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Category: Media, Events & News

  • Our Seattle House & Garden for Sale!

    April 13, 2016

    Updated 4/21/2016: In less than a week our Seattle home has sold. We’ll share more news in the weeks ahead. Current clients, don’t worry! We’re still here for you!

    After almost two decades, we have just listed our Seattle house for sale. Gardening enthusiasts shopping for a new home will love that our lovingly restored Ballard bungalow comes complete with a mature garden, patios, a greenhouse and much more.

    Seattle House for Sale number

    This piece of art came with our Seattle house when we bought it. It is the one piece of garden art we will leave for whoever buys our Ballard bungalow & garden.

    Over the years, many of our clients and readers have asked about visiting our garden. We’ve had a few special tours and open garden days over the years, but mostly we’ve tried to maintain a bit of privacy at home. (Especially after coming home more than once to folks who thought it would be just fine to wander around our property without checking first.)

    Seattle house for sale with private front porch

    Who doesn’t love a home with a private, shady front porch? This is one of our favorite spots to relax on hot summer evenings while we listen to the neighborhood kids playing.

    If you’ve missed our open days — or just want a last look around — now’s the time to visit. (If you’re in the market for a new garden and home, you might want to visit with your broker soon. You’ll find more information on the listing page here.)

    Mt Rainier in view from Ballard Seattle House for Sale

    There’s nothing like waking up to a view of Mt. Rainier in the distance! Psst – it’s also in view from the back deck!

    Broker’s Open House: Tuesday, April 14, 2016 from 12pm-2pm
    Public Open House: Will be Saturday April 16 & Sunday April 17, 2016 2pm-4pm (confirm on listing)

    Garden Mentors garden trail to greenhouse

    Don’t miss this last chance to self-tour not only our Seattle house for sale but also the Garden Mentors private home gardens!

    If you or someone you know wants to view our property for purchase, contact your agent or our broker Nancy Williams at Windermere to schedule a viewing outside of open houses.

    Please don’t contact us directly for viewings. We can’t schedule them for you, but we encourage you to come visit and spread the word before it’s too late!

    Thanks, Robin & Bob

  • NWFGS 2016 Recap

    February 26, 2016

    Hopefully you had the opportunity to attend the 2016 NW Flower & Garden Show. For us, it was one of the best NWFGS ever. The shopping was mobbed, but not so crowded you couldn’t easily navigate the floors. The show gardens were lovely and diverse. The seminars were fun, informative and often interactive. And, not only could you sip booze as you strolled through the show, but the food was better than ever. Whether you made the show or not, here’s a little photo recap of NWFGS 2016: America the Beautiful for your enjoyment…

    NWFGS - Hoh Rainforest Garden

    The Seattle Arboretum Foundation highlighted ‘America’s Rainforest, The Hoh’ filling their damp show garden with PacNW native plants like soggy swamp cabbage, mosses, ferns, bear grass & coltsfoot.

    Camping in the SW at NWFGS

    West Seattle Nursery proved that some really do like it hot (& dry & very unlike the swampy Hoh) with their prickly southwestern themed garden that took the People’s Choice award.

    Tromp l'œil Tiny Tetons

    Tromp L’oeil ‘Tiny Tetons’ was a stunning display with a river of Iris reticulata running through it.

    Fancy Fronds NWFGS '16 show garden

    Fancy Fronds built a Brooklyn Bridge for cats — with lots of whimsy & functionality for gardeners with cats.

    NWFGS Garden Speakers

    I call this “From Sea to Shining Sea.” Even the seminars offered a glimpse at America the Beautiful with speakers like Ruth Rogers Claussen/Baltimore to Dee Nash/Oklahoma to Robin of Garden Mentors/Washington State. (Dee shares her NWFGS recaps here.)

    Theresa Loe on the Hood Stage at NWFGS

    Speakers like Theresa Loe of Livinghomegrown.com taught us “Yes we CAN!” (garden, preserve, grow & more)

    White Icicle Ribes

    Did you catch our talk on gardening for hummingbirds? This ‘White Icicle’ Ribes in the Hoh Rainforest show garden is one Anna loves!

  • Garden Tool Giveaway & Seminar

    February 05, 2016

    Did we really say tool giveaway? Yup! Not only that, but at the 2016 NW Flower & Garden Show, I (Robin) will be presenting a seminar entitled Top Tools for Your Garden Shed.

    New, retired gardeners gardening

    Young or old. Experienced or newbie gardener. There’s something for everyone in this gardening seminar!

    The tool giveaway that happens along with this seminar is courtesy of a number of fantastic vendors like Corona Tools, Timber Press, Fiskars Tools*, Stumpdust, Haven Brand, Sunset Books and many others that have donated some of my favorites to share with you. In fact, I’ll be giving away at least 50 fantastic gardening products to folks who make it to this seminar.  And even if you don’t win something to take home, you’ll win in knowledge!

