The 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show: Hooray for Hollywood!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Display garden at NW Flower and Garden Show
Photo by Loren Alexanian

by Jennifer Rotermund

Do you know that old garden joke about the two boll weevils who grew up on a farm? One went off to Hollywood and became a famous actor, the other stayed behind and didn't do much with its life. The second one became known as the lesser of two weevils!

“The Silver Screen Takes Root....Gardens Go Hollywood” is this year's theme at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, so you won't have to travel down the coast to get your infusion of movie themes and beautiful flowers - just into downtown Seattle.

Molbak's was one of dozens of vendors at the show
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

As with every year at the NW Flower and Garden Show, there are seemingly endless booths with every garden tool, decoration, work of art, and new cultivars of plants for sale. There are classes satisfying almost every niche of gardening taking place around the clock, and refreshments served so you can take a moment to breathe throughout your long days at the show.

Alien garden - don't get too close to the plant - it bites!
Photo by Loren Alexanian

But of course, it's the display gardens that steal the show. And this year's Hollywood theme provides a wide variety of garden styles for a wide variety of the viewing audience. "Remember the original movie poster for the movie Aliens?" one of the show docents asked me. I did not remember that movie poster, but I didn't need to; that poster is reproduced in live form with carnivorous plants, hanging plant "victims," and modern (if not terrifically grotesque) garden art that appears to stalk you as you wander by.

Are you always complaining that you need more ideas for your small garden space? Perhaps the "Honey I shrunk the Garden" display is for you!

Sunshine on Rapunzel's Tower
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Feeling tired of our dreary Seattle Winter already? I'm sure you'll enjoy the bright warmth of the "California Dreaming" display or appreciate being whisked away to Italy by the "Audrey's Roman Holiday" display (which also demonstrates a beautiful use of flagstone and ground cover).

I know, I know, you're more of a sci-fi/ fantasy lover like me - we've gotta look out for one another. You'll like the urban edible food forest at the "In a Garden Far, Far Away" display and the full sized Hobbit House in the "Hobbit's New Zealand Garden" display (yes, it is my dream to own and live in a Hobbit House; there, I've said it).

"A River Runs Through It"
Photo by Loren Alexanian

Do you have a serious outdoor enthusiast friend or family member you wish to take to the show, but they think it's too "fluffy and flowery" for them? Well, drag them there, park them in front of the "River Runs Through It" display and go run through the rest of the show while they're temporarily transported to the backwoods of Montana.

As always, there's something for everyone at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Now, I'm ready for the Oscars this Sunday, I'm ready for Spring to begin and I'm already looking forward to next year's Flower and Garden show, Feb 5-9, 2014!

Photo by Loren Alexanian

But in the meantime, head on down to the Convention Center in the next four days, test out your movie trivia skills and enjoy the sites, sounds and smells (the displays are thick with Spring flowers!) of the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Show hours are Wednesday through Saturday (Feb. 20-23), 9am to 8pm; Sunday (Feb. 24), 9am to 6pm. Regularly priced adult admission tickets are $20, $15 per person for group purchases (minimum of 20 tickets); $29 for single 2-day pass; $5 for youth (ages 13-17). Children 12 and under are admitted free to the show.

Flagstone path - but is that a skull?
Photo by Loren Alexanian

Oh, and my favorite plant pairing from this year's show? Cornus 'Mid-Winter Fire' and Potentilla 'Red Ace' - wow! They're gorgeous together! Bonus points to anyone who can find the display where those plants reside. Have fun!


Jennifer Rotermund is the owner of Gaiaceous Gardens (an urban farming and wildlife gardening business with a teaching garden/urban farm and certified wildlife habitat/ sanctuary located in Shoreline). She is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Habitat Steward and is a Docent at the Kruckeberg Botanical Garden.


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