2019 Show Information

Here’s a gardening truism: No two gardens are the same; and no two days in the garden are the same. Your garden is ever changing, as are your needs for your garden over time.

Our leading designers and horticulturists will show you how to look at your garden with the eye of a professional, so you can discover the root of your garden’s problems along with possible solutions to address those problems. Learn how to get more from your landscape while still expressing your individual style. There’s no need to settle for a garden that doesn’t bring joy to your life!
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!

Buy Tickets Online and Save

Modern Landscape Architecture: Transition and Transformation

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

From Seattle’s Freeway Park to Gas Works Park, we must commit to preserving Modernist landscape architecture. Immediately following WWII the Modern movement took hold in landscape architecture and urban design. Unfortunately, reasoned criticism did not follow, and Modern landscapes ultimately began to be neglected or razed. Now preservationists, landscape architects, historians and the public are coming together to manage change at these places that represent a significant chapter in our nation’s evolution. Learn strategies for the future, reversing an era of modifications which would have risked editing-out a significant chapter in the profession of landscape architecture.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 10:30 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

The Garden as a Tapestry

Suzanne Arca, ASLA, APLD—2019 Show Judge, founder and principal, Arca Design Group

A tapestry weaves together limited materials to tell a story of complexity and depth. A garden, too, has the opportunity to tell a story, weaving together disparate materials and unifying threads—species of plant, the repetition of colors—to create a bigger picture. In this seminar, Suzanne Arca will explore techniques for creating tapestry-like gardens, including using a single material to create a frame for the entire piece; modern carpet-bedding to create smaller pictures within the larger story; and combining softscape and hardscape to intertwine, rather than divide, these disparate elements of a garden.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 11:45 am / Rainier Room

Good Bones: Creating A Framework for The Garden

C. Colston Burrell, MLA—Designer, horticulturist & author, Perennial Combinations

A well-designed garden is more than a collection of planting beds; it is a logical sequence of spaces, enhanced by the plantings, structures and ornaments that define them. These space-defining bones determine how the garden looks through the seasons, especially in winter. Cole Burrell takes you through the process of designing and furnishing the floors, walls and ceiling of the garden as he demonstrates how to refine the garden’s spaces with structures, plants and ornaments.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 3:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Design Solutions for Small Gardens: Making the Most of Your Outdoor Space

Lucy Hardiman—Educator, garden writer and designer, Perennial Partners

Designing a garden in a small space can be fraught with challenges and opportunities. It can seem impossible to balance living space with enough room for plants. Explore design techniques that help make small spaces feel larger, create a sense of human scale and proportion, screen views from prying eyes and nosy neighbors, provide defined outdoor living spaces and allow ample places for all your favorite plants. Let’s consider both challenges and opportunities for creating small gardens that resonate.

Wednesday, Feb 20 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room

The Evolution of a Garden

Suzanne Arca, ASLA, APLD—2019 Show Judge, founder and principal, Arca Design Group

In 2009, Arca Design Group began work on The Meadow Garden in Lafayette, California, winner of the 2011 CLCA Gold Medal for Residential Landscape Design. Originally a 1970’s mundane landscape of hedges, lawns and asphalt, the Meadow Garden offered the opportunity to be transformed into a cohesive meadow garden, reflecting the native surroundings. The award-winning garden was destroyed by a remodel and then re-built, evolving to become the homeowner’s dream garden. This seminar will explore the design, reinvention, finishing and maintenance of a garden.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 10:30 am / Rainier Room

Glorious Shade Gardens

Jenny Rose Carey—Director, PHS Meadowbrook Farm and author, Glorious Shade

In this lecture Jenny Rose Carey helps the gardener to understand how to successfully garden in shade. By explaining how to analyze light levels, examine the soil and techniques for planting, Jenny Rose encourages all gardeners to beautify their shady garden areas. The lecture concludes with some of her favorite shade plants, and design tips for making your garden friendly to both people and wildlife. Based on ‘Glorious Shade’, Timber Press 2017.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 12:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Savvy Side Yard Solutions

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

Ready to tackle that ignored and unsightly side yard, filled with everyday clutter? Let landscape designer Rebecca Sweet inspire you with six unique and breathtaking side yards, combining before and after photos with detailed information. Rebecca shares her secrets to successful garden design in ways that are motivating, informative, and easy to put into practice. No matter your style, you’re sure to leave excited to transform this final frontier of your garden.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 4:15 pm / Hood Room

Coloring Outside the Lines: Celebrating Color in the Garden

Lucy Hardiman—Educator, garden writer and designer, Perennial Partners

Color and how we respond to it is based on personal preferences and cultural influences. For example, gardening is considered a “green” activity that is earth friendly. Often there is continuity between the colors we paint our homes, what we wear and the color palette we select for our gardens. Take a look at how colors affect our world and how we use them in gardens to create moods ranging from calm and serene to vivid and exciting.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room

The Art of Gardening: Public and Private Masterpiece Gardens

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

Art masterpieces hanging on the walls of great museums influence our own backyard gardens. Since Gertrude Jeckyll declared that garden making is a fine art equal to painting, gardeners are eager to use the elements of color, line, form and composition to create our own living artistic creations. Tying these ideas together inspire listeners to design their own masterpiece garden using five memorable guidelines.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 6:45 pm / Hood Room

Nature as Gardener: Working with Natural Processes for Beauty and Reduced Maintenance

C. Colston Burrell, MLA—Designer, horticulturist & author, Perennial Combinations

Picture-perfect plant combinations make for beautiful gardens yet keeping every plant in its place is a lot of work. If you long to lower your maintenance time and budget, this lecture is for you. Join Cole Burrell to learn tips and techniques for working with Mother Nature to create a beautiful, reduced maintenance garden by augmenting and editing. Using layering, under planting, free-seeding perennials and annuals, and a little benign neglect, you can reduce the amount of time spent working in your garden.

