Get Growing: Plants Galore for Northwest Gardens

Here in the Northwest gardeners are blessed with incredible growing conditions for a wealth of plants, both native and exotic. But how can you choose the best plants for your garden from such abundance?

Our horticulturists, designers and garden writers will help you hone in on the right plants for your garden conditions—wet or dry, sunny or shady, large or small. Discover a world of plants you might never have considered, or find the perfect plants for a real problem spot. Be sure to catch our "Nick's Picks" seminars on the DIY Stage, as horticulturist Nicholas Staddon shares all the great plants, seeds and bulbs that you can find right at the festival! Plant shopping has never been so fun and easy!

The Seminars by Category are listed in chronological order. Please check the Seminar Schedule for a full list of all our seminars.

All seminars at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival are FREE with your ticket!

Buy Tickets Early and Save!

Nick’s Pick’s #1: Garden to Table Freshness from Fruit, Veggies and Seeds
Nicholas Staddon—Horticultural consultant and spokesperson/plantsman with Everde Growers and ‘Garden Savvy’ YouTube host

Eating wholesome fresh fruit is not just “trendy” anymore; it’s a cultural shift. Anyone can grow veggies and fruit in the garden, and even containers are great on the patio or balcony. Join horticulturist Nicholas Staddon for his top discoveries from the garden show Plant Market. Indulge yourself in this main course of terrific edibles. Nicholas will also cover partner plants to go with edibles. Finding just what you want is a breeze, as Nicholas provides booth numbers and company names for you to follow up on your favorite choices.

Wednesday, Feb 9 at 10:00 am / DIY Stage

The Art of Pruning Perennials Revisited
Tracy DiSabato-Aust—2022 Show Judge, horticulturist, designer and best-selling author, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden

Are you new to the art of pruning perennials or could your pruning skills use sharpening? Then join internationally renowned Tracy DiSabato-Aust for the first time, or for a refresher lesson, about the exciting and innovative techniques of pruning perennials. Learn to prune to delay flowering, control pests and disease, reduce the need for staking and increase overwintering. Information based on her updated best-selling perennial maintenance bible “The Well-Tended Perennial Garden”!

Wednesday, Feb 9 at 11:30 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Tracy DiSabato-Aust’s appearance sponsored by the

Bellevue Botanical Garden Society

 

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Reimagining Sonoma’s Spectacular Botanical Garden 
Scot Medbury – 2022 Show Judge and Executive Director, Sonoma Botanical Garden

Tucked against the rugged foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains in the famed Sonoma Valley of Northern California, the Sonoma Botanical Garden is relaunching itself as a more relevant resource for gardeners in a wildly changing climate.  The 35-year-old institution – formerly known as Quarryhill – has recently expanded its mission to embrace the cultivation and interpretation of the native flora of California, in addition to its historic focus on wild-collected Asian plants. Both its stunning collections of Asian magnolias, maples and other rarities will be featured, along with awe-inspiring California oak-savannah and chapparal plant communities. 

Scot Medbury's appearance sponsored by

The Hardy Plant Society of Oregon

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Beyond the Basics: Designing an Enchanting Garden
Karen Chapman—Owner, Le Jardinet, award-winning co-author, Fine Foliage, Gardening with Foliage First and author, Deer-Resistant Design

Gardens should be experienced, not just observed. Yet how do we design a garden to be more experiential? Designer Karen Chapman shows you how to do this by finding ways to fully engage all the senses, but also to pique curiosity and engage the imagination. Using examples from her travels to outstanding public and private gardens across the country she will explore ways to transform your garden into an enchanting, captivating retreat, with ideas for gardens and budgets of all sizes.

Thursday, Feb 10 at 9:30 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Pruning ABCs for Healthy Trees and Shrubs
Bess BronsteinEdCC educator, horticulture consultant and ISA Certified Arborist

Does this sound familiar? A few years ago you enthusiastically purchased new trees and shrubs for your garden. They have grown, as is their habit. What do you do now to keep them managed, yet healthy and aesthetically pleasing? Don’t just grab those old pruning shears and start to make round balls or squares of varying sizes. Learn the ABCs of proper pruning techniques and timing for a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs, and find satisfaction in a pruning job well done. Your shrubs and trees will thank you!

