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. No ticket refunds for Speaker cancellation.

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

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


Hydrangea Happiness, Hydrangea Hysteria

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

From the blue mopheads and lacecaps to the white panicles and beyond, there’s a hydrangea for every garden. Learn which varieties will live and flower well in your gardens. Find out how to prune those blue-flowering types that bloom on “old wood.” Hear about shorter varieties, and types that do well in pots. Have your Hydrangea questions answered, and discover how to get long-lasting flowers in your yard and garden.

Wednesday, Feb 9 at 6:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing  to follow

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

Plan Ahead: “Alaska Hardy” Plants That Work in Pacific Northwest Gardens

Ginger HudsonDirector, Jensen-Olson Arboretum, landscape designer and master gardener

The Jensen-Olson Arboretum is situated on a semi-protected cove north of Juneau, AK, on the coast of the world-famous Inside Passage. Plant species survive through hurricane force winter winds, blowing snow, raucous rains, and extreme temperature swings. This historic site boasts a 110-year-old apple tree, the Nationally Accredited Plant CollectionTM for the genus Primula, hundreds of herbaceous perennials, trees and woody plants. With a slowly warming climate, perhaps some of these hardy varieties will work in your gardens.

Thursday, Feb 10 at 10:00 am / Rainier Room

Pruning ABCs for Healthy Trees and Shrubs
Bess Bronstein—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
No More Square Shrubs: Fundamentals of Pruning Trees and Shrubs

Charlie Nardozzi—Regional Emmy award-winning radio, TV host and author, Gardening Complete, Foodscaping and No-Dig Gardening

Renovation and Renewal of an Aging Garden

Bess Bronstein—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 arborists will get you started on the right cuts to make, and when to make them. Charlie Nardozzi 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 the tools you'll need to do the job. 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

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

In From the Wild: Native Trees & Shrubs for Northwest Gardens

Mark Turner—Professional photographer, author, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest and owner, Turner Photographics 

Trees and shrubs are the backbone of any garden. They provide structure, shade, food and shelter for wildlife, and year-around interest. Very often, gardeners think first of exotic trees, overlooking most of our natives. Learn to go beyond Oregon-grape, kinnikinnick, and red-osier dogwood in your garden. There are good choices for wet sites, for sun or shade, for cool west-side gardens and for parched eastern Washington sites. Learn the strengths (and weaknesses) of both evergreen and deciduous species. You don’t have to go 100% native, but including locally adapted trees and shrubs can save you money on your water bill while making your yard more attractive to wildlife.

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

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

Including Gorgeous Roses in your Garden
Nita-Jo Rountree—Author, Growing Roses in the Pacific Northwest

By using garden design principles, it’s easy to illustrate how to successfully use various types of roses in mixed beds as well as in formal designs. Mouth-watering photographic examples of disease-free roses that are a delight for the senses will be highlighted, along with ideas for beautiful companion plants. Learn that by selecting the right rose for the right place and by giving them average care, you can have fragrant beautiful roses that are disease-free in your garden. It’s exciting to grow roses again!

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


Lessons from Mediterranean Landscape Design: It’s All About Plant Selection

Phillip WaiteFormer University Educator in Landscape Architecture

A Mediterranean Climate Model (‘MCM’) has very defined characteristics. The parts of the northwest that currently experience a MCM are expanding due to the impacts of climate change. This presentation looks at the design characteristics of landscapes in a MCM, characteristics of plants common to a MCM, and the lessons and implications for Pacific Northwest gardens. The major takeaway from this presentation is that adaptions for a MCM will create more resilient gardens.

Saturday, Feb 12 at 2:00 pm / Hood Room

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

Sizzling Blooms: Heat-Tolerant Clematis of Summer
Laura WatsonMaster Gardener, Master Pruner and ‘Clemaniac’

Let Laura show you the amazing beauty and variety of the clematis of summer! Using great photos and a friendly speaking style, will discuss the beautiful and varied clematis of high summer, including the Profuse Clematis (also known as viticellas), the Trumpets and Urns (texensis, viorna, and crispa hybrids), the Late Large-Flowered Clematis, and Non-Climbing Clematis. Get details about the care of each type of clematis, information about simplified pruning, and recommendations for easy clematis to try.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 12:00 pm / Hood Room

Incorporating Native Plants in Your Garden
Mark Turner—Professional photographer, author, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest and owner, Turner Photographics 

Do you have to go whole hog and ditch your old garden favorites when you “go native?” Not necessarily. Tuck native perennials and shrubs into your existing garden and begin experiencing the benefits of gardening with native plants without wiping the slate clean first. Learn how to choose appropriate native (and near-native) plants for your environment. See examples of native plants incorporated into an existing garden and new garden areas planted mostly with natives.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 12:30 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Success with Succulents with Containers and Terrariums

Becky Sell—Sedum expert and nursery owner, Sedum Chicks, Salem, Oregon

Learn many ways to use ‘the right type of succulents’ inside your home or in the right season outside too. Find out how a succulent nursery owner manages and maintains her own containers and terrariums. ‘Soft’ or tender succulents are not native in the Pacific Northwest, but we can still enjoy them year-round as well – inside and out.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 1:30 pm / DIY Stage

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