Thursday, Feb 21 at 7:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

The Devil’s in the Details: Design Tips from a Pro for Landscaping a Small Yard

Sean James—Garden designer, horticulturist, writer, speaker

Small gardens do not have to be boring—they have great potential to be real jewels! By using simple design principles and incorporating texture, color and foliage in the surrounding plantings, your small space can be transformed into a peaceful respite from today’s stressful world. Adding simple details, such as art and water, can also enhance a small garden. Discover ways to create functional beauty and tranquility and incorporate eco-friendly gardening into a smaller space. It’s all in the details!

Friday, Feb 22 at 12:30 pm / Hood Room

Mix and Match: Tips for Creating Perfectly Coordinated Plant Combos

Darcy Daniels—Founder of eGardenGo and designer, Bloomtown® Gardens

Darcy’s method for creating perfectly coiffed and coordinated garden vignettes will bring out the stylist in you. This easy-to-understand, fresh approach to breaking down the sometimes-mysterious act of combining plants will give you the tools you need to create the perfect ensemble. Before you know it, you’ll be mixing and matching plants in your garden to create a look that’s unique to you and a match for your personal style.

Saturday, Feb 23 at 10:00 am / Hood Room

Sacred Space Design

Jessi Bloom—Owner, N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Services and author of Creating Sanctuary and Everyday Sanctuary

We all need a personal sanctuary—a place where we can be in harmony with the natural world and can nurture our bodies, minds, and souls—right in your own backyard. In this inspiring seminar, learn how to design a beautiful sacred garden space that will take care of you—body, mind and soul. Jessi Bloom shares the process of designing sacred spaces, discusses which kinds of elements to incorporate including the sacred plants that you can use every day.

Saturday, Feb 23 at 11:45 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Making a Splash: Benefits of Water Features in the Garden

Sean James—Garden designer, horticulturist, writer, speaker

We are bombarded these days with noise from traffic and too-close neighbors. Adding a water feature to your garden will help create “white noise” from the soothing, splashing water that can muffle distracting city sounds. Learn basic design, construction, planting and maintenance tips for creating a water feature. They are lower maintenance than you think—there’s no weeding or mowing! Whether you go with a naturalistic cascading watercourse, or a simple pond-less water feature, start off right with these design tips.

Saturday, Feb 23 at 1:45 pm / Hood Room

The Spirit of Stone: Practical and Creative Stonescaping Ideas for Your Garden

Jan Johnsen—Principal, Johnsen Landscapes and author, The Spirit of Stone and Garden Magic

Stone is often an overlooked element in the landscape, but we are rediscovering this most ancient of materials. Noted designer Jan Johnsen shares creative and practical ways you can use stone in the garden: from rock gardens, to dry streams, as benches, paths. You will learn the five categories of Japanese stone types and their placement in a garden and more. By the end, you will see natural rocks in a whole new light!

Saturday, Feb 23 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

See the Light: Understanding Outdoor Lighting

Mary Peterson—Award-winning outdoor lighting designer, NW Outdoor Lighting

If you’re thinking about enhancing your garden with outdoor lighting, this is for you! Knowing some principles of lighting will help you make the best decisions designing your lighting. For example, what is Kelvin temperature, what are Lumens, and should the whole lighting system be the same or have varying lumen intensity? What are the best options for your landscape? What is the difference between retrofit fixtures and integrated fixtures and why choose either? Discover the answers to these questions and more!

Saturday, Feb 23 at 7:00 pm / Rainier Room

Gardentopia: Design Basics for Creating Beautiful Outdoor Spaces

Jan Johnsen—Principal, Johnsen Landscapes and author, The Spirit of Stone and Garden Magic

Garden lovers revel in being in an outdoor space where the sense of wellbeing is hard to match. As Frederick Law Olmsted, described, "Gradually and silently the charm comes over us..." So how can you transform your backyard into a place where charm descends upon you? What changes can you make that create ‘garden magic’? This seminar shares intriguing design ideas that can guide you. Learn the Principle of Three Depths, The Power of the Portal and Making a Cupid’s Garden among others.

Sunday, Feb 24 at 12:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

The Squish Factor: Designing Abundant Containers

Karen Chapman—Designer, Le Jardinet, and co-author, Fine Foliage and Gardening with Foliage First

Do your container gardens fizzle out mid-summer? Are you confident that your combinations will look fabulous or fearful they will become a tangled mess? Join professional designer Karen Chapman as she shares the tips and tricks of the trade to creating lush, dramatic container gardens. Glean inspiration for putting the pizzazz back in your pots whether your preferred style is contemporary, whimsical, romantic or truly bodacious!

Sunday, Feb 24 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow