Home & Garden

Good things for the garden

Some home improvement and garden junkies survive winter by watching reruns of interior design makeovers, flipping through tattered seed catalogs and wandering the aisles of big-box hardware stores just to catch a whiff of raw lumber and fresh paint.

Others rely on a stronger fix: the Tacoma Home & Garden Show, which opens its doors Jan. 27.

“It’s the first big home and garden show in the state, and it’s been going on for 27 years,” said show manager Jeff Swenson. “We just try to bring people in, get them inspired and give them ideas of what they can do in their home and garden.”

Here are some highlights you won’t want to miss.


You’ve heard them on the radio. You’ve seen them on TV. Perhaps you even own copies of their popular books.

And once you get past the whole awkward “I’m one of your biggest fans; you’re my horticultural hero” feeling, sharing the same room with Northwest gardening gurus Ed Hume, Ciscoe Morris and News Tribune gardening columnist Marianne Binetti isn’t nearly as intimidating as you might think. After all, plants are their passion, and they love helping people learn how to be better gardeners.

The Tacoma Home & Garden Show will feature two stages and more than 50 educational seminars, covering everything from how to select water features for a garden to turning your kitchen and yard waste into compost gold.

Besides the big three gardening icons, other presenters include garden and travel writer Marty Wingate, certified arborist and author Linda Chalker-Scott, garden designer and News Tribune contributing garden writer Sue Goetz, as well as representatives from the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension and Pierce County Solid Waste Division.


What would the perfect outdoor entertaining space look like?

That was the challenge for the Tacoma-based SK Landscape as it teamed up with John Deere Landscaping, Mutual Materials and Windmill Gardens to transform the dome’s lobby into an outdoor entertaining mecca.

Plans call for colorful flowers and plantings, dramatic lighting, a deck with arbor trellising, an outdoor kitchen with dining area, water features and pavers throughout, according to show organizers.

The show also will feature “Rustic Romance,” a display by Olympic Landscape that demonstrates how a typical backyard can be converted from a patch of grass to a serene private getaway with a twig-laden arbor, a classic bluestone patio and a reflection pool.

Meantime, stone supplier Marenakos of Issaquah plans to install “Stone Yard,” an oasis that celebrates the beauty and use of natural rock in landscape. It will include interactive demonstrations with master stonecutter Keith Phillips of Tenino.


Don’t forget to wear your walking shoes because the show will feature representatives from about 500 local businesses that offer garden and home-related products and services.

And many offer special discounted deals during the show to will help you design a gorgeous garden and check off tasks on that springtime honey-do list. (Of course, before purchasing products or hiring a contractor, it’s always a good idea to check out their rating at www.bbb.org).

For browsers, there will be plenty of booths where you can try the latest and greatest gadgets and tools.

“The Home Depot will be on hand to give do-it-yourself demonstrations on drywall and painting,” Swenson added.

And don’t forget to stop by the show’s annual plant sale, known as the Gardener’s Market. Sumner-based Windmill Gardens will have thousands of plants, including winter conifers, potted bulbs, blooming plants, trees and shrubs, at the market, organizers say. The nursery also will have staff available throughout the show to answer shoppers’ questions.

Tacoma Home & Garden Show

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 27-28, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 29-30 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 31

Where: Tacoma Dome

Tickets: $10 for adults; $8 for ages 62 and older on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; free for members of the American Horticulture Society with ID and youths 16 and younger. Discount coupons are available at www.otshows.com.

Information: www.otshows.com or 253-756-2121