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Northwest Flower & Garden Show 2012 – It’s a Wrap!

February 13, 2012
Waterfeature chimes

Spotted this fire & water chime in one of the 2012 NWFGS Container Gardens - Charming!

The 2012 Northwest Flower & Garden Show ranks as one of the best in my book. And, I’ve been to a lot of them.

I promised myself I would spend much of the show planted in the seminar rooms. This was a rough winter for me, and I felt the need to find inspiration, ideas and wisdom from others in the industry.

And, that’s exactly what I got.

Here’s a few tasty tidbits selected from all of the amazing information and insights I sampled at the show this year:

Teresa O’Connor of Seasonal Wisdom shared some amazing stories about this history and medicinal uses of many common plants in her Edible Flowers seminar. Even I hadn’t known that a species name ‘Officinalis’ means the plant had medicinal uses way back when.

Rebecca Sweet of Harmony in the Garden reminded me to extract color from my visuals when designing. This really helps see texture, form and big ole gaping holes.

Jessi Bloom, while clucking about gardening harmoniously with chickens, managed to slip in some amazing permiculture gardening tips. How much sense does it make that a plant known historically as “boneset” would be one that’s able to extract an amazing amount of beneficial nutrient from the soil and store it in its leaves. Thanks for the comfry Jess and for your great new book Free Range Chicken Gardens!

Live Twitter Feed during NWFGS

Live Tweets & Texts on Display at 2012 NWFGS Kept Us all Informed of the Latest & Greatest Happenings at that Very Moment. Follow the show happenings anytime via #NWFGS

Willi Galloway dove deep into the growing, harvesting and cooking she shares in her recently released Grow. Cook. Eat. book. I’ve already seeded favas so I can try out her amazing grilling technique that should really cut down on the labor required to enjoy this healthy crop. Oh, and if you’ve ever run out of inventive ideas for serving cucumber, know this book has what looks to be a new favorite recipe for me — gotta buy it to get the recipe!

Joe Lamp’l of Growing a Greener World reminded me of all the fantastic stories the show has told over the past two seasons, with another one coming right up. And, generous as always, he gave a great shout-out to everyone he could think of who has helped make the show what it is today — including me! Thanks Joe!

Dan Hinkley’s slides before a full room began by reminding me that for the last several years, our local freezes have started earlier and earlier each year. And, many of the plants haven’t been ready for it. Still, he shared a number of ultra-hearty, super-gorgeous plants that have not only survived but some, he said, seem to thrive with the extra chill — including a banana of all things. He did say he’d be happy to take audience members on plant explorations — only if they’ll volunteer to be the leech bait. Hmmm…not sure how I’d do with that job.

Custom Copper Gutter

Spotted some Amazing Customized Copper Gutters & Garden Art in the 2012 NWFGS Plant Mart

Although I couldn’t make Jayme Jenkin‘s DIY demo on building an edible cocktail garden table, I did pull her aside and begged for the “two minute synopsis”. I got it, but here’s the thing: go to her website, and I’m pretty sure she’ll be posting a “how-to” soon. Really, this table is a must-have!

And, yes, I was nearly blinded by the sparkling stars blinking all ’round my hero Graham Kerr. Fortunately, The Galloping Gourmet, is disarmingly charming and utterly sweet. Not only did I bust a gut laughing along with him as he taught and performed on stage, but also I’m certain I made a friend. His new project, which encourages neighbors to meet, garden, cook and share together is called E.G.G.S. I don’t know about you, but I’ve already got a few neighbors coming over to get veggie starts later this spring, and guaranteed we’ll be cooking and sharing the bounty together soon. Having Graham attend my seminar was wonderful. Having him tell me after that I’m a very special person was utterly breath-taking.

I ducked in and out of a few other seminars, but I had to make sure I had time to shop, explore the show gardens and sleep too.

Truly, the seminars were my highlight this year, and I can’t thank the Northwest Flower & Garden Show staff enough for all they do to put these talks together! Follow them on Twitter here to get year-round updates on what’s coming in future shows.

The seminars are a good reminder of how much I can learn from others. It really pays to be the student!


  1. Cath says:

    Oh, I too am a Graham Kerr fan, how fun you got to meet him and made a friend : )

  2. Hey Robin: Thanks for including me on this great wrap-up of speeches at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. I’m honored you found my talk helpful.

    Graham Kerr really is still as charming as he was as the Galloping Gourmet on TV. I had the good fortune to meet him last year, and had breakfast with him and his wife. As a member of the Incredible Edibles panel in 2011 with Joe Lamp’l and Willi Galloway, I thought Graham was a hoot and full of valuable culinary information. So glad you had the chance to be his “warm-up” act in 2012.

    Look forward to seeing you again in 2013, if not sooner. Teresa

  3. Theresa says:

    Great summary Robin. I agree that the seminars are an excellent way to be inspired. We had so many fantastic ones this year – the hardest part of the show was getting to them all! Wonderful to see you while I was there! Can’t wait for the next one!

  4. Great to see you too!!

  5. […] bloggers “Garden Help” Robin Haglund and “My Rubber Boots” Angela Davis share a laugh with The Garden […]

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