Get Growing: Plants Galore for Northwest Gardens

2019 Show Information

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. Once you integrate “right plant/right place” into your garden, it will all come together beautifully.


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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Shop with a Pro: Nick’s Plant Picks Part 1 on Perennials, Bulbs, Veggies and Seeds

Nicholas Staddon—Horticultural Consultant, former Director of New Plants for Monrovia Growers

In 2017 we let Nicholas Staddon roam the Garden Festival in search of his best plant picks available at the show. His discoveries were stunning and delighted audiences with his unusual must-have recommendations. By popular demand, he’s back! Join Nicholas for an insider look at plants you simply must take home with you, from bulbs, veggies, perennials, conifers, woody ornamentals and more. Nicholas has done the leg work, so you don’t have to!

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 11:45 am / DIY Stage

How the Modern Rose Came to Be: The Unique Influence of China’s Wild Roses

William A. McNamara—2019 Show Judge; President and Executive Director, Quarryhill Botanical Garden

When one thinks of a garden, one almost invariably thinks of a rose. It is in many peoples’ mind the quintessential flower. But the modern rose looks and grows quite differently from its wild ancestors. How did this legendary plant’s modern form come to be? How did this typically five-petaled once-blooming plant come to grace our gardens with the thousands of forms available today? With more than 200 million roses produced just for Americans on Valentine’s Day, we’ll explore the humble beginnings of this multi-billion-dollar industry.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room

Don’t Snub the Shrub!

Rebecca Sweet—Designer, Harmony in the Garden and author, Refresh Your Garden Design and co-author, Garden Up!

It’s time to embrace the ‘shrub phase of your life’! Often called the ‘Cinderellas of the landscape,’ shrubs are some of the hardest working, yet often overlooked superstars in the garden. Let landscape designer Rebecca Sweet inspire you with innovative ways to use evergreen and deciduous shrubs to transform a ho-hum garden into an eye-popping, year-round masterpiece. Discover amazing new varieties that will provide long-lasting color, texture, flowers, and form all while being low-maintenance!

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 1:45 pm / Hood Room

Foolproof Hydrangeas for Every Garden

Lorraine B. Ballato—Garden writer, horticulturist and author, Success with Hydrangeas

No garden is complete without this queen of American shrubs. From 18-inch, container-sized, reblooming beauties to 8-foot explosions of multicolored zing, there is a hydrangea for every garden. Discover hydrangeas like never before, including the many recent introductions that have hit the market, their proper care, and the cultivars that perform well despite over-enthusiastic pruning and finicky weather. You will leave this seminar never again having to ask the question, “Why doesn’t my hydrangea bloom?”

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 5:45 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Connecting Animals, Plants and People: Wild Excerpts of Zoological Horticulture

Bryon Jones—Horticulturist, Arborist, and Landscape Designer, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

If you thought bunnies, deer, and squirrels were a challenge in your garden, be ready to laugh at some stories of how gardening with primates, wolves, and other animals takes it to a whole new level! In this fascinating seminar, Bryon Jones, horticulturist at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, will lead you on a visual discovery of the multifaceted world of zoological horticulture. Come prepared for a tantalizing mix of imagery integrated with tips on how to grow many unique and garden worthy plants from around the world.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 6:45 pm / Hood Room

Beautiful Bamboo: Planting, Containment, and Removal

Mark Meenan—Owner, American Bamboo Company and Bamboo Carpenter

Do you want to add beautiful bamboo to your garden, but are afraid to because of what you’ve heard? This seminar is for you! Mark will start with bamboo basics: the roots of the plant, clumping vs spreading; and identification. He will talk about selecting the best bamboo for your installation needs, and work through the main containment techniques: berm vs. trench, sand clean out trench, and plastic barriers. Finally, he’ll share basic techniques for anyone who is stuck with running bamboo.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 7:00 pm / Rainier Room

Little-Used Native Plants for Big Impact

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott—WSU Asso. Professor and author, Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific NW and How Plants Work

Nurseries continue to provide an increasing variety of native species for home gardeners. So which ones should you choose? This seminar is based on the eagerly awaited, newest edition of Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, co-authored by Art Kruckeberg and Linda Chalker-Scott. She’ll discuss some native plants you may never have considered that are garden-worthy and commercially available. You’ll discover how these selections can not only enhance your garden but may also benefit wildlife.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 11:15 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: The Trials and Tribulations of Plant Hunting

William A. McNamara—2019 Show Judge; President and Executive Director, Quarryhill Botanical Garden

Nurserymen and women, plant enthusiasts, and specialty collectors are searching remote areas of the globe for new plants like never before. Fascinating tales of deep gorges, high mountains, and even bandits often accompany their tales. Plant lovers are well known for their enthusiasm for new additions to their gardens. But is this such a wonderful thing? Many of these modern-day plant hunters may be doing more harm than good. Pitfalls can include escaping cultivation and overpowering the native flora, introducing pests and diseases, and over-collecting in the wild and threatening loss of habitat.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room

Shrubs, The New Perennial—Only Better

Lorraine B. Ballato—Garden writer, horticulturist and author, Success with Hydrangeas

They're here! Shrubs now come in sizes from 12" to 24", the perfect size to take the place of perennials in borders and gardens. And that's just grand because they can give you color with interesting foliage, flowers, and almost zero maintenance. That means more time to do other things instead of all those chores. Join Lorraine as she guides you through these newer plant introductions, so you can start phasing your gardens over to these beauties with a promising future for both of you.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 5:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Shop with a Pro: Nick’s Plant Picks Part 2 on Conifers, Woody Shrubs and Trees

Nicholas Staddon—Horticultural Consultant, former Director of New Plants for Monrovia Growers

In 2017 we let Nicholas Staddon roam the Garden Festival in search of his best plant picks available at the show. His discoveries were stunning and delighted audiences with his unusual must-have recommendations. By popular demand, he’s back! Join Nicholas for an insider look at plants you simply must take home with you, from bulbs, veggies, perennials, conifers, woody ornamentals and more. Nicholas has done the leg work, so you don’t have to!

