Small Space Design: Containers and Interior Gardening with Houseplants

Are you a passionate gardener who has downsized your garden? Or perhaps you live in high-rise condo or apartment and your balcony and interior spaces have become your garden. Even a huge garden can be divided into intimate spaces, each with its own personality and design.

Houseplants aren’t a new trend; they were huge in the ‘70’s. Many people recall them as their “gateway plants” to a larger love of gardening. But they have shed their hippie vibe and are re-emerging as a trend as more people live in homes with no place for a garden. Working people are finding that houseplants fill a nurturing need for getting in touch with nature.

Our Small Space Design seminars have loads of great ideas to inspire you to experiment with containers and houseplants, along with top tips to keep plants in containers healthy—even Japanese maples and delicious edibles. It’s time to surround yourself with the nature that you love and crave, when you bring the outdoors inside!

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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Contained Bounty: Growing Fruit Bearing Plants in Containers

Theresa Knutsen—Propagations and Greenhouse Manager, Raintree Nursery

If you think you don’t have room to grow edible plants, think again! Fruit bearing plants can be grown in containers as successfully as ornamentals, including many varieties suitable for NW gardens. Some types of plants, such as citrus, blueberries, and apples have specific needs which will be addressed. Container selection, potting mix (or make your own), fertilizing, and how and when to water will be covered, along with helpful techniques for getting started with both potted and bare root plants, and re-potting.

Wednesday, Feb 26 at 1:30 pm / DIY Stage

Tillandsias: The Easiest Houseplants Ever!
JJ De Sousa—Garden and interior designer and owner, Digs Inside & Out, Portland

Tillandsias, or air plants, are all the rage for people in apartments or condos, and for good reason! Learn about all the cool things you can do with a tillandsia. Since they don’t require soil to grow, they are able to live in ways and places that few other plants can. From aeriums to terrariums, grape wood plantings to wall hangings, discover how to create living sculptures, miniature living worlds and hanging vertical gardens, and how to take care of them for years of enjoyment.

Thursday, Feb 27 at 11:45 am / DIY Stage

Cure for the Common Table: Creating Unique and Fun Tablescapes

Gina Thresher, AIFD, CFD—Owner and designer, From the Ground Up Floral

Have you tried to create fine floral arrangements like you see in magazines, only to throw your hands up in despair? Floral designer Gina Thresher helps you take the guesswork and frustration from your floral woes. Gina will talk prep, materials and products and design principles along with creating a classic dining table centerpiece, fun and artful arrangements for your coffee table, and an entryway or mantle focal piece. You’ll be inspired to create arrangements to wow your friends at your next gathering.

Thursday, Feb 27 at 5:00 pm / DIY Stage

No Garden Required! Discover Your Inner Orchid Expert

Joe Grienauer—Orchid expert and owner, Emerald City Orchids and 2020 Show Garden Co-Creator

Joe will help you get orchids that you treasure with this great hands-on demonstration. He’ll cover basic orchid background, care, fertilization, and pest/disease control. He’ll review greenhouse vs. window vs. artificial light growing techniques, how to initiate flowers on a healthy plant, and which orchids are best for newbies. He’ll also demo the all-important orchid repotting. Even brown thumbs can grow orchids if you learn the basic techniques, and Joe is just the person to get you started!

Friday, Feb 28 at 3:15 pm / DIY Stage

No Excuses: Anyone Can Grow Beautiful, Healthy Houseplants!

Ellen Zachos—Horticulturist, educator and author, Backyard Foraging and The Wildcrafted Cocktail

If you can follow a recipe you can grow houseplants. It’s as simple as understanding what a plant needs, and what kind of growing conditions you have. Combine that knowledge with a desire for lush, indoor greenery, and you’ll be able to create your own indoor garden in no time. Learn how to choose the right plants for your indoor space, how to care for those plants to keep them healthy for years. Ellen will share professional tips and tricks, and bust a few of houseplant myths too.

Friday, Feb 28 at 5:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

The Ease and Joy of Growing Edibles in Containers
Toni Gattone—Author, The Lifelong Gardener, Master Gardener, Speaker and Writer

Whether you’re downsizing or want to raise your gardens up for greater comfort, you’ll love growing nutritious edibles in containers. Learn how to combine them with edible flowers for color and contrast. Think outside the pot with interesting containers to give your garden beds, patios, and balconies instant visual punch. Move them to catch the sun as the seasons change. Your body will love container gardening because you can maintain and harvest without bending over.

Saturday, Feb 29 at 5:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Container Gardening with Japanese Maples

Barry Hoffer—Arborist and owner, Maples for All Seasons

We are moving into homes with smaller gardens, but that doesn't mean we cannot have a beautiful garden with Japanese Maples. With proper care, Japanese Maples can live for years in a container on a patio. Barry will discuss picking the proper container, the best kind of Japanese Maple for containers, the best soils for best results and the importance of root pruning. 

Sunday, Mar 1 at 10 am / DIY Stage