia Bruno and Harris Hvezda
A small world of Exotic, Tropical and Northwest native plants combined with sculptural and naturally occurring containers created from organic matter! A thematic fountain provides a water supply for our pet dinosaurs, who roam the tableau munching on ferns. Fatsias, Tasmanian Ferns, Mahonia combine with groundcovers, grasses, palms and colorful indoor plants to take you back in time to the days when the earth was young.
“Dragonfly: Creating an Environment for Healing & Rejuvenation”
Suzanne Phillips, CPH
Tea Leaf Gardens
Tea Leaf Gardens strives to demonstrate how a small garden can create a pause of beauty in our lives, particularly when it needs renewal due to stress, loss or unexpected change. Dragonflies demonstrate loss and change through their metamorphosis. The Hollywood movie, “Dragonfly,” focuses on grief and loss.
“My Inner Sanctuary”
Maples for All Seasons
When you leave your house and enter into your Asian Inspired garden, the calming effect of Japanese Maples get you ready for the days events. Upon returning, as you walk into your inner sanctuary you leave behind the stresses of the work day and enjoy the relaxing beauty of Japanese Maples.
Rounding out the compact, yet inspirational gardens will be designs by Codina Ceramics, Dean Tile & Design, Emerald City Orchids, Killarney Cove Garden Design, Molbak’s Garden + Home, Ravenna Gardens, Steve Farris, and Sunnyside Nursery. See our website for more details.
If you’re new to the garden show, check out our new First Time Attending website page. It’s a big help with all the things you might want to know before you go. ~ Janet
If you have an 8-ft. by 6-ft. space to create a little slice of outdoor living heaven, what would you do with it? How would you make it livable, inviting and give it some panache to reflect your personality? Stumped? For ideas, you need look no further than the creative genious behind the Northwest Flower & Garden Show’s Container Exhibition designers.
Perhaps it’s the sweeping views of the downtown Seattle skyline and Elliott Bay that makes this airy, light-infused glass skybridge so wonderful. But the views are not the stars of the show in this space – these mini-gardens are. These delightful vignettes are always packed with creative do-it-yourself ideas; ideas that you can emulate right on your own patio, balcony or deck. They may range in style from cool, clean contemporary, to delightful whimsy, with every style in between, but they all show how you don’t have to have a lot of room to have an eye-catching garden space that expresses your personality and offers some welcome outdoor living space.
Here’s a sneak preview of what some of these talented designers are working on preparing for the garden show, along with some photos of some gardens from past show years. As you can see, every one of them is packed with pizzazz.
Ravenna Gardens returns to the garden show with another garden that is sure to be an eye-catcher. This year they are all about glass. Gillian Mathews and her team will have a garden called “The Terrarium Maker’s Studio.” It will be filled with elements used to make an actual terrarium, including glass, moss, ferns, succulents, gravel and sand. It will also showcase terrariums small and large – on the walls and on the ground and even hanging from the ceiling. It’s sure to inspire you to get into the terrarium craze yourself.
Michelle M. Myer has quite the appropriate name for her design business – Gardening GaGa!. As an artist she is always trying to inspire her clients to incorporate art in their gardens. She’s teaming up with metal artist Sarah Lavin to make a sculpture that is really a container. The entire piece will be a textural collage, with art and plants blending seamlessly together. Michelle has chosen cool plants that look good all year, punctuated by seasonal surprises, and the name of her exhibit is, appropriately, “A Four Season Symphony with Seasonal Crescendos.”
Designer Wendy Welch, of Wendy Welch Garden Design, gets in touch with her inner child designing our fabulous PlayGarden. She is shifting gears for her Container Exhibition garden on the skybridge. Wendy is drawing her inspiration from the gorgeous containers and furniture from Terris Draheim Showroom, one of Seattle’s premier interior and exterior design showrooms. Look for her signature cool minimalism, with a white and gray color scheme, with the splash of unusual elements, such as a brilliant orange standing umbrella.
So many of our Container Exhibition garden designers got into the groove of our garden show theme, “A Symphony of Flowers.” Chris Jacobs, from aw pottery,said “we couldn’t do a symphony, but perhaps a little concerto.” Thus was “Tutti Frutti” born, weaving several antagonistic parts into a composition. Prima containers from aw pottery, plants from T&L Nursery and Fancy Fronds, and iron windows reclaimed from an old French villa make up the display. It’s boldly punctuated with colors that enliven any season, shapes that seduce the eye, plants that sooth the mind and deep bass notes of the past as background.
Del Webber, owner of Vee-Garden (and a new exhibitor this year) is all about recycled content, water conservation and internal composting. To Del, art meets science, or, as he calls it, “naked humility.” He had lots of trial and error before he achieved success. Mother Nature’s whims can be cruel, but Del is hoping to outsmart her. He’s designed a system, dubbed “Vee Garden” (V is for vertical) that helps to manage the key components of a successful garden – soil temp, water conservation, bio-diversity, dense plantings and a composting system as well. And even in our tepid climate and short season he’s now growing peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and cabbages – outside. Beautifully.
