Home & Garden

Pretend at garden show, then grow your own at home

The news hit Northwest gardeners last year like a late spring frost: The Northwest Flower and Garden Show might be no more.

Show founder Duane Kelly was retiring and putting the business up for sale. After months of uncertainty, O’Loughlin Trade Shows took over the show, and today it springs anew at Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center.

And like a returning spring bulb, it doesn’t appear to have changed much. Gardens, seminars, vendors and displays fill the center. We took a tour Tuesday of the 23 display gardens. Here are three not to miss:


This winter-themed garden is a study in texture, form and color. Green panels and pools glow from within, highlighting silhouettes of trees and architectural elements. A variety of plants use color and form to remind us that the dormant winter garden can be a thing of beauty.

A deck and seating area invite the visitor to take a seat in any season.

The garden was designed by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. They are offering a free 15-minute consultation during the show. Sign up at www.gardenshow.com


This small garden by the Seattle Urban Farm Company really drives home the notion of local food sourcing.


A small pickup truck has been turned into a moveable feast of fresh vegetables and eggs.

The bed and engine compartment are filled with soil and vegetables: beets, kale, lettuce, peas, corn and more. Herbs, a bay tree and a flowering plum tree rise from where the hood should be. Strawberries grow on the side panels.

Attached to one side is a chicken coop with a barred rock hen and her girlfriend.

Back in the cab where the passenger seat should be there’s now an egg incubator.


Walk through this whimsical, educational garden, where colorful creations mix with native plants in a life size “board game.” Color-coded jewels indicate hardiness; pathway stones serve as a horticultural Candyland.

Designers are Judith Jones of Fancy Fronds and Vanca Lumsden of ALBE Rustics.