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  • NW Flower & Garden Show 2017 Musts

    February 10, 2017

    The Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2017 opens in just a couple of weeks, beginning on February 22nd through February 26, 2017. And, as usual we can’t wait to attend and present during the show. Once again, the speaker line up is stellar, and the sneak peeks of the show garden designs are intriguing. It’s gonna be tasty! (How can it not be with a Taste of Spring theme to guide it?)

    NWFGS show garden plant label & plant

    Check the show gardens for plant labels & then hit the market place to buy your own!

    So, what’s on our not to miss list for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in 2017?

    Well, Robin can’t miss being on stage for her two seminars and competition in the new Garden Wars spin-off, Container Wars.

    Catch Robin on opening day in the Rainier Room at 2:15pm for Gardening 101: Don’t Let Moving Scare the Plants Out of You. Together with fellow professionals Sue Goetz and Christina Salwitz, Robin will be discussing wise choices to make as you’re saying hello to a new garden or good-bye to one you’ve lovingly cultivated. These three gardening consultants have a lot of experience helping new buyers remedy mistakes made by even the most well-intended sellers. Learn how to recognize and make good choices before you buy, sell or embark on moving your garden.

    Moving a Tree

    Should it Stay? Or Should it Go?
    Learn more about buying, selling & moving your Garden at NWFGS!

    Then, on Thursday, Robin will return to the Rainier Room at 2:45pm for Gardening 101: Best Damn Garden Advice Ever! Together with Professor Linda Chalker-Scott and Mary-Kaye Mackey, this presentation will offer you a myriad of gardening tips and solutions to make you a more successful gardener and make your gardening chores easier.

    And, on Sunday the 26th at 11am, Robin will be laughing it up with her friend and colleague Jessi Bloom in a new coopertition for your benefit in the Container Wars Arena. Robin and Jessi will be sharing live gardening tips as they rapidly puts together a series of planted containers, using surprise materials and impromptu challenges issued on the fly by Master of Ceremonies Marianne Binetti. Adding to the fun, the audience gets to vote on their favorite designer.

    Solar wine bar at NWFGS

    Hungry? Hit Solera for a tasty meal & a glass of wine —
    in view of the show gardens at NWFGS!

    Robin’s presentations aren’t the only great NWFGS to-do’s on our list this year! You’ll also find us slavering over the new Bouquet of Cakes displays, hoping for some tasty samples. But, if there are no samples in this area, we’ll definitely enjoy bellying up to the new Tasting Corner where all sorts of culinary wonders will be up for sampling. Nom-nom!

    puppy seeds

    Will they have “grow your own puppy” seeds again this year?
    Check the NWFGS marketplace!

    Of course, we’ll be trolling the marketplace for seeds, tools, plants, inspiration and Vintage Marketplace finds. And, this year, given our politically inspired goal to give back more to environmentally challenged areas and non-profits, we’ll be visiting the plant society, garden tour and educational tables to expand our knowledge about economically and environmentally challenged programs in need.

    And, during the week, there are two other seminars where you’re bound to find Robin in attendance.

    On Wednesday at 11:45am in the Rainier Room, Dan Hinkley’s talk Creating a Low-mow, High-life Meadow in the Pacific Northwest is luring her in. Having moved to a several acre property with lots of lawn, converting to meadow is a highly attractive, if daunting task. Hopefully, Dan will help get her over the hump!

    And, on Saturday, she’ll be hitting the show in the evening for Ellen Zachos’ 5:30pm talk Backyard Foraging: Gathering from the Garden in hopes of learning more about wild plants to forage from her new property. The abundant blackberries and nettles are obvious, and tapping trees for sap water is a new challenge, but odds are there are more foods to forage when the wild taste of spring bursts forth soon after this year’s NW Flower & Garden Show comes to a close. If this seminar rings true, we’ll all be ready to find edible goodies from our own backyards – large or small.

  • Gardening Advice from Pros

    January 13, 2017

    Ever wish you could go back in time to give your younger self gardening advice you’ve learned with age? Well, Theresa Loe of Living Homegrown invited eight top gardening pros (me included) asking us what we’d tell our younger selves if we could go back in time.

    Fine pruning gardening advice

    Pruning done right is both art & science. Done wrong, it may be an irreparable hack job.

    Living Homegrown Podcast: Essential Garden Lessons with 8 Experts

    And, after the episode be sure download the .pdf of advice Theresa offers via the podcast.

    Too, if you need more help with your basic gardening challenges, explore the links below, comment below with your questions or just contact us to set up a garden coaching session!

  • Less Words; More Action

    November 18, 2016

    This is my last every-Friday blog post.

    At least for a while.

    I’ve decided to channel my garden, food and environmental education outreach efforts in different directions going forward. Part of this change includes redirecting the many hours I have previously spent each week photographing, photo-editing, writing and promoting these blog articles. I’m beginning this week by dedicating my erstwhile blogging time to meeting up with at least one environmental volunteer group coordinator. Once my enrollment begins with this program, and I have interesting educational updates, I’ll endeavor to share them. Maybe here. Maybe not here.

    Dunlins flying on Padilla Bay

    Less time blogging will mean more time working to protect the environment for our future.

    What I will continue to do for readers on a regular basis:

    I will continue to send subscribers our monthly newsletter with updates, reminders and members-only special offers.

    I will continue to post photos on Pinterest and Instagram (and to a much lesser degree on Facebook and Twitter.)

    And, when I have the time or a compelling story to share, I will continue to add to this blog. But, it won’t be every Friday anymore.