Thursday, Feb 10 at 11:45 am / DIY Stage

Nick’s Pick’s #2: A Mixed Bag of Bulbs, Perennials and Tubers
Nicholas Staddon—Horticultural consultant and spokesperson/plantsman with Everde Growers and ‘Garden Savvy’ YouTube host

Gardeners’ passion for seasonal perennials, bulbs, tubers and more shows no sign of letting up. Join horticulturist Nicholas Staddon as he cultivates his way through some of his dazzling finds from the garden show Plant Market. He will also show you a few other companion plants to go with his selections, and provide booth numbers and company names so you can easily find your favorite choices. Nicholas has done the leg work, so you don’t have to!

Thursday, Feb 10 at 10:00 am / DIY Stage

In Focus: Good Gardens Need Good Photographs

Saxon Holt—Award-winning photojournalist and co-author, Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates and Good Garden Photography

As our gardens become increasingly naturalistic our definition of beauty is evolving to consider wildness and all the creatures that use gardens. These gardens are hard to photograph and too often come off as disheveled. If we expect to promote a new aesthetic in a social media world all gardeners need good photos. Learn from garden photographer Saxon Holt and his award winning e-book Good Garden Photography how any camera sees beauty.

Thursday, Feb 10 at 2:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

GARDEN 101: All the Right Cuts
Pruning Fruit Trees in All Seasons, Especially Summer
Robert Kourik— Author of Sustainable Food Gardens, Your Edible Landscape and Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates


Renovation and Renewal of an Aging GardenBess BronsteinEdCC educator, horticulture consultant and ISA Certified Arborist

How to Plant a “Prune-less Garden”
Christina Pfeiffer—Horticulture consultant and educator, ISA certified arborist and co-author, Pacific Northwest Gardening Month-by-Month
Pruning is both art and science, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating if you learn basic techniques. Here three experts will get you started on the right cuts to make, and when to make them. Robert Kourik debunks and replaces the most common pruning myths about pruning fruit trees, with scientifically proven guidelines, and illustrates the very best training or shaping techniques for optimum fruitfulness. Next, Bess Bronstein helps you tackle an aging garden so that you can best plan how to take an overgrown chaos of huge shrubs, using pruning techniques for size and density reduction, plant definition and rejuvenation. Finally, Christina Pfeiffer will identify how plant choices, placement, and cultivation, along with those famous last words, “you can always prune it to keep it smaller,” contribute to creating a prune-a-lot garden. Learn how to optimize plant selection and how design elements can help set the stage for less pruning over the long term life of the garden.

Thursday, Feb 10 at 2:30 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

 

Sponsored by ColibriNW

 

A Garden Party: A Plantrama Celebration
C L FornariAuthor, Coffee for Roses and The Cocktail Garden Hour and award-winning co-host, Plantrama Podcast

Ellen Zachos—Award-winning co-host, Plantrama Podcast, and author, The Forager’s Pantry, Backyard Foraging and The Wildcrafted Cocktail

Plants and gardens sustained us through the pandemic, and it’s time to celebrate that! Hear the Plantrama podcast co-hosts as they present ideas for garden celebrations. Learn how to dress up your yard and gardens for afternoon tea, barbeques, evening cocktails or family reunions. Hear how to gather for group wildlife walks, flower-crafting creative events, or a garden celebration around the firepit. Inspirations you can use with plants you can grow, plus there will be door-prizes!

Thursday, Feb 10 at 3:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

The Not-Hardy Plant Society 
Scot Medbury – 2022 Show Judge and Executive Director, Sonoma Botanical Garden

Oregon’s coastal Curry County, in the remote southwestern-most corner of the state, supports the cultivation of a wide range of tender plants, making for what is arguably the hands-down best gardening climate in the United States.  Southern hemisphere introductions from Tasmania, Chile, New Zealand and a range of oceanic islands thrive in ways not seen either north or south along the coast, as do citrus and other subtropicals.  Forget “Zonal Denial” – here is a place where what you cannot grow is not very much (i.e. you can grow pretty much everything!). 

