Northwest Flower & Garden Highlights

Balmy weather at the Bloedel Reserve brought out all the spring flowers
Balmy weather at the Bloedel Reserve brought out all the spring flowers

Arriving in Seattle last week for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show was like traveling to the tropics from Siberia. A cold snap in the mid-Atlantic had its icy hold on the region and when I landed in Seattle, I shed all my gloves, jackets and scarves with relief and basked in mid-60’s weather. Flowers were in full bloom outside and native Seattleites assured me that the warmth was unusual weather this early in the season.

Camellias were in full bloom in Seattle
Camellias were in full bloom in Seattle

Camellias and Hellebores were in bloom everywhere.

I had never been to the Northwest Flower  & Garden show but was doing two presentations there and was very impressed with the size and scale of the show. A heart (It was Valentines weekend) of thousands of succulents towered over the front entrance to the show.

Heart of succulents
Heart of succulents

The Northwest Flower & Garden Show  floor was acres of blooming flowers, vendors, and gardening ideas that I spent two full days exploring.

Steam Punk Garden
Steam Punk Garden

The Steam Punk Garden and the Bee Friendly Garden were two of my favorite displays.

Bee Friendly Garden
Bee Friendly Garden

After doing my speaking duty, I was free to explore.

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The show had lots of interesting vendors and it never got too crowded like the Philadelphia flower show where you are always bumping into people trying to get a closer look.

I need this car! Subaru, one of the show sponsors had this gardening dream car on display
I need this car! Subaru, one of the show sponsors had this gardening dream car on display

 Vendors

For vendors, I was expecting the usual mix of home improvement companies and jewelry and scarf vendors. But I was proved wrong with the quality and selection of down to earth garden vendors. A gardener could get into real trouble here!

I could have ordered one of these custom built garden sheds for a mere $7000
I could have ordered one of these custom built garden sheds for a mere $7000

I was especially interested in a Cedar Cold Frame kit to extend my growing season. See them at http://www.cedarcoldframes.com/ , but the kit was too bulky to take on a plane. I will probably order one for the spring. The cold frames were well made and they even had one that was table height so you didn’t have to bend over. Also Charley’s Greenhouses had an awesome display and I am seriously considering buying one. I need the triple wall, cedar frame “Northern Heritage” one. I will put this on my Christmas list!

A Charley's greenhouse with triple wall insulation
A Charley’s greenhouse with triple wall insulation

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The vintage gardening section was incredible. I have never seen vintage vendors at a gardening show before. See my post at Vintage Gardening  to see the different kinds of products you could buy. I went through the area three times! How about repurposing an old sink into a potting bench? Or making a hanging container out of an old funnel?

A repurposed funnel
A repurposed funnel
A "vintage" sink becomes a potting bench
A “vintage” sink becomes a potting bench

Chihuly glass is everywhere in Seattle gardens because Dale Chihuly was born in Washington State. We went to the Chihuly gardens and museum in downtown Seattle and I will do a post on that garden later as it was so incredible. But you could buy your very own Chihuly knock off in the market place for quite a bit less than the real thing.

You could buy your own Chihuly glass knock offs at the market place
You could buy your own Chihuly glass knock offs at the market place

 The flowers of course were stunning with the orchid display especially beautiful. There was a meadow of orchids presented by the Northwest Orchid Society.

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Gardening in February is still going on here in the mid-Atlantic even though we have an arctic blast! For  some of my winter tips on the best way to start seeds, go to Hartley Botanic’s gardening calendar.

12 Replies to “Northwest Flower & Garden Highlights”

  1. This looks like the perfect place to get away from the icy cold for awhile! I’ve heard so much about the Northwest Flower Show; congrats on being invited to speak there. Have you ever been to the one in Chicago? I was wondering how it compared to the Northwest Show. My best friend and I usually travel up to Chicago for the show each year to get inspired and take a break from winter. It’s always nice to see tulips and daffodils blooming inside while it’s still snow-covered outside.
    How exciting to see the Chihuly gardens!

  2. Love those cedar cold frames too. Looking at all these beautiful pictures pulled me out of this blizzard here for a few minutes and I felt that excited ‘spring ‘ feeling of wandering around and discovering everything coming back to life!!

  3. Hey Claire, thank for posting your trip and experience to Washington. What a wonderful visit. Thanks for sharing it with everyone. I would have loved to see this show. Looks great!!

  4. Great post Claire, and love all the photos. It was so lovely to meet you and I enjoyed your seminars! Nothing like a seminar on “Sex in the Garden” for our Valentine’s themed show. Folks, the 2015 NWFGS is happening February 17 – 21, 2016. #SpringinFeb

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