Container Wars

Popular “Container Wars” pairs top experts for fast-paced fun and ideas for great container gardening

Mixing friendly verbal jousting with a “pot-load” of tips for container gardening, the popular “Container Wars” returns to the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival with lively competitions each day.

Looking to spice up a dull spot, or group containers for eye-popping impact? “Container Wars” gives festival-goers a first-hand look at dueling gardening luminaries creating beautiful and practical containers. Container gardening has never been so informative, entertaining and competitive! 

Audiences are encouraged to come early to take advantage of café seating and enjoy a snack and beverage. For added inspiration, check out free “same day” seminar presentations by the competitors following each “Container Wars” episode.

The action takes place daily on the North Hall stage from 11:30am to 12:30pm, emceed by gardening columnist and television host Marianne Binetti. Container Wars is sponsored by Gardener's Supply Company and Sunnyside Nursery.

Here’s a look at the daily match-ups for 2019:


Adams vs Schwartz

Wednesday, Feb. 20: Rebecca Sweet vs Jenny Rose Carey

This match pairs two garden design experts sharing their unique sense of style and hands-on experience for the “Container Wars” audience.

More from Rebecca and Jenny on Wednesday:

1:45pm (Hood Room) - DON’T SNUB THE SHRUB!
Rebecca Sweet: designer, Harmony in the Garden; author, “Refresh Your Garden Design” and co-author “Garden Up”

3:00pm (Hood Room) - GARDENING WITHOUT SPRINKLERS? DRY GARDENS AND RAIN GARDENS
Jenny Rose Carey:  director, PHS Meadowbrook Farm and author, “Glorious Shade”

Brown vs Hardiman

Thursday, Feb. 21: C.L. Fornari vs Ellen Zachos

Though friends away from the “Container Wars” stage, look for competitive hijinks and ribbing between these two consummate gardening educators!

More from C.L. and Ellen on Thursday:

3:00pm (Hood Room) - PLANTRAMA: EAT, DRINK, & BE MERRY…WHILE COPING WITH RABBITS & DEER
C.L. Fornari: radio host and author of eight books, including “Coffee for Roses” and “The Cocktail Garden Hour” is competing against Ellen Zachos, author of “The Wildcrafted Cocktail” and “Growing Healthy Houseplants.” Together C.L. and Ellen co-host “Plantrama,” a weekly podcast they will be recording live in their Plantrama seminar on Thursday!

Steffen vs Morris

Friday, Feb. 22: Ciscoe Morris vs Richie Steffen

Local legend Ciscoe brings familiar fun and informative style to this returning “grudge match” with Richie, an energetic evangelist for plants suitable the Pacific Northwest.

More from Ciscoe and Richie on Friday:

4:30pm (Rainier Room) - GARDEN JEOPARDY GAME SHOW
Ciscoe Morris: radio and TV host, columnist & author, “Ask Ciscoe”

5:30pm (Hood Room) - 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”

Morrison vs Salwitz

Saturday Feb. 23: Sean James vs Charlie Nardozzi

Sean James – new to the festival - is a noted garden designer, horticulturist, writer and speaker. He’s pitted against Charlie Nardozzi, a radio and TV host, and co-author of “Gardening Complete” and three other titles.

More from Sean and Charlie on Saturday:

1:45pm (Hood Room) - MAKING A SPLASH: BENEFITS OF WATER FEATURES IN THE GARDEN
Sean James:  garden designer, horticulturist, writer and speaker

3:15pm (DIY Stage) - GROW AND PROTECT YOUR PRIZED CONTAINER GARDEN
Charlie Nardozzi: radio/TV host and author of “Gardening Complete,” “Foodscaping” and other titles

Levis vs Rose

Sunday Feb. 24: Melinda Meyers vs Denise Schrieber

Melinda is a nationally recognized TV/radio host and author and author of “Small Space Gardening,” She’ll go “toe-to-toe” with Denise - a festival newbie, author well-recognized gardening authority.

More from Melinda and Denise on Sunday:

2:15pm (Rainier Room) - WHAT’S FOR DINNER? EDIBLE FLOWERS! (Gardening 101 series: Focus on Flowers)
Denise Schreiber:  award-winning garden writer and author of “Eat Your Roses”

3:15pm (DIY Stage) - FROM ONE TO MANY: PROPAGATING HEIRLOOM HOUSEPLANTS
Melinda Myers: award-winning author of 20 books and a nationally recognized garden expert