    Top Tools for Your Garden Shed  on February 19, 2016 beginning at 6:45 on the DIY stage at the NW Flower & Garden Show will offer something to gardeners at every skill level.

    Newbie gardeners: Learn which tools I suggest my beginning gardener clients add to their collection first, and get an understanding of which tools to use for which jobs. Quality tools aren’t cheap and gardening with the wrong tool for the wrong job can be dangerous, damaging and frustrating. In this seminar, you’ll learn to make smart choices as you start your gardening tool collection.

    Corona garden tools

    Can you guess which of these tools we’ll giving away as one of our top picks? Join us at NWFGS on 2/19/16 at 6:45pm on the DIY stage to find out & you might get to take’m home! (image courtesy Corona Tools)

    Tool collectors: Experienced gardeners know that collecting tools can be addictive. But, even the the most advanced gardeners may not be aware of some of the really groovy and new products I’ll be demonstrating. If you’re a tool addict, this is a not-to-miss talk!

    Aging gardeners: I’ll be offering a number of tool suggestions for gardeners whose aches and pains may be limiting their gardening abilities. Today’s tool manufacturers are producing more and more items just for us, so we can keep on digging well into our golden years (whatever those are).

    Knowledge is everything: Sometimes a tool isn’t something that digs, cuts or protects our body. Many of our best tools are found on a bookshelf. Thanks to a couple of top garden publishers, I’ll be sharing and giving away a few of these fantastic garden tools too.

    Haven Brand Soil Conditioner in Garden

    We’ll be giving away tips & tools like this – no $h!t!

    Power-up plants: There are numerous tools to help build your soil and beat back some of our worst garden pests. Choosing among them can be overwhelming, confusing and even toxic. In this seminar, I’ll be sharing a few fantastic garden-builders and pest deterrents that are easy to understand and unlikely to cause unwanted side-affects to you or your little piece of the planet.

    *Garden Mentors has been a paid contributing writer to Fiskars Tools in the past & has received a number of these tools & products from various vendors for trial purposes. However, we have received no compensation for this post or tool giveaway by Fiskars or other vendors. We are paid a small stipend for speaking at the NW Flower & Garden Show, but payment is not provided for any endorsements or giveaway items.
  • NWFGS Hummingbird Garden Seminar Peek

    January 29, 2016

    Learn to create your own year-round hummingbird garden with our three simple steps!

    I’ve spent years building a garden in Seattle that hummingbirds and people love. In fact, one little lady-bird loves our space so much she built her nest at eye-level for me last spring.

    Anna's hummingbird in garden

    How many crucial elements to a year-round hummingbird habitat garden can you count in this photo? If you only see a red flower for forage, you’re missing quite a lot.
    Attend my seminar to learn more!

    And, she’s continued to live here ever since. (Or at least I like to think that there’s only one female who owns our garden as her personal territory 365 days of the year. In all honesty, it could be another bird, but I doubt it — anyway, more on that at my seminar.)

    This winter has been particularly mild in Seattle, which means fall and winter bloomers have offered abundance for months now. Plus, if this keeps up, spring flowers may be opening by the time the garden show opens on February 17th! All of this fresh-off-the-vine food has kept our sprite-like forager fat and happy all winter long. Too, the warm weather also means that her suitors, that have steered clear of our garden most of the winter, have begun making their way into her garden again this January. Sure, they’re finding tasty forage, but I bet they’re showing off for her too. Soon, the boys will be battling here for her attentions. In fact, as I was hiking in Seattle’s Discovery Park earlier this week I saw an Anna perched on an apple branch not far from a completed nest. Apparently, breeding season is already underway this year!

    If you’re interested in learning how easy it is to create a garden hummingbirds can’t resist and have a garden filled with year-round interest, fragrance, native plants, people food, beauty and more, mark your calendars today to join me (Robin) for my encore presentations of 2016 Northwest Flower & Garden Show seminar entitled Growing a Year-round Hummingbird Habitat Garden at the Spring Green Art Festival in Lynnwood, WA on Saturday, May 7, 2016.  Or join me for a modified version of this seminar the Tukwila Backyard Wildlife Festival on May 14, 2016.

    Hummingbird at feeder/Kimberly Ayars Photography

    Join us & learn to grow beyond sugar-water feeders like this one.
    Photo courtesy: Kim Ayars

    Not only will you get to enjoy nearly 100 fantastic photos of greater Seattle area resident hummingbirds and the plants and resources they love, but I’ll also share a number of gorgeous hummingbirds from other regions. Sure, we may not get to enjoy these exotics in our PacNW gardens, but who doesn’t love the eye-candy of all of these glittering sprites?

    Join me and together we will grow better options than sugar-water feeders!

    Where: NW Flower & Garden Show, Rainier Room

    When: Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 7pm

    Cost: Free with admission to the show

    Learn more about all of my seminars & buy your tickets today.

  • NW Flower & Garden Show 2016 Musts

    January 22, 2016

    Ahead of opening day we always map out our daily NW Flower & Garden Show musts. If you’re still not sure how you’ll spend your days at the show, here are our Top-10 musts for 2016.

