A driftwood dragon made for a breathtaking display at last year’s Northwest Flower and Garden Show. (Andrew May/For Peninsula Daily News)

A driftwood dragon made for a breathtaking display at last year’s Northwest Flower and Garden Show. (Andrew May/For Peninsula Daily News)

A GROWING CONCERN: Garden show coming up this week

THERE REALLY ARE few things in the world that can get me going as much as the second-largest flower show in America.

And here I am living in the gardening mecca of the world, home to the aforementioned botanical extravaganza: The Northwest Flower and Garden Show which is being held in Seattle at the Washington State Convention Center on Pike and Seventh Streets.

This spectacular flower and garden event is running this year from Wednesday through Sunday, March 1, and is an event not to be missed by anyone who even remotely claims to be a gardener (because if you do miss it you are not).

Cost for this “be there or be square” exhibit is $20 if you are an early bird buyer or $25 at the door, students age 13 to 23 are $10 and a five-day pass is $75. All ticket and show information can be viewed at https://gardenshow.com/information.

Now, there are many reasons not to miss this show, but the 30 huge, beautiful, complex, magnificent, enthralling, breathtaking and inspiring show gardens would be the No. 1 reason to attend.

The country’s best designers are there at the show, showing off their creative talents. They do not disappoint.

Plagiarism is the world’s second oldest profession, so give the show gardens a whirl.

They are the best “idea factory” around.

So many tidbits to look at, photograph and emulate. This is really why I go, but you should go for the vendors as well.

Well over 300 exhibitors are displaying their wares and every possible imaginable garden gadget, culture, book, tool, accessory, plant, seed, orchid, boot, glove, cactus, bulb and desire is for sale.

Here on the Olympic Peninsula we greatly suffer from a lack of selection. Not so at the show — go and buy.

While there, take in the beautiful sky bridge that crosses over Pike Street. View the wonderful containers, sip champagne and listen to the harp music.

Then if you desire, catch one of over 100 free seminars and see why so many people buy a multi-day pass. It is such an inexpensive education.

Every subject from bats, bees, butterflies, weeds, willows, flowers, fruit, soil, sedum, pruning, planting, compost and conservation are being discussed by the industry’s leading experts.

Knowledge is good.

What’s really good are the two free plant check-in stations at two separate locations on the show floor. There are spaces where you can drop off your purchases for free so you do not have to shlep your items around. This is truly a bonus round.

And speaking of a bonus round — the ever-popular “container wars” that pit local horticulturists against each other in a timed botanical competition are really exciting.

As are all the information booths, great plant picks and orchid displays along with the juried floral arrangements.

So if all things flower and garden excite you … go to the show!

If you go Wednesday, you will see me there in a bright flowered shirt. Please come and say hi.


Andrew May is a freelance writer and 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@peninsuladailynews.com (subject line: Andrew May).

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