Thursday, Feb 10 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room

Pruning Demystified: Be a Barber, Not a Butcher

C L FornariAuthor, Coffee for Roses and The Cocktail Garden Hour and award-winning co-host, Plantrama Podcast

In this seminar C.L. explains when, how and why plants should be pruned, and how plants respond to different pruning cuts. Discover the general rules for pruning and hear a “recipe” that you can use to approach any shrub or tree—before you make a single cut. In addition to seeing alternatives to trying to make a large plant smaller, you will learn when a plant’s appearance can be improved with careful pruning, and when it should be transplanted to a larger space that fits its size.

Friday, Feb 11 at 9:30 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Nick’ Pick’s #3: Trees, Shrubs and Surprises for the Long Haul
Nicholas Staddon—Horticultural consultant and spokesperson/plantsman with Everde Growers and ‘Garden Savvy’ YouTube host

Many of the plants used in the luscious display gardens at the Festival can be purchased from nurseries in the Plant Market. Nicholas has visited with nurserymen and women to find the hidden gems that are for sale. He will introduce his top picks from the conifer, tree and shrub categories available at the show. These plants tend to be longer lived in our gardens, so the selection process is all the more important. Nicholas has done the homework, so you don’t have to!

Friday, Feb 11 at 10:00 am / DIY Stage

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Plants
Ciscoe Morris—Award-winning radio, TV host, columnist and best-selling author, Ask Ciscoe and Oh La La!
Nita-Jo Rountree—Author, Growing Roses in the Pacific Northwest
Daniel Sparler—Compulsive plant collector, gardener extraordinaire and botanical Latin maestro

Every week, Ciscoe Morris, Nita-Jo Rountree and Daniel Sparler each choose a plant from their spectacular gardens to feature on the Bellevue Botanical Gardens Facebook live channel in ‘Plant of the Week.’ Now they will choose their absolute favorite plants to share with you in 60 entertaining minutes. Besides stunning visuals, you will learn interesting facts about the plant, how to care for it, and why these three avid “hort-heads” think it should be in your garden! Bring your pen and paper because this is a list you will want to make!

Friday, Feb 11 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Great Plant Picks: Plants for Small Spaces
Richie Steffen—Executive Director, Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden and co-author, Plant Lover’s Guide to Ferns

Is your garden space challenged? Do you want that lush full look of a huge garden, but don’t know which plants might soon overwhelm your petite space? Are you looking for the perfect plants that will fit into the smaller urban garden? Discover the best and most reliable plants for our climate that add color, texture and beauty to your patio, pots and petite garden spaces. Being small never looked so good with these great, proven plants that have received the Seal of Approval by the Great Plant Picks experts!

Friday, Feb 11 at 5:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

How to Fix (and Avoid) the Most Common Pruning Mistakes
Christina Pfeiffer—Horticulture consultant and educator, ISA certified arborist and co-author, Pacific Northwest Gardening Month-by-Month

A well-pruned tree mature tree or shrub adds value and beauty to your landscape, and ensures a healthier plant. If you’ve been down the path of unexpected results after well-intentioned pruning of shrubs and small trees, this seminar will help you figure out what kinds of pruning mistakes can be fixed, when and how to do it, and how to avoid some of the most common pruning errors.

Friday, Feb 11 at 5:00 pm / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow

Best Plants for Mediterranean Climates
David Deardorff—Award-winning co-author, What’s Wrong With My Houseplant? and Saving Nature: One Yard At A Time

Our Mediterranean climate has a cool/wet season in winter, and a warm/dry season in summer. All five of the Mediterranean climates of the world have enough rain or snow in winter to support a rich variety of plant species but every summer is a long period of drought. Select the best plants for your location (use your zip code to determine your USDA Zone) and choose native and/or exotic species that thrive with little water in summer.

Friday, Feb 11 at 6:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Trees and a Warming Climate: Strategies for Management and Adaptation
Allen Taylor—Founder and Lead Arborist, Conservation Tree Care

The science behind and effects of climate change are undeniable. The value and benefits of trees in the face of climate change is also undeniable. We will discuss strategies for managing existing trees, everything from soil improvements to pruning and pathogen management. As well as strategies for adapting to a warmer climate such as assisted migration (planting trees from warmer regions). You’ll will leave with a better understanding of the impact climate change will have on their trees and gardens as well as better strategies for adapting to it.