      1. Fancy Fronds’ show garden entitled New York, New York. Cat Pads! on Broadway. If you haven’t seen a Fancy Fronds display at past shows, you’ve really missed out on some crazy-good fun.
        Fronderosa Frolic in the greenhouse

        A bit of whimsy at Fancy Fronds’ Fronderosa Frolic 2015. There’s bound to be more fun in their 2016 NW Flower & Garden Show display garden!

        We got a little hint at their show garden ideas last summer at their ever-popular Fronderosa Frolic fern-y goodness fair, and we’ve been excited to see it ever since. If you share your garden with cats or would like to figure out how to bring your indoor cats outside, odds are this garden will give you some great ideas. Even pros like us get stumped by kitty-cat gardening challenges. So see you there to learn & laugh!

      2. 100 Plants that Almost Changed the World seminar with 2016 show judge, award-winning horty & BBC celebrity Chris Beardshaw. It’s probably no surprise we’ve got this on the list. Get there early on Wednesday morning; his is probably going to be a standing-room-only event!
      3. Did someone say cocktails and garden in the same sentence? Yep! Once again the show is offering a gorgeous garden setting where you can take a seat, sip some wine and enjoy the spectacular show gardens all at the same time. Plus, new for 2016: they’re offering a signature cocktail that you 21+ show-goers can sip as you stroll through the gardens. Same deal with wine and beer. Plus, they promise to be stepping up the food offerings, so if you run into us and we’re a little extra giggly, don’t be terribly surprised. We’ve probably been drinking and eating with our co-horts.
      4. And, of course it would be all kinds of wrong if we didn’t attend our own events at the NW Flower & Garden Show. So, on Wednesday evening, we’ll be there when Robin shares her proven techniques for building a year-round hummingbird garden — with almost 100 gorgeous photos of plants & hummingbirds. (Yes, there will be baby hummingbird pix involved in this talk, and Robin may even bring a real hummingbird nest to share with enthusiasts after her talk.)
        Hummingbird & water feature

        Join us for Robin’s photo-packed Wednesday evening seminar on Year-round hummingbird gardens & on Friday evening where you might win some great garden tools!

        And, on Friday she’ll be sharing her top tools for beginning to advanced gardeners with tips for tired, aging bodies and loads of giveaways — including a fantastic, biodegradable, truly natural product that really stops slugs. Seriously! You want to be there.

      5. We’ve never laughed as hard or as long as we did last year during the Garden Wars at the NW Flower & Garden Show. While we prefer peace to war, this event is actually all about competitive good fun. The only bloodshed comes from the prick of a thorny rose, so gloves are recommended – at least for the players. The audience can kickback, laugh and even lunch while the hilarious battles are fought just a few feet away. Don’t expect any lulls; moderator Joe Lamp’l of Growing a Greener World TV will keep the ball rolling with his infectious humor.
      6. Whatever you do, don’t race across the Skybridge every time you cross it. Sure, we’re okay if you do the hustle your buns over it to make it our seminars – hee! hee! – but be sure to take a leisurely stroll through both aisles at some point so you can really take in all of the lovely City Living display gardens.
        Message from 2011 Skybridge garden

        The displays on the skybridge may be small, but they can be absolutely show-stopping like this one from 2011.

        On occasion, these little vignettes outdo the spectacle of the giant show gardens on the main floor. Good things really do come in small packages!

      7. On Thursday afternoon at 2:15pm you’ll probably find us seated in the Rainier room for Gardening 101: Gardening for Serenity with our very talented co-horts Jessi Bloom, Jenny Peterson & Christina Salwitz. If your life is anywhere as hectic as ours, you gotta go learn from these ladies who know how to find inner bliss outdoors — even under the most difficult circumstances.
      8. Each day of the show, we’ll be online too where we’ll tweet updates via @gardenmentor to bring the show to you anywhere you are. We’ll quote speakers and share loads of photos from the show too. Plus, we’ll be online to download speaker handouts each evening as they become available. No need to fill a bag with printed trees when we know we can download them from the NW Flower & Garden show website each evening!
      9. Can’t not shop the Funky Junk! Get there early & you will score the best of the best. Two years ago Robin landed a gorgeous vintage patio lounger by hitting the Vintage Garden Market early on day-1.
        Funky junk for garden

        Pick up lots of fun funky junk for your garden at the Vintage Garden Market at the NW Flower & Garden Show!

        She didn’t take it home until the last day of the show, and the vendor said she could have sold it 100+ times from her booth. If you happen to see another one, let us know. What we’d give to have a pair of vintage loungers on the patio next summer!

      10. We always make a stop at the Great Plant Picks booth and display to see what local horties have designated as the latest & greatest for our PacNW gardens. Plus, if history repeats itself, you may be able to grab a colorful poster or info sheet featuring lots of plant porn particular to the PacNW!
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