• Featured Gardening Articles

  • Featured Recipes

  • Article Categories

  • Get Garden Help by the Month

  • more info

Tag: garden show

  • Maymont Flower and Garden Show in Richmond

    February 18, 2009

    Last year I was invited to speak on garden coaching at the Maymont Flower & Garden Show in Richmond, Virginia. I’m so glad I did. It was an entirely different event than what I’m used to at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.  It is much smaller than the Northwest show, but I still think it’s worth attending. Pick up Tickets and Info here.

    Despite my less-than-fabulous review of the Maymont show last year, I encourage those of you in the Richmond area to go. You’ll get to meet local designers and garden suppliers, have a chance to learn about green building and development in your area, get a garden show and home show in one venue for one ticket price, pick up some art and trinkets, attend seminars, and you’ll be supporting Maymont Gardens and the Richmond, VA downtown sector. Plus, it’s a fun way to celebrate gardening mid-winter.

    This year I’m staying on the West Coast for this garden show week. Perhaps in years to come, I’ll revisit the Maymont show and see you there!

  • Northwest Flower and Garden Show ArborEden Recap and Highlights

    Last night was likely the last Arbor Eden Gala, an annual fundraiser for the Seattle Arboretum Foundation, thrown as the opening event for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. And, as usual, it was fantastic.

    WSNLA Show Garden, Photo Courtesy Chris Smith

    WSNLA Show Garden, Photo Courtesy Chris Smith

    For the first (and likely last) time, Bob and I “did” the event right. We got there early and perused the auction tables while sipping wine and chatting with industry friends. We bid on a few things that we couldn’t really afford (and didn’t end up winning anyway). And, when the annoucement came that the show gardens and dinner area had opened, we went straight for the food. In every past year, we’ve arrived a little late and gotten to the food too late. This year, we were literally the first in line (or at least first in one of many lines). We filled our plates and found an actual sit-down table on the north side of the “Under the Arbor Landscape Design” show garden. We had views of Rebecca Cole’s garden, Creative Gardener’s Garden, Pam Richard’s Garden, and the Washington Park Arboretum Garden — as well as peek-a-boo views of many others. The food was great, though a bit salty — I’m kinda puffy from it today. Still, we enjoyed a nice meal amid some lovely gardens. After we wrapped up our meal, we had hours left to leisurely tour through the gardens.

    One of the great parts of touring the show gardens during the Gala is that you can actually enter many of the gardens. You can’t do that during the show. This is theater, and the shows are often precariously constructed. Because traffic is light, many designers invite gala folk to walk into the gardens themselves. And, sadly, this year the traffic seemed lighter than prior years. Was it? I really don’t know, but given how many of my friends and collegues couldn’t swallow the $100+ price tag, I wouldn’t be surprised if the economy bit into the fundraiser this year.

    So, some highlights from the show ( Sorry, no photos. I didn’t feel like hauling my camera around the show.):

    • Can you find the blue fescue that was painted? Yep, one of the designers actually painted their blue grasses, and it’s well, vibrant, but is it pretty?
    • Rebecca Cole’s rusty metal planters. Super cool!
    • Tropical paradise in the Fancy Fronds/Aw Pottery garden. Fancy Fronds is always one of my favs. This year their garden is really sort of divided into thirds. My favorite is the west and soutwest portions. I just wanted to put on a sarong and meditate by the reflecting pool.
    • WSNLA’s sweet country retreat. I was ready to pull off my winter boots and tip-toe through the stream from cabin/shed to patio with a bit pitcher of lemonade. It really took me back to my NorCal country childhood.
    • Active Landscape’s peek-a-boo view framing a bonsai vignette and the strange environment box curiousity. I’ll let you see it to “get it”.
    • The deck surround waterfeature and rills in Under the Arbor
    • The bubbling square stone in Le Jardin
    • And, the show stopper — Shapiro Ryan Design’s fantastic use of space, form and function. Swaths of unrealistic plant material painted the landscape with texture, form and color. Recycled boards made up  pathways leading to stone stairways into the garden. A meditation room with just enough decking invited me to meditate and then enjoy an outdoor yoga practice. And the moongate/moon window view into/out of the garden framed the picture from one view. Truly, this is a showstopper!

    There were many other treats at the show, but I’ll stop there and leave some surprises for you.

    And a word about the prizes. First, the judging was harsh this year. Plus, for some odd reason, none of the special prizes like the Founders Award and the Sunset Magazine awards, were displayed at the gala this year. So, I can’t speak to those, but I can express some thoughts on the medals.

    Having designed and built at this garden show and having attended regularly for many years, I can tell you that the judging is purely subjective. Some years the judges are harsh; other years they seem to go easy. Regardless, I’ve come to realize that the “medals” mean next to nothing. They can really discourage a designer who put his/her heart and soul into the project, which is what can be the most upsetting in a year with fantastic gardens and very few silver and gold medals. So, let me put out my own subjective judgement — ignore the medals (as do most of the attendees) and judge for yourself. Just because some guy/gal has experience writing books or designing gardens or seeking out rare plants all over the world doesn’t mean s/he has the right to tell you what makes the best or most beautiful garden. Decide for yourself. Choose a designer or elements that fit you and toss the judge’s judgements to the curb. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

    Hope to see you at the show. I’ll be standing in front of the WSNLA garden from 3-5pm on Friday!

  • Northwest Flower and Garden Show Opens Tomorrow

    February 17, 2009

    Tonight’s the Arbor Eden fundraiser gala opening for the garden show. Tomorrow the show itself opens up, and sadly this may be the last year. During this week every horticultural professional is going to be slammed. I’m no exception. In addition to running Garden Mentors, where I focus on providing premiere garden coaching and award-winning landscape designs in the greater Seattle area, I’ll be attending the garden show as much as possible. And, not only will I be attending, but I’ll also be speaking over the weekend and hosting the WSNLA show garden for a few shifts.

