Gin and geraniums – what’s the connection? How about The Hobbit and King Kong? Greenhouses and kneepads? Houseplants and natural pesticides?
They’re all being explored at the big 25th Northwest Flower & Garden Show, which kicked off today at the Washington State Convention Center.
The show garden designers have had a lot of fun with the theme “The Silver Screen Takes Root… Gardens Go Hollywood.” Dorothy’s red slippers from the Wizard of Oz are in one garden, while the Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday inspires another. The always-inventive Arboretum Foundation created a Hobbit Garden straight out of New Zealand. “Lost world” movies like Jurassic Park and King Kong inspired “The Lost Garden,” which was designed by Riz Reyes and
is winning raves and awards.
I always enjoy the gardens, but actually spend a lot more time with people in the marketplace. The show is a great place to shop for things large (how about a greenhouse?) to small (waterproof kneepads?). You can find out about all the spring garden sales at the booths of many nonprofits, which are generally staffed by volunteers.
I joined the Seattle Tree Fruit Society at the show, and I have come to love their monthly newsletter for its knowledgable, in-depth articles on all sorts of fruit topics. Stop by and see if they have any sample newsletters, and you’ll see what I mean.
Speaking of knowledge, I also sit in on a lot of seminars. It’s a great way to give your feet a rest while learning something or being entertained.
I’ll definitely be in the audience for Amy Stewart’s talk on “The Drunken Botanist,” her new book by the same name that is an exploration of the intersection of botany and booze. She’s also at the DIY stage with a demonstration called “The Backyard Bartender.”
Many local garden experts and writers will be on stage too. Look for Lorene Edwards Forkner on growing great edibles, Colin McCrate on battling bugs, Jessi Bloom on chickens and Linda Chalker-Scott on natural pesticides.
If you’re an adventurous eater, check out Arthur Lee Jacobsen’s talk on “Unfamiliar Garden Food,” and learn which houseplants go great with a Northwest Ale.
I’ll be speaking
on Sunday at 12:15 and am excited to share my brand-new book at the show. Come hear my “Four Season Eats” and get a book signed after the talk.