Category: Media, Events & News
January 18, 2018
The NW Flower & Garden Show 2018 (or Festival, as they’re now calling it) opens February 7th this year, and I can’t wait. I’m working on three new, exciting seminars.
And, I’ve got some great goodies to hand out to some lucky folks to attend my talks. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here are a few of the things I can’t wait to experience at this year’s show:
- Growing even as we age: One of my seminars this year takes a look at ways we can work toward a garden that accommodates our needs as we age. In doing research, I learned that ElderGrow will have an educational presence at the show. Don’t know them? Come to my seminar, Retire into Your Garden with Ease, on Wednesday, 2/7/2018 at 7pm in the NWFGS Rainier Room to learn more (sneak: Attend & possibly take home some free tools to make gardening easier). Or, look for Eldergrow in your show program.
- Display Gardens: I always look for new inspiration, plants and cool products among the many amazing gardens.
In 2017, I wanted to move into the little cottage setting created by Ryan and Choice Landscapes. I’ll be looking closely for more from them this year.
- Less is More Learning: The seminar rooms is where I’ll be spending most of my time during the show. And not just because I’m giving three talks this year. NWFGS always brings in the best speakers to inspire my growth.
- Last year, Dan Hinkley’s talk on ways to transform and reduce lawns, included a hilarious “Drink & Mow” methodology. He may have meant it as a joke, but we took it seriously and to great effect. More on that in my Is That a Weed or What? seminar on Sunday, 2/11/2018 at 2:15pm in the Rainier Room.
- No watering required gardening is something none of us can afford to miss. I’m looking forward to slipping into Kirk R. Brown’s talk on the subject in the Hood Room on Wednesday, 2/7/2018 at 12:30pm for at least a few minutes before I have to set up for my first seminar of the show: So You Want to Keep Bees?, which begins at 2:45pm on 2/7/2018 in the Rainier Room.
- Visiting the battlegrounds: If you came to see me compete in the the Container Wars arena last year, you already know that I’m not a fan of the name of the various competitions. So much so, I brought peace offerings to my competitor, and we participated in more of a fun, educational cooper-tition than a war. But, here’s the thing: these programs are hilarious, educational and involves the audience. And, this year there’s a live floral arranging competition in addition to a container design competition. Sadly, I don’t get to play on stage this year, but others in the line ups are gonna be great!
- Plant-a-holics: Last year I picked up onion starts, seeds, a self-fertile apple tree, a few orchids, and a number of air plants. This year, I look forward to visiting the plant market for more of the same. Once you get hooked on air plants and orchids, there’s just no turning back. And, who doesn’t end up taking home at least a few things to grow from this fantastic festival of all things garden?
See you at the show!
November 13, 2017
Join Robin to learn and start growing your own hummingbird garden!
Where: Skyline Garden Club, 6041 Sands Way (Skyline Beachclub) Anacortes, WA
When: Monday, November 20, 2017 1:30-2:30pm
Cost: The Skyline Garden Club invites everyone to join us with a $5 donation to the club by non-members.
What you’ll learn: Robin will be sharing her best tips for developing and maintaining a year-round gorgeous, fragrant, blooming garden that hummingbirds will adore. She’ll introduce you to our resident hummingbirds & migrants in the Pacific Northwest. Plus, she’ll teach how easy it is to offer fresh, homegrown food and habitat for these wonderful sprite-like creatures rather than a high-maintenance sugar-water feeder. And, you won’t want to miss all the photos of nests and baby birds growing up.
October 17, 2017
Thanks to the Birchwood Garden Club I’ll be speaking for free in Bellingham, WA on gardening in November.
The Birchwood Garden Club is hosting my seminar 365 Days of Non-Stop Color & Interest. In this seminar, you’ll learn how easy it is in the Pacific Northwest to end the off-season garden doldrums. With a series of eye-popping photos & top design tips I’ll empower you in bringing the Wow! factor to your garden all year long.
November is such a great time to enjoy this seminar. Following our first big rains and winds, deciduous trees and shrubs have all but lost their gorgeous fall foliage. Perennials have shriveled to earth for the winter. It’s now that many gardeners realize they need help brightening their garden for the short, dark days ahead.