    Waterfeature in 2008 NWFGS Show Garden

    Waterfeature in 2008 NWFGS Show Garden

    If you’re planning to attend the show, I hope you’ll drop by one of my seminars. Remember, kids under 5 get in free, and free, on-site child care is provided in case you need some time without the little ones to shop!

    Who Wants Garbage for Dinner? The Wonderful Way of Worms!
    Saturday, February 21st at 2pm & Sunday, February 22nd at 2pm
    Summary: As we worry about building a better environment for the future, we should start teaching our children ways they can contribute.  In this lively hands-on session for kids and parents, we?ll look at the ?naked-eye? creatures that come to live in worm bins!  How do worms eat our garbage, and what comes out when they?re done munching on fruit and vege scraps, coffee grounds and egg shells.  Kids will love this, and parents will too!

    More on Vermicomposting and Robin garden coaching kids here.
    Got Dogs? Gardening with Canine Companions
    Sunday, February 22nd at 9:45am
    Summary: Does your dog enjoy your garden even more than you do?  Gardeners who share their gardening spaces with canine companions face special challenges like spotty lawns, chewed shrubs, unwanted planting bed excavations, trampled perennials, and poopy piles in all the wrong places. Join gardening coach Robin Haglund, who has cared for dozens of dogs and solved a multitude of dog challenges, and Lisa Wogan, author of Dog Park Wisdom and Unleashed, for useful tips and training tricks to bring the best out of the garden you share with your best doggie pals.

    I hope to have time during the week to add garden show update posts here. And, I’ll try to resist the urge to put out too many spoilers after attending the gala tonight!

  • We’re Losing the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle!

    January 30, 2009

    I just read a headline in the Seattle times that made my stomach lurch: Northwest Flower & Garden Show to close for good without a new owner. As someone who has contributed to the show since before my horticulture career began, I can attest that this is bad news all around. Sorry, folks I’m usually an optimist, but this one got me in the gut, adding to an mounding pile of items that are making me see that half full glass in a different light. Gardening Magazines are closing. Newspapers are shutting down. Gardening TV is becoming less and less. These shutdowns, combined with losing events like this show (and apparently the San Francisco Garden Show, too) , are enormous industry losses. They are important triggers to remind the gardening (and not-so-gardening) public to get going on gardens; they provide the resources for finding the best resources for our gardens. Fortunately, blogs continue to abound, but can they be enough?

    In my experience, my business spikes the day the Northwest Flower & Garden Show opens, and it stays pretty steady through spring and summer after that. I depend on this! Whenever HGTV runs my winning episode of Landscaper’s Challenge, my business spikes. And, whenever the local or national press runs a print article or when a blog piece  includes me, I see business increase. So, what’s going to happen in this changing world?

    And, let me not make this all about myself. Let’s think about all of those tens of thousands who flock to downtown Seattle every year infusing our travel industry and shopping community with their dollars. And, let’s think about all of the designers, speakers and vendors who lose the chance to bring their products and messages and designs to those thousands. And, we dare not forget the gala opening fundraiser, Arbor Eden,  that is important to the Seattle Arboretum Foundation. And, lest I forget, I must consider the gardeners out there whose mid-winter spring fantasy and inspiration will no longer exist.

    It’s a sad day for gardeners everywhere. This is an enormous loss to gardeners everywhere. Like losing Heronswood years ago, this is an icon that will be difficult, if not impossible to replicate anywhere outside Seattle.

    So, got about a million dollars? This event could still be yours.

    This may be the last time you’ll get to attend one of my events at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. Please join me. More information is available here.

  • Robin Haglund at the 2009 Northwest Flower & Garden Show

    January 14, 2009

    The buzz around the 2009 Northwest Flower & Garden Show is getting louder. Can you hear it? Flora’s Blog for the show recently posted part one of a two-part interview with garden coach Robin Haglund (moi) about the kid and family-focused program she is putting together for this year’s Sproutopia! stage. Read the interview here.

    I’m very excited the show has invited me to bring this program to the garden show this year, and I hope to meet many of my readers at the show for my Worm composting presentation and/or my gardening with dogs presentation with Lisa Wogan. Here’s more about each program:

    Who Wants Garbage for Dinner? The Wonderful Way of Worms!
    Saturday, February 21st at 2pm & Sunday, February 22nd at 2pm
    Summary: As we worry about building a better environment for the future, we should start teaching our children ways they can contribute.  In this lively hands-on session for kids and parents, we’ll look at the “naked-eye” creatures that come to live in worm bins!  How do worms eat our garbage, and what comes out when they’re done munching on fruit and vege scraps, coffee grounds and egg shells.  Kids will love this, and parents will too!
    Got Dogs? Gardening with Canine Companions
    Sunday, February 22nd at 9:45am
    Summary: Does your dog enjoy your garden even more than you do?  Gardeners who share their gardening spaces with canine companions face special challenges like spotty lawns, chewed shrubs, unwanted planting bed excavations, trampled perennials, and poopy piles in all the wrong places. Join gardening coach Robin Haglund, who has cared for dozens of dogs and solved a multitude of dog challenges, and Lisa Wogan, author of Dog Park Wisdom and Unleashed, for useful tips and training tricks to bring the best out of the garden you share with your best doggie pals.

    As the show approaches, I’ll post updates…and may even offer a contest for free show tickets. Interested? Keep reading and sending in your great gardening questions!

1 2 3
(You can support this blog by buying through our links. Purchases made through the affiliate links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors but don’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for buying and helping support us!)