Small Spaces and Indoor Gardens: Patios, Containers and 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 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. No ticket refunds for Speaker cancellations.


All seminars at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival are FREE with your ticket!

Buy Tickets Early and Save!

Mounting Plants: Growing Epiphytic and Plants Indoors
Ann Amato—Horticulturist and seed propagator at Cistus Nursery and blogger,

When you run out of shelf space for all your beloved houseplants, go vertical and use your walls! Join a horticulturist and houseplant geek to discover easy techniques to mount your epiphytic plants. From bromeliads to huperzias (club mosses), orchids to gesneriads (African Violet relatives), each has its specific requirements needed to grow into the best possible specimen plant. Sometimes doing so in a small terrarium is best. Always doing so with adequate light is key to your success. Ann will walk you through the process and teach you some propagation tips along the way.

Wednesday, Feb 9 at 1:30 pm / DIY Stage

No Space? No Problem! Container Gardens for Style and Pizzaz
Ellen Zachos—Award-winning co-host, Plantrama Podcast, and author, The Forager’s Pantry, Backyard Foraging and The Wildcrafted Cocktail

If you have a small yard, terrace, patio, or deck, a few well-planned containers can deliver a lot of pizzazz. (Not to mention some tasty herbs and vegetables!) This seminar offers unusual container set-ups: a container water garden, grow-bags, natural containers (wood and stone), flea market funk, and containerized trees. You’ll learn professional tricks and tips for long lasting container plantings and images illustrate step-by-step planting instructions for each scenario. There will also be a list of plants that thrive in containers (because not all do!) and products that make container gardening a breeze.

Friday, Feb 11 at 11:30 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Light, Water, Action! How to Grow Beautiful Houseplants
Susan Maki—Designer, buyer, and houseplant merchandise manager for Squak Mountain Nursery

Are you new to the houseplant obsession? This seminar is for you! Susan will begin with the basics of light, selection, watering and fertilizing. She’ll help you decipher ambiguous light labels, and really understand and measure your light, so you can best decide where your houseplants should go. She’ll also help you match your plants to your personality and lifestyle—nurturer or neglector— to better choose your plant family. Finally, you’ll gain an understanding how to care for your plants, which is critical to your success.

Friday, Feb 11 at 11:45 am / DIY Stage

Make Beautiful and Healing Container Gardens
Dr. JJ Pursell—Author-Naturopathic physician, Owner, The Herb Shoppe and author, The Herbal Apothecary, Medicinal Herbs for Immune Defense

Discover how to create perfectly balanced container gardens with healing herbs. This invaluable demonstration with detailed information will show you how to make a potted tea garden, a soothing mental health container, an herbal arrangement for immune health and a botanical filled first aid container. You’ll learn how to enhance your life and your health naturally. It’s a great way to start your path to natural wellness.

Friday, Feb 11 at 3:15 pm / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow

Biointensive Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces
Christy WilhelmiAward-winning blogger, Gardenerd and author, Gardening for Geeks and Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden

Get the most out of your vegetable garden this season! Learn how biointensive methods are used to grow an abundance of produce in tight quarters. Discover how to grow your most productive, high-yielding vegetable garden yet, while doing less work and using less water. Combine Biodynamic, French Intensive, Grow BioIntensive, and Square Foot Gardening methods to fill your harvest basket like never before. You’ll reap a bounty of produce no matter how small your garden is.

Saturday, Feb 12 at 11:00 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow


Growing Orchids Like a Pro
Joe Grienauer—Orchid expert and owner, Emerald City Orchids and 2022 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, cultural requirements, care, fertilization, and pest/disease control and reblooming. He’ll review greenhouse vs. window vs. artificial light growing techniques, how to initiate flowers on a healthy plant, which orchids are best for newbies, demo orchid repotting and mounting an orchid to a piece of wood. Even brown thumbs can grow orchids if you learn the basic techniques!

Saturday, Feb 12 at 1:30 pm / DIY Stage

Jaw-Dropping, Traffic-Stopping, “Get-Your-Neighbors-Talking” Containers
Deborah TrickettAward-winning container designer and owner, The Captured Garden

Have you always wanted to create lush container gardens that would be the envy of the neighborhood, but didn’t know where to start? Join Deborah as she shows you how to take your container gardens from “blah” to “aaah”. She’ll start with the basics, including appropriate containers, soil mixes, and plant choices for different site conditions, then proceed to new and unusual plant material and uncommon, even “green”, container choices. Move beyond the expected and create truly jaw-dropping containers!

Saturday, Feb 12 at 5:00 pm / Hood Room

Apartment Gardening: What to Grow for a Plentiful Harvest
Amy Pennington—Urban farmer and author, Salad Days, Urban Pantry, Apartment Gardening and Fresh Pantry

Growing plants in containers is a tricky thing. There are plenty of resources available about growing food in containers that imply that this process is simple and straightforward—but most of us will find that it takes some trial and error. Learn what plants steer clear of and this year, focus on plants that are either very versatile in their culinary uses or will produce a generous harvest in a short amount of time. These edibles are based on plants that I have found to be great producers.

Sunday, Feb 13 at 1:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

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


The Garden 101 Series is sponsored by ColibriNW