Friday, Feb 11 at 6:30 pm / Hood Room

Great Plant Picks: Plants for a Better Planet
Richie Steffen—Executive Director, Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden and co-author, Plant Lover’s Guide to Ferns

Looking for tough plants or great native plants for the garden? Or maybe something to attract pollinators? Learn about top performing native, drought tolerant and pollinator attracting plant choices that thrive in our Pacific Northwest climate. Gardening can be an act of climate activism when you incorporate plants that live in harmony with your climate and water availability and provide beneficial food and water for wildlife and pollinators. These are plants that are both beautiful and beneficial to the planet.

Saturday at 9:30 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

No More Square Shrubs: Fundamentals of Pruning Shrubs and Trees
Charlie Nardozzi—Regional Emmy award-winning radio, TV host and author, Gardening Complete, Foodscaping and No-Dig Gardening

Many gardeners are often overwhelmed when they try to approach pruning a shrub or small tree. In this seminar, Charlie will help demystify pruning by talking about when to prune various flowering and non-flowering shrubs and trees, some basic pruning cuts you can do with all shrubs and trees, and how to renovate a plant that has gotten out of control. He'll also review pruning techniques for new trees, how to prune for more fruiting and the tools you'll need to do the job.

Saturday, Feb 12 at 11:45 am / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow

Power Up Garden Beauty; Power Down Garden Maintenance
Kerry Ann Mendez—Award-winning speaker, garden designer and author of 4 gardening books, including The Right-Size Flower Garden

Gardening doesn’t have to be a chore when you become a savvy plant buyer. Get more bang for your buck, and less backbreaking maintenance, with these amazing perennials, flowering shrubs and annuals that provide much more color than commonly planted varieties. Plus, these underused beauties (many of which are natives or nativars) are pollinator friendly, and most require less water. Enjoy more time relaxing with family and friends as they admire your handiwork!

Saturday, Feb 12 at 12:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Garden Lust: New Must-Have Plants for 2022
Diane Blazek—Executive Director at All America Selections and National Garden Bureau

Gardeners always like to know about the latest plant introductions and, if possible, put them in their own gardens. But how to keep up with all the “new” plants? National Garden Bureau to the rescue! Through NGB’s connections with dozens of plant breeders, they compile lists of hundreds of new varieties and present them on their website via their “New Plants” program. But hearing about these exciting new plants live, with personal stories, insights and experiences is far more exciting! Bring a pen and paper to this seminar to write down all the new varieties you’ll want in your garden!

Saturday, Feb 12 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room

Improving Habitat for Wildlife: Replace Exotic Invasives with Native Plants
Heather Andrews—YouTube video blogger, Garden Thoughtfully, and garden educator

Is your garden serving its best role to help support wildlife and pollinators? What changes can you make to live more harmoniously with nature and support wildlife? Heather will define invasive plants versus the exotic plants; help you discover beneficial native alternatives to typical (and often boring) suburban landscape plants, and show how you can reduce water use, chemical use and maintenance chores by incorporating valuable native plants into your gardens.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 12:30 pm / Rainier Room

GARDEN 101: Bold, Beautiful and Bountiful Containers
Contained Brilliance: How to Container Garden Like a Pro
Cindy Funes, CPH—Owner and container garden designer, Garden Revelry

 Look Ma! No Flowers: Fabulous Foliage Containers
Deborah TrickettAward-winning container designer and owner, The Captured Garden 

Potted Herb Gardens for Health and Wellness
Sue Goetz CPH, EcoProOwner, Creative Gardener and author, Complete Container Herb Gardening and A Taste for Herbs

Container gardens are perfect for the space-challenged gardener or anyone who wants a bold expression in the garden. Learn from the pros to avoid making expensive mistakes and get great results. Cindy Funes will cover how to select containers, essential tools, soil basics, plant selection, design principles and color theory, showing you the best in Northwest container design. Next, Deborah Trickett will convince you that flowers aren’t needed for lush, colorful, easy-care foliage containers that pack a punch and show off your personal style. From the basics of foliage color, texture and contrast to design ideas to great plant selections, you’ll be saying “Look Ma, No Flowers!” this summer. Finally, Sue Goetz shows you how potted herbs can create a feast of flavorings to place near outdoor kitchens, medicinal herbs for mini healing gardens, tea herbs in a sanctuary space, or aromatherapy with fragrant plants near outdoor seating areas.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 2:00 pm / Rainier Room

 

Sponsored by ColibriNW