Friday, Feb 22 at 10:00 am / DIY Stage

GARDEN 101: Must-have Stars of the Garden

Ah, Spring. It will be here before we know it, along with the peak of blooms in our gardens that last through summer. If you don’t have peonies, clematis and roses, discover some of the best varieties you’ll surely want to grow. Carol A. Adelman will explain peony growing requirements, planting, controlling for diseases along with best practices in using peonies in the mixed garden. Linda Beutler will share the most stalwart must-have summer Clematis from around the world. And finally, Master Rosarian John Fredette will cover selecting roses, soil prep and planting, and first-season care. Your flower vases will be filled all spring and summer with these gorgeous beauties!

Friday, Feb 22 at 2:15 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

 

  • Growing Gorgeous Peonies

Carol A. Adelman—Owner, Adelman Peony Gardens and author, Peony: The Best Varieties for Your Garden

  • Clematis from Around the World

Linda Beutler—Author, Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis and curator, Rogerson Clematis Collection


  • Growing Great Roses is Not That Hard

John FredetteARS Award-winning Master Rosarian and Accredited Rose Judge

Great Plant Picks: 25 Plants to Create a Gorgeous Year-round Garden

Richie Steffen—Director/Curator, Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden and co-author, Plant Lover’s Guide to Ferns

Gardening is not a one season affair. Learn about great easy to grow and reliable performing plants that will transform your garden into a year-round event. This seminar presents some of the best trees, shrubs and perennials selected by the regional plant education program Great Plant Picks for fall color, winter berries and bark, spring flowers and summer bloom and foliage. Dozens of horticulturists, designers and nurserymen have taken the guesswork out of choosing the best plants for Northwest Gardens!

Friday, Feb 22 at 5:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Lavender: Endless Uses, From Crafting to Culinary

Susan L. Harrington—Chief Education Officer, Labyrinth Hill Lavender

With its genetic roots in the slopes of Mediterranean hillsides, lavender is unrivaled for its versatility. From aromatherapy to culinary delights, medicinal treatments to housekeeping tips, this lively presentation provides you with simple ideas and crafting inspiration for using lavender varieties. Not only will you learn how to care for this aromatic herb to produce the most fragrant stems, you will see how to use common household items to process dried lavender for its buds.

Saturday, Feb 23 at 11:45 am / DIY Stage

How to Have Fragrant Flowers Almost Year-round

Denise Schreiber—Award-winning garden writer and author, Eat Your Roses

There isn’t a season where you can’t have fragrant flowers blooming either in the garden or in the home. From Paperwhites (love ‘em or hate ‘em), to Witch hazels, Mock Orange, Lavender, Roses, Lilies, Sweetbox and more, you can always have fragrance in your garden and home. This talk will give the audience a whole new outlook on fragrant plants for their gardens and in the home as well.

Saturday, Feb 23 at 4:15 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Embrace Vertical Gardening! Embellish Your Garden with Vines

Laura Watson—Master Gardener, Master Pruner, ‘Clemaniac’ and blogger, ClematisinSeattle.com

Learn how to embellish your garden with the remarkable beauty and diversity of vines. Using great photos and a friendly speaking style, Laura Watson showcases the amazing variety in color, shape, bloom time, and growth habit of vines that do well in the Pacific Northwest—wisteria, clematis, passionflower, and more. Get details about their care, information about pruning, recommendations for easy vines to try. Receive an informative and detailed handout to take home.

Saturday, Feb 23 at 6:45 pm / Hood Room

GARDEN 101: Focus on Flowers

Flowers do far more than bring joy to a recipient, or pollen to a bee. They can be used for their culinary delights, or for aromatherapy. These 3 info-packed seminars will help you get the most from your flowers! Lisa Mason Ziegler shares her fall and very early spring planting experiences and reintroduces the cool-season concept: when and what to plant, setting it up for low maintenance and how to keep the blooms coming into the summer heat. Robin Haglund will share how to add year-round aromatic plants to your garden, while avoiding the worst stinkers. She’ll also give you DIY ideas for bringing your garden of fragrant delights indoors in fresh & preserved forms. Finally, Denise Schreiber takes a look at what common flowers are edible from the garden, how to grow them, and some easy recipes. Yum!

Sunday, Feb 24 at 2:15 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

 

  • Growing Great Spring Flowers
    Lisa Mason Ziegler—Owner, The Gardener’s Workshop and author, Cool Flowers and Vegetables Love Flowers
  • Growing a Garden of Fragrant Delights
    Robin Haglund—Garden coach, speaker, writer and president, Garden Mentors® Inc.
  • What’s for Dinner? Edible Flowers!
    Denise Schreiber—Award-winning garden writer and author, Eat Your Roses