One of a Kind: The Connections Between People, Places and Plants

Some things just defy categorization. Like a garden. The reason why people create a garden, and how they go about gardening, are as unique as every single garden. So that’s why we created a “one-of-a-kind” category. Because these seminars are surely one-of-a-kind (and they are not-to-be-missed).

Each of these seminars promises to be eclectic, entertaining and enlightening, perhaps even challenging the way you think about your garden—and why you garden. Because gardens can teach us a lot about life. And that’s a good thing.

The Seminars by Category are listed in chronological order. Each of the seminars listed below will tell you the speaker name, seminar topic, seminar description, date, time, seminar location and if there is a book signing afterwards.

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!

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The New Botanical Experience in Seattle’s Future Waterfront Park

Richard Hartlage—Landscape designer and principal/CEO of Land Morphology
Heidi Hughes—Executive director, Friends of Waterfront Seattle

The imminent removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct opens up 20-acres of public space that is being transformed into a 26-block waterfront park. Designed by James Corner Field Operations with input from more than 10,000 Seattleites, the park will transform Seattle’s urban shoreline into a lush urban green space. Richard Hartlage is the local lead working on the park’s horticulture plan. Heidi Hughes is the Executive Director of Friends of Waterfront Seattle. In this seminar, Richard and Heidi will give on overview of this park project and how its planting plan will create a signature botanical experience along our waterfront.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 11:15 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

From Sustainability to Stewardship: New Insights from Renowned English Gardens

Nan Sterman— Designer, journalist, co-producer and host, “A Growing Passion” TV and author, Hot Color, Dry Garden

New garden trends still originate in old England! World-renowned private and public gardens are refocusing on stewardship, far beyond sustainability. They integrate wildflowers and grasses into formal gardens to acknowledge that attracting beneficials is as important as beauty. Habitat borders alongside edible gardens attract pollinators to ensure fruit production. Traditional perennial borders provide beauty for visitors’ enjoyment as well as wildlife habitat. Using resources wisely while maintaining the beauty and legacy of English gardening demonstrate stewardship beyond sustainability with lessons for us all.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 12:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Garden Goddesses: Four California Women and their Legendary Gardens

Donald Olson—Author, Pacific Northwest Garden Tour and California Garden Tour

Celebrate the achievements of great women gardeners! Donald Olson takes you on an entertaining tour of spectacular California gardens and introduces you to the remarkable women who created them. You’ll meet Kate Sessions, the “Mother of Balboa Park,”; Florence Yoch, California’s first female landscape architect and designer of the garden sets for Tara in “Gone With the Wind”; Virginia Robinson, creator of the first garden estate in Beverly Hills; and Ganna Walska, a flamboyant opera singer who used her wealth to create Lotusland in Montecito.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 5:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Public Visibility, Value and Engagement in our Shared Landscape Heritage

Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, FAAR—2019 Show Judge, President + CEO, The Cultural Landscape Foundation

What is the foundational knowledge that informs stewardship of our landscape legacy? How do we assign value for landscapes like Volunteer Park and Freeway Park, communicate holistically across multiple disciplines, and make a landscape’s layers of history at an iconic landscape like Gas Works Park or the University of Washington campus understood? Drawing on the work of TCLF with its collaborators, this seminar will highlight the resources throughout Seattle, the NW and the Nation, emphasizing stewardship strategies and opportunities for public engagement.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 11:45 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best Gardens

Christopher Woods—Horticulturist and author, Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best New Gardens

For three years, Chris Woods traveled the world seeking out contemporary gardens and found fifty of the best. With wit and humor, he describes the most arresting features in public parks in exotic locations like New Delhi and Dubai, mission-redefining botanic gardens in Chile and Australia, and the most enviable details of lavish private estates and gemlike city yards. Throughout, he reveals the fascinating people, plants, and stories that make these gardens so lust-worthy.

Friday, Feb 22 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Best View of Our World is in a Garden

Linda Larson—A Traveling Gardener, Master Gardener, blogger and author

Exploring the world one garden at a time is a captivating way to travel. Gardens, large & small, provide destinations all over the globe. For every garden, those who planted the seeds & arranged the ground have stories to tell: stories of the homes they built, the social structure of the day, the power & struggle required to make a garden. A story of personal travel to nearly 800 gardens in 25 countries combines travel adventure & nature’s beauty.

Friday, Feb 22 at 3:00 pm / Hood Room

Garden Jeopardy Game Show

Ciscoe Morris—Radio, TV host, columnist & author, Ask Ciscoe

ANSWER: An outrageously fun time! QUESTION: What is “Garden Jeopardy?” Jeopardy fans rejoice! Ciscoe Morris is taking your favorite game show to a whole new level with “Garden Jeopardy,” live and only on the NWFGF seminar stage! He’ll be challenging 2 teams, each with 3 avid gardeners, to answer garden-related questions in the usual Jeopardy format: He’ll provide the answer, and the contestants provide the question. So be prepared for Ciscoe’s usual hijinks as he tries to stump his contestants, and learn about gardening at the same time!

Friday, Feb 22 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Gardening in the Loire Valley

JJ De Sousa—Garden and interior designer and owner, Digs Inside & Out, Portland

Luckily for JJ de Sousa, the Northwest climate is almost identical to the climate in the Loire Valley of France. Since buying a neglected farmhouse in 2015, she has been reclaiming, restoring and reinventing her space in the French countryside. Surrounded by some of the most beautiful gardens in the world, a ton of inspiration to draw from. Join JJ in a very French adventure through the Valleé des Rois and see the ideas she gleaned from their over-the-top gardens and interiors!

Friday, Feb 22 at 6:45 pm / Hood Room