A GROWING CONCERN: Flower show in Seattle tantalizes the senses this week

IT’S THAT WONDERFUL time of year again, especially as cabin fever sets in: It’s time for Seattle’s Northwest Flower &Garden Show.

This is the 29th year running of this spectacular horticultural extravaganza, the second-largest flower show in the country.

And it’s just a ferry ride away.

This “no gardener can miss” show is once again being held at the Washington State Convention Center, located in downtown Seattle at the intersection of Seventh and Pike streets. It runs from 9 a.m. Wednesday until 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26 (closing at 8 each night).

Entry prices are very reasonable: A single-day ticket costs $22 at the door, with $5 off the early bird special (available until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday).

Two-day passes are only $31, though perhaps the “best buy” is the $70, five-day “all show pass” (available online only at www.gardenshow.com/tickets or in person Wednesday).

Kids 12 and younger are admitted free, with youths 13 to 17 years old getting in for $5 per day.

However, the show is worth its weight in saffron because of how it’s an idea factory.

Plagiarism is the world’s second-oldest profession and with 20 large, spectacular, magnificent marquee show gardens, ideas abound.

This year’s show theme is “Taste of Spring,” and what a grand buffet they have laid out for all gardeners to devour.

One feature of this year’s show gardens is an expanded “forcing” program, which means there will be up to 50 percent more flowers in bloom this year.

Designers have embraced the trends of organic and urban gardening with sustainability, functionality and outdoor living, and these works of art should truly inspire anyone to tackle their own yard with new inspiration.

As always, the market place is the huge advantage of the show because for five days, it becomes the largest horticulture mall in America, while here on the Peninsula, we all suffer from hard-to-find products and sources.

Not at the flower show.

With over 350 top-notch vendors, even the savvy gardener can find his or her most finicky desire, so shop until you drop (then come back again with the two-day pass).

And just to tickle your senses, the floral competition that welcomes all who enter the atrium lobby definitely sets the mood for your botanical senses.

New for 2017 is the intriguing bouquet of cakes, located on the impressive sky bridge. This exhibit features lavishly adorned cakes with realistic sugar flowers on hand-crafted cakes baked by local artisans.

If this isn’t enough (and it’s not), the renowned lecture/seminar series is a main feature of the show.

Held at three different venues throughout the show and running all day each and every day, the country and world’s most notable horticulturists run through every imaginable topic.

(For a full seminar schedule and all show details, go to www.garden show.com.)

And to round things off, the Garden Wars are again a feature each day at 11 a.m., where local celebrities are pitted against each other in container planting competitions.

I cannot stress enough how magnificent and inspiring this garden show is and just how lucky we are to have such a world-class production right here in our own backyard.

So grab a friend, spouse and/or fellow gardener and go to the show.

On a side note, we still have eight seats left on the all-inclusive, first-class luxury Garden Bus, which leaves Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend early Wednesday morning to be among the first 100 people to walk into the show.

Along with food, drinks, seminars and all expenses — $115 per person, $220 for a couple — this is a fun trip.

Call me at 360-417 1639 for more information.

________

Andrew May is an ornamental horticulturist who dreams of having Clallam and Jefferson counties nationally recognized as “Flower Peninsula USA.” Send him questions c/o Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362, or email news@peninsula dailynews.com (subject line: Andrew May).

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