“Songs of Sanctuary” draws its theme from Studio AB, owner and designer Andrea Becker’s own endeavor of crafting a small, secret sanctuary at her Ballard home. Joining forces with landscape architect Chris White, they sought to create a space with a sense of solace that is uniquely realized via an ‘East meets West” combination of elements that set the tone for serenity. Soft, upright evergreens, including magnolia, bamboo and salvaged Manzanita create a sense of enclosure, while a small Asian artifact is turned into a soothing water feature. Rare hand-formed, azure clay containers from Ragan & Associates finish the total harmony of the exhibit, bringing a positive energy rejuvenation.
Steve Smith and the gang from Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville returns to the Container Exhibition with another whimsical garden. “Jazz Up Your Space” begins with a piano that serves as both a bar and a planter. A discarded drum is repurposed into becoming a table/plant stand. It’s all in cool black and white, with the pop of color from foliage. Traditional containers are intermingled with the piano bar, and look for both tropical plants and traditional plants. Mary Stole explains their philosophy, saying, “In the garden, everyone can be an artist without apology or explanation.” That about sums up their garden, sure to be an attendee favorite.
“Heavy Metal” by Jana Hill of Terabithia Designs, entering the container competition for the first time, pays homage to power tools, power ballads and power plants. Using things gathering dust in the back of the garage or basement (old barbeques were the most prevalent), getting rusty by the side of the road, or marked on sale at Value Village, this “rock” garden will be a great place to knock back a cold one after going to town with a chainsaw. The plant palette is inspired by all of the amazing 80’s hairdo’s that perms and Aqua Net provided. Think strong and spiky, a la Mick Mars, or cascades of glossy curls, flash backs to Jon Bon Jovi. Perfect for getting in touch with your inner rocker.
Joe Grienauer, of Emerald City Orchids, also returns to the Container Exhibition (look for their show garden too) with an exhibit titled “Orchids Swinging on a Blue Note.” It is inspired by the great jazz combo musicians. Viewers will see musical instruments ready, as if the band were merely taking a quick break to grab a smoke and a cocktail between sets. Orchids of all sizes, shapes and colors will be punctuating the display, nestled in, on and around the instruments. (For our attendees really into jazz, be sure to catch some of the terrific jazz acts we will have in the South Lobby.)
Janit Calvo, of Two Green Thumbs, will be bringing us “The Fairy Song,” an exploration of garden, craft, popular culture and fantasy, all merged together into one surreal exhibit. Using the fairy garden motif for the first time since her 2004 garden show display, she will be combining recycled material with the possible beauty of our predicament, to illustrate what the future may hold for gardeners as we continue to heal this Mother Earth.
“New Wood Nirvana” is a subtle reference to the fact that New Wood Manufacturing, owned by Lincoln Harris, is located in Grays Harbor County, home of Kurt Cobain. Working with designer and artist Suzanne Ferris (who happens to be his sister), the garden will be made from strong yet bendable 7/16th-inch composite panels in many different shapes. Look for large curved shapes for a raised garden, pyramid-shaped hanging baskets, and a garden bench evoking the famous Tavanasa Bridge in Switzerland. (The hidden beauty of all these containers is that New Wood can handle direct ground contact without swelling or breaking down.) An industrial-grade woven steel trellis rises above the garden for climbing vines to give it all a strong vertical backdrop.
Tiffany Wiffert of Artisans Cottage, Judson Sullivan of Cultivar LLC, winner of the “Best Design” award in 2011, along with teams from Molbak’s and West Seattle Nursery round out the entries of the Container Exhibition. Their creations will be judged on Tuesday, February 7 by container designer Tina Dixon, owner of Plants a la Cart, along with Marsha Davis-Thomsen. ~ Janet
Tuesday, February 7
5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Opening Night Party for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show
Enjoy a fabulous evening of delicious food, fine wines, live music, and silent auctions as you feast your eyes of the 26 spectacular show gardens at the 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show. This year the Arboretum Foundation is collaborating with the Seattle Audubon Society on its show garden, “Birdsong,” which will celebrate the diverse habitat found in the Washington Park Arboretum. Proceeds benefit the Washington Park Arboretum. Black tie or festive dress.
Sponsored by the Arboretum Foundation
Washington State Convention Center
8th Avenue & Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101
Tickets: General Admission per person – $65 (Arboretum and Audubon Society members; ‘Early Bird’; $75 after January 19th)
$250 Patrons and $50 Benefactors
Visit their website for more information or to purchase tickets.
