Flower Power returns to Seattle

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Photo courtesy NW Flower and Garden Show
By Bruce Bennett

From February 15 through 19, 2023 the Seattle Metro Area will see visitors swarming around the Seattle Convention Center like bees around spring flowers. 

This is because the second largest flower and garden show in the country (after the venerable 200-year-old Philadelphia Flower Show), the 2023 Northwest Flower and Garden Festival, will be taking place. 

Themed ‘Spring Vibes Only,’ the event boasts more than twenty-five landscape displays spread across six acres (!) of floor space. 

An expanded ‘City Living’ display on the Convention Center’s Skybridge area provides inspiration to plant lovers who may not have much outdoor space with which to work.

Photo by Lee Lageschulte
Visitors to the festival can learn how to bring those urban garden dreams to life at ‘Container Wars.’ 

And, let’s not forget the mix of design competitions, exhibits, book-signings and the festival’s largest-ever plant market and garden-related vendors who will provide visitors with all things botanical in one, specially curated venue with over 50 nurseries and specialty plant vendors from Washington, Oregon and California. 

There’s a reason this festival has been one of the largest, most-attended shows in the country for the past 30+ years. 

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener, potting petunias on your apartment balcony, just starting to dig in the dirt or happen to enjoy DIY projects, there’s something for everyone here.

Seminars are well-attended
Photo courtesy NW Flower and Garden Show
During each of the five days of the event, Sunset Magazine sponsors an assortment of changing workshops, lectures, and demonstrations. 

I doubt visitors will ever find this many educational programs at any home and garden show in the country. 

Garden Art
Photo by Lee Lageschulte

With some one hundred time slots available across all five days, nationally and internationally known professors, authors and gardening experts are sharing their advice on everything from ‘Great Structural Plants for all Landscapes,’ to ‘Go Bold: Tropical Accents for Inspiring Containers’ and ‘100% Success with Your New Vegetable Garden.’ 

Visit the show’s webpage (gardenshow.com) for a full list and times of seminars and other programs. 

During the show’s peak hours, you can expect the four lecture halls to be close to capacity.

While the varied lectures will provide images, ideas and possibilities for the gardens of the festival visitors, there will also be plenty of gardening organizations in attendance who can provide more specific answers concerning plants, designs or product specialties. 

Photo by Lee Lageschulte
For all-round excellent information and referrals, remember to stop by one of the two Master Gardener Booths. 

As this program is celebrating its fiftieth-year anniversary this year, visitors can look forward to seeing a new Washington State Master Gardeners Booth. 

This is in addition to the Master Gardeners of King County Booth which has been a fixture at the festival for many years. 

The King County program is the original Master Gardener Program and is the forerunner and model of all such programs across the country! 

County residents have in-person access to some forty clinics across our part of the state and year-round email access to access the clinic located at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture. Each county in Washington has its own program and answer clinics in multiple locations.

Photo by Lee Lageschulte
I think a good part of this show’s popularity is based on people’s anticipation for the return of Spring. 

We go through a pretty dreary winter where we are inside much of the time and, when we finally feel like spring is arriving in the neighborhood, we just want to get out and start finding new ideas (and plants) for our dismal, dormant landscapes and containers. 

One particular aspect of the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival I do appreciate is that the displays are not just bunches of forced flowers in bloom and on display. 

The lecturers, vendors and attendees we meet are passionate about, not only gardening but, how to develop the gardens and the reasons behind successful, thriving planting beds. 

This show gives people new ideas and the education of how to develop and implement them.

Single-day tickets for the festival will cost $26. If visitors are short on time, half-day tickets are available for $13. and are good for admission after 3:00pm Wednesday - Saturday and after 2:00pm on Sunday.

Multi-day and children tickets are also available. Speaking from expensive experience, DO consider taking some form of mass transit traveling to the Convention Center. Otherwise, expect your daily parking fee to be north of $20. Check the mass transit web pages as well as the festival’s webpage for more information.

The final suggestion I can offer is, if you have the slightest proclivity towards hay fever or pollen issues, take your favorite antihistamine before you attend this annual Rite of Spring for the Pacific Northwest. Your foresight will definitely benefit you for a few days after your attendance at this flower-rich event.

Bruce Bennett, Master Gardener
Contributing columnist, Bruce Bennett, is a WSU Master Gardener, lecturer and garden designer. 

If you have questions concerning this article, have a gardening question or two to ask concerning your landscape or want to suggest a topic for a future column, contact Bruce at gardenguy4u@gmail.com.


Just My Opinion February 17, 2023 at 7:17 PM  

If you don't have discount tickets and access to free parking I wouldn't bother with the show this year. Spent several hours there on Thursday -didn't see anything particularly unique or inspiring. Save the $ and go to Sky nursery for a chance to support a small local coffee company and take a .stroll without crowds .

Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.

Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the Follow.it email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP