This year, I finally attended Seattle's Northwest Flower and Garden Show. It ran February 11th/15th, but I was only able to attend one day, February 14th (yikes - Valentine's Day!), so this will be a super-condensed version of the massive event! I was so excited, anticipating it for months having missed it the last few years for various reasons.
FeederWatch (which I did recently myself) through Cornell if you are interested in birds and citizen science. It's all pretty cool stuff.
There were many other smaller-scale, themed "City Living" gardens that I took photos of but I will omit here for space sake - plus other bloggers have covered it so well, check out Danger Garden, for example. They had nuances that were sweet but overall I saw nothing that blew me out of the water. There was a whole area filled with Seattle-area garden clubs and hardy plant societies and so much much more than I can cover here. For that alone, it was worth it. Living in Portland, however, they were not my main focus - but the equivalent groups and clubs in Portland do demand my attention when I am at the Yard Garden and Patio show.
Moving along to the marketplace.
The REAL reason I attend these things is for the plants, people! A flower and garden show is about the PLANTS. Guess what? There weren't any! Well, hardly any. Seriously. I guess I expected with a venue like Seattle that they would have more than any garden shows in Portland but I was wrong. There were some 300 vendors: You could buy eyeglass cleaner, jewelry, olive oil, clothing, wine, any number of items you could find at the mall. There were a plethora of hand-crafted garden decor items and bookstores that were very garden appropriate. There was a vintage mall and lots of landscaping businesses and artists, seed vendors and bulbs. Butchart Gardens even had a booth but there were so many people in front of it I did not get a good photo. But there were surprisingly very few plant vendors. Let's have a look at what I saw:
bee preserver" glass float from Glass Gardens Northwest at the show (though not at the booth pictured here), it was nice to see their booth and meet these people.
OK, we're leaving the vintage marketplace.
On to the plant market place.
All joking aside, there were a lot of very worthy vendors and the lectures looked top-notch. I missed them this time as my window to be there was so narrow. I guess it was just too big for this small-town woman…ha ha…I was just looking forward to lots of plant vendors and finding some special plants to take home. It looks like will have to wait for my very favorite plant nerd event, Hortlandia put on every April by the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon which is really the place for me to find those special plants to take home.
These shows do have something for everyone, but the trick is to know what you are looking for and to go find it, strategically, and to pace yourself. And bring snacks. For me, a map of the damned place would have been oh-so-helpful to help map it out before hand but their website does not provide a printable map - it's some wonky version that only added to my frustration. The program for the whole thing was also a tiny little thing that also frustrated me - I wanted to study my material before arrival so I had a game plan. Seattle, I had higher hopes but now I know what to expect for next time. I will be stealth, I will be strategic and I will come with fellow bloggers to egg me on, I promise.
Well, I made it through a relatively headache-free week and for this I am grateful. For you, dear readers I am also grateful, oh so grateful. For gardening, plants, bees and an early spring out west I am truly grateful. And yes, for garden shows I am also grateful. Even when I'm grumpy.
Thank you for reading and until next time, happy gardening!