Wednesday, February 8 – Saturday, February 11
9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 12
9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Northwest Flower & Garden Show
Join us for the 24th annual Northwest Flower & Garden Show as we present “A Floral Symphony.” With 26 inspiring show gardens, 300 garden and nature-related exhibitors, over 100 seminars from leading gardening experts and – new for 2012 – 40 musical performances, this is the acclaimed show beloved by avid gardeners everywhere! You won’t want to miss the largest show of its kind on the West Coast, with more gardens, exhibitors, seminars and family entertainment than anywhere else. Families welcome – take the children to our popular PlayGarden or on a Treasure Hunt!
Washington State Convention Center
8th Avenue & Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101
Tickets: Children 12 and under are FREE!
Youth (13 – 17) $5.00
Adult ‘Early Bird’ (must be purchased by 2/7) $16.00
2-Day Pass $29.00
5-Day Pass $65.00
Visit our website to purchase tickets, review the Seminar Schedule or browse the Exhibitor List and read about the 2012 Garden Creators.
Wednesday, January 4
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
“Chinese Garden Design & Lore”
Garden writer and Bulletin editor Jan Whitner’s original slide presentation and armchair tour of Chinese gardens was so well received and attended in late November that we would like to provide another chance for you to experience it. We’d like to extend a special invitation to our friends at the Seattle Chinese Garden Society. The lecture is the first in the Pacific Connections Series, an enrichment activity program that we are offering to our new Pacific Connections Garden Stewards. To mark the kick-off of the series, we are opening up the first lecture to all our members, volunteers, and friends. Admission and parking are free. Space is limited, so RSVP soon to reserve your spot. Free.
Arboretum Foundation & University of Washington Botanic Gardens
Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle
Please RSVP to Rhonda Bush by phone (206-941-2550).
Sunday, January 15
“Creating Memorable Container Gardens”
Nationally renowned designer of container gardens Tina Dixon, owner of Plants a la Cart, will speak on creating memorable container gardens with tips on choosing proper soil, containers and plants, using design principles and elements to best effect. Tina has been featured in Sunset magazine, where her designs were heralded as “richly textural & inventive,” Garden Design, where her home garden earned their prestigious Golden Trowel award; the Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest magazine; and numerous books. She has been a garden creator and speaker at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
Northwest Perennial Alliance
Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle
Fee: Members – Free; Non-members – $10
Visit their website for more information.
The garden show’s 2012 “All That Jazz” Grand Prize is in its last weeks before we pick a lucky winner – chosen from your votes in our “Design a Garden” feature on gardenshow.com. Each time you vote you can enter to win. The more you vote, the better your chances! But you’d better hurry – there’s only a few chances to vote in the next few weeks. (Vote here.)
TICKETS, LODGING AND CASH PRIZE
Here’s what one lucky winner will get:
- Two nights lodging at the luxurious Sheraton Seattle Hotel (Traditional Room with single King or two Double beds) for stay between February 7 and February 12, 2012.
- $250 CASH good for a shopping spree at the 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show!
- Four tickets to the 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show, good for any day of the show.
- $50 Cheesecake Factory gift card (located across the street from the show).
- $10 Tully’s gift card (there’s one right outside the show entrance).
- Two days of free parking at the Washington State Convention Center ($48 value).
HOW TO ENTER
- Go to our website and VOTE in our new “Design a Garden” where you help design a show garden.
- After you vote, simply enter your name, email address and zip code, and that’s it – you’re entered in our drawing. (We are sorry but the system won’t accept Canadian postal codes.)
- You can enter every time we have a new vote – plants, designs, containers, hardscapes, and more will all be voted on in the coming weeks, now through December 22.
- Odds of winning with you don’t vote and enter – zero, zip nada!
- You can still vote and help design a show garden – you do not have to enter the Grand Prize contest.
READ THE FINE PRINT
- Only one vote per name and email address each voting week (up to 11 entries over duration of the contest).
- Winner will be chosen by random selection of the email addresses of all those who voted and entered.
- Only one winner will be named. Winner is responsible for responding to O’Loughlin Trade Shows with contact information in order to receive prize no later than January 15, 2012.
- If winner is unable to accept prize and attend the show, the prize in not transferrable. Another winner will be chosen by random selection.
- No cash value will be substituted for any part of the prize.
- Transportation to the show by any method is not included.
- All That Jazz prize drawing will be held on January 4, 2012. Winner will be notified by email as well as Facebook message.
- Garden Show Tickets will be mailed to winner in advance of the show. Gift cards, parking passes and cash prize of $250 for garden show shopping spree must be picked up at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show Office (Room 401) during show hours: Wednesday, February 8 – Saturday, February 11, 9:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sunday, February 12 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.
- Lodging includes two nights at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel, including hotel taxes and fees, between February 7 – 12, 2012. Additional charges for mini-bar, phone, spa and WiFi or other services not included.
- Employees of O’Loughlin Trade Shows are not eligible to enter.
- For more information contact janete@OTShows.com.