Sharing the Earth: Attracting Beneficial Pollinators and Living with Wildlife

Gardeners are an essential resource for birds, pollinators and other wildlife—especially in urban areas where we are literally paving paradise. Simply put, plants are the primary food source for animals, and if gardeners foster more plant diversity through careful plant choices, wildlife will thrive.

Join some of the leading advocates for birds, wildlife and pollinators in these vital seminars and discover the simple steps that benefit wildlife in urban or suburban environments. Not only will you gain a more beautiful garden year round, but you’ll make the environment friendlier to our natural neighbors.

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!

(Not So) Scary Garden Wildlife
David Mizejewski—Naturalist at National Wildlife Federation and author, Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife

Are you scared of bees and wasps? What about bats? How about snakes? Join Naturalist David Mizejewski for a myth-busting talk about these and other so-called “scary” garden wildlife that really aren’t so scary once you get to know them. He’ll explain their natural behaviors, why they’re important and how to avoid any problems with them. David is certain he can change your mind about these much-maligned animals that deserve our respect.

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

For the Love of Hummingbirds
John Shewey—Author, The Hummingbird Handbook and co-author, Birds of the Pacific Northwest

Hummingbirds amaze and intrigue us. Their high-speed enigmatic lifestyles are a blur; their startling colors and exotic behaviors are delights. Hummingbirds also inspire us—they are like tiny ambassadors with the power to usher people into a deeper interest in and appreciation for the natural world. Join John for this fun-filled program and learn how to attract hummingbirds with their favorite flowers and astute gardening techniques; learn how to cater to them, and how to be a great hummingbird host in your yard.

Wednesday, Feb 9 at 3:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Building an Orchard Mason Bee Pollinating Colony in your Backyard
James Ullrich—Owner, Knox Cellars Mason Bees

This demonstration covers developing of a backyard sanctuary for our invaluable native pollinators—Orchard Mason bees. Jim will cover all of the Mason bee's needs, including proper housing, housing location, and plants to assist in the success of bringing Mason bees into one’s yard. He’ll also review the life cycle of the Mason bee, and the maintenance requirements of your colony during the pollination process, and how to harvest, clean the cocoons and store them

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

Gardening For Wildlife with Native Plants
David Deardorff—Award-winning co-author, What’s Wrong With My Houseplant? and Saving Nature: One Yard At A Time

Our gorgeous native plants thrive in the sunlight, temperature, precipitation, and soils of our region. Perfectly adapted to our summer-dry climate, natives also formed symbiotic relationships with native birds, butterflies, and bees over thousands of years. Polyculture gardens, featuring complex structure and high species diversity using native plants, are sustainable because they need less irrigation and pest management. In addition to their beauty, native polycultures support multiple species of native wildlife. Discover what songbirds, butterflies and bees really need!

Saturday, Feb 12 at 2:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

GARDEN 101: What’s Bugging Your Garden?
Top Five Garden Pests: Aphids and Weevils and Snails, Oh My! 
Sharon J. Collman—Award-winning Emeritus Professor, WSU Extension Educator in Horticulture and IPM

Attract More Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden
Susan Mulvihill—Author, Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook, co-author, Northwest Gardener’s Handbook and garden columnist for Spokesman Review

Bugs: The Hidden World in the Garden
Ciscoe Morris—Award-winning radio, TV host, columnist and best-selling author, Ask Ciscoe and Oh La La!

Bugs. Insects. Pests. Weevils…they just sound evil, don’t they? Every garden gets its share of insects, but many are beneficial! Discover what’s bugging your garden and what you can do about it without resorting to harmful chemicals. Sharon Collman talks about the top 5 garden pests and helps you to learn “who’s who” so you do not unwittingly kill off the natural allies that are eating your pesty bugs. Susan Mulvihill takes it a step further so you can discover how to attract even more beneficial insects to your garden by eliminating pesticide use, creating habitat for them, interplanting flowers and herbs within your vegetables, and building your own insect hotel to welcome these amazing creatures. Finally, Ciscoe Morris takes you to the hidden world of these fascinating creatures and how to use the beneficial guys to help prevent the troublemakers from inflicting serious harm to your plants.

Saturday, Feb 12 at 2:30 pm / Rainier Room


The Garden 101 Series is sponsored by ColibriNW


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

How to Create a Garden Utopia for Birds
Constance Sidles—Award-winning Master Birder, author, Forty-six Views of Montlake Fill, and founder, Constancy Press

As our regional population growth explodes, backyard gardens are becoming more important as havens for birds. Connie will cover ways to enhance your garden to attract a variety of birds in all seasons. Discover birds you can attract and get tips on the native plants, feeders and enticements to add to your landscape. This “field trip” is a perfect way to tune up your garden for the neotropical migrants and local resident birds who need your help to thrive. Fantasize how your garden can be part of a wild ecosystem that provides endless hours of pleasure.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 4:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow