Weekend Highlight

With less than a month to spring, it’s a good time to start thinking about your upcoming gardening endeavors. Whether you have lots of space to maintain a full-fledged floral wonderland, or just a small patio to work with, the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival will offer plenty of tips, tricks and displays for inspiration.

The event starts Wednesday and concludes Sunday at the Washington State Convention Center. This year’s theme is “spring fever” and will feature more than 30 display gardens, free seminars, workshops and thousands of items in a garden marketplace.

Those looking to get some hands-on experience should snag a ticket to a Blooms & Bubbles floral design workshop. Topics include floral table runners, centerpieces and botanical jewelry. Guests can learn how to make a project while enjoying a glass of Champagne. Workshop tickets are $90 each (includes festival admission). 

Tickets are limited, but the workshops — which start at 2 p.m. daily — will be open for attendees to watch. There will also be free make-and-take workshops on select days of the festival.

On Saturday and Sunday, Laura LeBoutillier of Garden Answer will be on the Main Stage in the North Hall speaking on “5 Things that Made Me a Better Gardener.” Guests can meet and greet with LeBoutillier after each session.

There will be more than 60 other speakers covering everything from edible gardening to pollinators and more. All seminars and demonstrations are free with admission.


Taking center stage at this year’s festival is ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Headmaster Hiroki Ohara of the Ohara School of Ikebana will speak at 11:45 a.m. Saturday and will create a floral arrangement using materials that convey the changing seasons from winter to spring.

City dwellers can overload on inspiration. Located on the Convention Center’s skybridge, 10 patio garden displays offer ideas for those with limited outdoor space.

Flower fanatics and newbies alike can delight in floral mannequin displays by Fleurs de Villes. The displays are in collaboration with local florists, designers, growers and nurseries.

In addition to the workshops, displays and seminars, attendees can shop for gifts, plants, accessories and more at the marketplace.

At the Community Plant Center, you can meet with local organizations that promote sustainable and healthful garden practices, and look for rare and unique plants from the Cascade Nursery Trail association plant sale.

If you get hungry during the show, food and drink vendors will be available.


Northwest Flower & Garden Festival

Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Feb. 26-29; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, March 1

Location: Washington State Convention Center, 705 Pike St., Seattle

Cost: $25 ($20 through Feb. 25); $10/students ages 13-23; free/children ages 12 and under; various passes available 

More info: gardenshow.com