So, put this event on your calendar today and join us in the historic Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room to learn more about gardening for everyday of the year and to learn more about the Birchwood Garden Club of Bellingham.
Where: Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room, 2nd Floor, 121 Prospect St, Bellingham, WA
When: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 7pm
Cost: Free, Courtesy of the Birchwood Garden Club of Bellingham
June 21, 2017
Today’s the first day of summer, and here I am getting excited about fall!
I’ve been invited to teach a special, hands-on gardening workshop at the famed Bitters Co. in Skagit Valley. This is going to be a new kind of program for me in that I’ll be teaching a small group of people about design, dividing perennials, preparing a garden for winter and using the right tool for the job at hand.
What I’ll be teaching isn’t new for me, but how and where I’ll be teaching is.
Usually, I travel to a client’s residential garden to teach them at home. And, in these settings, I rarely have more than two or three students (a family) to teach. But, I am accustomed to sharing knowledge with very large groups when I lead nature walks or present at a large garden show.
Like to eat?
The Bitters Co folks will be serving a delicious home-cooked lunch in the garden for everyone.
Need new gardening tools?
We have a number of our top go-to gardening tools that everyone will get to try and almost everyone will get to take home thanks to Fiskars.
Need some new plants?
Since we’ll be dividing perennials, odds are there might be some perennial divisions to take home for your own garden.
Love handmade home & garden decor?
Everyone will have a chance to shop the Bitters Co import barn store while they’re there.
Want some time to recharge away from the city? The Bitters Co property is located smack-dab in the middle of Skagit Valley, which is a gorgeous retreat destination near La Conner, Edison, Mount Vernon and Anacortes. Christianson’s Nursery is just 5 minutes away, so bring your pocketbook. Pack your camera, and get ready to soak in the beauty. Our valley home valley is just plain stunning in late summer.
Want to join us?
Where: Bitters Co in Skagit Valley
When: Saturday, September 16, 2017 11am – 2pm
Cost: We’ve made this program very affordable. At $50/person, it’s a steal. But, we are limiting attendance so I can give everyone attention. Small classrooms matter!
How to sign up: Call (360-466-3550) or email BittersCo to sign up & pay today before we sell out!
I hope to see you there! Robin
June 16, 2017
Recently, Theresa Loe interviewed me about our experiences moving and changing our garden from the city to the country for her award-winning Living Homegrown garden podcast. And, boy did we have a good time chatting. Laughter is a good thing!
We couldn’t cover all the reasons we moved or all of the things we love about our new, unique property, but we did go deep on some diverse subjects like living gently on the planet near a protected estuary. We covered the challenges of getting chickens in a wildlife zone. And, we dug into the importance of topsoil and how to deal with not having much of it. We chatted about what we did to prepare to move our old garden, what we lost along the way, and what we’re learning from gardening in straw bale for the first time. Theresa and I had a great time discussing our beautiful new property that offers so many positive features, and we managed to laugh a lot at the many challenges we’ve faced in just barely a year living here.
As I prepared for our interview, I gave a lot of consideration to everything that’s transpired in our lives over the last year and our time preparing to make a move here. My biggest takeaway from this meditation and my talk with Theresa:
When something isn’t working,
be ready to punt and try something new.
I’ve always told others I believe that fail is the worst of the four-letter F-words. Really, I don’t believe in failure unless you completely give up and do nothing more. And who does that? Life is a journey that we travel on a winding path of discovery. We live; we learn. When something doesn’t turn out as you expected or hoped, life just becomes something different, takes a turn. That’s life! And sometimes what’s different and unexpected is actually better than what we’d set out to have happen in the first place!
With each newbie frustration I encounter here — and believe me there are a lot of them on this new property — I try to take a deep breath and live the lessons I teach my garden coaching clients:
Give yourself a break.
Never give up.
Nature will do fine if you don’t try to tame it all.
Landscape fabric sucks.
Less lawn is good; more meadows are better.
Plants will die, but loss can be an opportunity.
Take the time to stop working and find joy in the small things — like a frog at your front door or seeing your elderly mother tending her potatoes or harvesting all of the three peas the bunnies and birds didn’t devour. Or just jump up and down in triumph when you finally finish digging a planting hole in rock-hard clay muddled with a quarry-worth of pebbles and boulders.
Have a listen and laugh with us!