    If you are sorely disappointed to hear that I’ll be curtailing these blog updates, please let me know via the comment section below or via a private message here. If your reasons and your voices compel me to do otherwise, I might change course. But for now, I’m dedicated to do as much as I can with my limited time and resources for our precious Earth. As we head into a very uncertain future environment, I must try my very best to be the change I wish to see in our world.

    Many Thanks,

    Robin Haglund

    Founder & President, Garden Mentors

  • Being Earth Positive

    November 11, 2016

    For many of my clients, friends and family, this week has been a helluva rough ride, and being positive is pretty tough in the face of what our future President promised and elicited in many of his followers on the campaign trail. While I appreciate that some, in fact many, Americans are happy in the immediate, post-election moment, most I work with, play with and simply love are struggling with the many stages of shock, grief, fear and anger right now. And, while there’s nothing I can do to undo the realities of this election outcome, there are a few things I can offer for hope, encouragement and perhaps inspiration.

    Dunlin on Padilla bay

    A lone dunlin, staring into the middle distance on a barren, rocky island mirrored my emotional state on Wednesday.

    When I woke on Wednesday morning, I was numb. My emotional disbelief that day can only be likened to the dull sense of denial that accompanies learning a close loved one has died. But, having gone through tragic loss more than once in my life, I knew that being outside, in nature, does more to rebuild my belief in goodness and in the future than anything else. I also recognized that the natural world I love so very much is now at dire risk of collapse under the command of the forthcoming administration.

    So, I took action.

    Before mid-day I had started the process of becoming a volunteer at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve near our home. I’m not sure yet how they’ll put me to work, but I offered to give native plant tours or classes or even just sit at the front desk as a greeter during open hours. It doesn’t matter how I help — just that I do help.

    After I’d signed up there, I took a long walk on the PBST (Padilla Bay Shore Trail) to clear my head and connect with the greater natural world. Migrating geese honked as they flew overhead. Great blue herons stood like statues in the soggy fields. And, exhausted dunlins hunkered on the rocks at the salty, windy shore. Their presence recharged me, but it was also telling to think that the forthcoming administration’s position on climate change threatens the delicacy of our Earth — not just human life, but the life of all flora and fauna. These birds that are powerful enough to fly from the tundra to the equator and back every year may soon disappear from our landscape completely. So, upon my return home, I reached out to our local Audubon chapter to volunteer.

    Great blue heron in douglas fir tree

    Like a great blue heron guarding territory, it is even more imperative that we guard our Earth in any way possible.

    By Thursday morning, I woke up angry. The fog of disbelief had begun to give way to the cold, hard truth of our future. Despite waking to a gorgeous sunset, the day felt grim, but I forged ahead. I wrote a check to the local Audubon chapter as I sat watching a pair of great blue herons battle for frog-pond territory out my office window. And, following an afternoon walk on the PBST where I smiled and said hello to everyone else on the trail, I began working on a couple of new programs Garden Mentors plans to offer to our subscribers as early as next week. We’re working on programs that we hope will empower even more people to have more positive impacts on the planet and each other in the immediate and the distant future.

    Remember, you are not alone.

    dunlins together on padilla bay

    Like this pair of dunlins, you are not alone. You may be staring off into space in disbelief or curling inward to mourn, but together we can build a better future.

    Friday morning this blog post goes live. I can only hope the new day dawns beautifully for each of you. I hope the divisiveness and hatred endorsed by our President-elect becomes the part of every candidate’s campaign promises that immediately fall by the wayside upon being elected. And, I hope he does everything possible to reunite our dangerously divided society. I hope for our nation’s unified future and our planet’s endurance. And, I hope you will join me in doing everything we can — in even the smallest ways — to ensure a strong, united, respectful, loving and peaceful coexistence for all beings in our nation and on our entire planet.

    If you wish to learn more about our forthcoming programs, I encourage you to sign up for our mailing list now.

    Sincerely,

    Robin Haglund, Founder & President

     

  • Slogging Thru

    November 04, 2016

    I find myself slogging through the days right now, attempting to navigate the morass of the 2016 election season, muddled domestic and foreign political affairs, and an equally swampy autumn.

    Great Blue Heron Slogging

    Great blue heron slogging at the shores of Padilla Bay in search of sustenance.

    Our record-breaking October monthly rainfall numbers were so high in all of Washington state that no part of the state is still considered droughty. And, where we live, it’s downright swampy. At least that gives us an excuse not to mow. But, will we ever get the last of our bulbs planted. And, if we do, will they just rot in this year’s chilly, waterlogged soil?

    Azalea flowering in fall

    Azaleas are usually considered spring bloomers, but look carefully and you may catch them putting on fragrant fall flowers like this that pop against their colorful fall foliage. What a treat!

    On these dim, wet, gray “indoor” days, it’s easy to get mired down watching the non-stop ugliness of politics unfold on television and the internet. But, here’s the best medicine I’ve found: get outside — even if you do get wet. There’s nothing like breathing fresh air while observing the natural world to liberate our hearts and minds.

    (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!)



    Some days I dig into the garden, planting bulbs and trusting in a future that will not only let them grow but also encourage them to thrive. Other days, I take a long walk at the shore with my pup, admiring the power and determination of migrating birds flapping into the storm — something that happens every year regardless of who we want for our next President or Senator. Always, I carry a camera in hopes of capturing a moment of the miraculous beauty of nature. These images help me get through the next downpour, the next tragedy at Standing Rock, and, of course, the political quagmire leading up to November 8th.

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(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!)