Maximizing Space: Small Space Solutions and Container Gardens

Maximizing Space: Small Space Solutions and Container Gardens

So many plants…so little space. If you find yourself constrained by the limitations of a small patio or a condo balcony, learn how to take advantage of all the space you have from our design experts. Discover clever ways to ‘find’ space, how to use vertical space, create stunning container gardens, and even grow edibles in containers.

So if you think you don’t have room for a garden, think again! You can surround yourself with the beauty of nature and create a space you love to come home to—even if it’s on the tenth floor.


Be sure to download our full Show Preview Guide! It will be available online to download in December.

The show preview guide will include the full Seminar Schedule, Seminars by Category, as well are other show highlights and show info.

The Seminars by Category are listed in chronological order. Each of the seminars listed below will tell you the speaker name, seminar topic, seminar description, date, time, seminar location and if there is a book signing afterwards.

Please check the full Seminar Schedule for a full list of ALL our seminars.

Creating Container Gardens with Japanese Maples

Patricia Smyth—Owner, The Essence of the Tree

By cultivating the essence of the mature tree, container gardening allows us to have the calm elegance of a tree in our outdoor living spaces. Container gardening seems to be the natural evolution as our gardens mature. In this seminar Trish will demonstrate the creation of a Japanese Maple Container Garden, including tree selection, containers, soil, root pruning, reduction pruning, companion plants and long term maintenance.

Wednesday, Feb 22 at 10:00 am / DIY Stage

Small Trees Play Big Roles

Mary-Kate MackeyAward-winning garden writer and speaker

We’ve all seen it here in the Northwest—trees that loom over houses, towering out of scale for the gardens beneath. Pruning with a chainsaw may be the only option, but the next best strategy is to plant the right-size specimen now. Garden writer Mary-Kate Mackey highlights a fine selection of choice trees that won’t outgrow their welcome. These arboreal show-stoppers with multi-season interest are perfectly suited for today’s gardens and tomorrow’s resale.

Wednesday, Feb 22 at 11:15 am / Hood Room

Oh Grow Up! Clematis Contained

Linda Beutler—Curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection and author, Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis

Thinking about growing clematis in containers, but unsure which to try and where to start? Join Rogerson Clematis Garden Curator Linda Beutler for a complete run down of how to choose the right clematis, the right pot, the right placement, and even the right soil! Growing gorgeous clematis in a container is a great way to use vertical space when you are space challenged with a small patio or a balcony!

Wednesday, Feb 22 at 4:15 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Fruits for Small Gardens

Lee Reich, PhDSyndicated columnist and author, Grow Fruit Naturally and Landscaping with Fruit

Gardens are smaller these days, but a small garden is no impediment to fruit growing. Lowbush blueberries, currants, gooseberries, and super dwarf apples are among the fruits that visually and proportionally fit well into small gardens. Planting fruits that double as ornamentals, selection of appropriate varieties, using dwarfing rootstocks, and training plants as espaliers are some of the ways to reap delectable rewards from spaces as small as a balcony to as “large” as a small suburban yard.

Thursday, Feb 23 at 11:45 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

From Sidewalk to Treetop: Maximizing Space in the Garden

Lucy HardimanEducator, garden writer and designer, Perennial Partners

Gardeners are greedy –we want it all—room for all the plants we keep bringing home, space for edibles, water features, terraces and decks for entertaining, greenhouses and sheds to hold all the paraphernalia needed for gardening and locations to display objects d’art. Let’s develop strategies for utilizing every nook and cranny.

Thursday, Feb 23 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room

Small Garden, Big Impact

Susan Calhoun—Designer and Principle, Plantswoman Design and 2017 NWFGS Garden Creator

Small gardens can be fabulous. No matter what size of space you have the garden you create can live large. Play with the scale in your garden and tuck big garden features into a small garden—water features, sitting areas, and whimsical structures created to blend with fabulous plants. Learn how to create the perfect small garden with low maintenance, low water use and ultimate style.

Friday, Feb 24 at 6:45 pm / Hood Room

The Movable Feast: Growing Great Edibles in Containers

Toni Gattone—Master Gardener and owner, Toni Gattone & Associates

Growing edibles in containers is easier than you think and taste good too! Combine them in an artful collection of interesting re-purposed containers, you will give your garden beds, patios and balconies a unique visual punch. Because containers are ultimately moveable, you can capture more sun as it changes from season to season. And speaking of moving, your body will love your containers because you can maintain and harvest your edible feast, without bending over.

Saturday, Feb 25 at 11:15 pm / Hood Room

Yes You CAN Grow Fruit-Bearing Plants in a Container!

Sam Benowitz—Fruit tree expert and owner, Raintree Nursery
Theresa Knutsen—Propagations and Greenhouse Manager, Raintree Nursery

Learn all about types of fruit-bearing plants that can be grown in containers for your own portable orchard, including the best varieties for NW growers. The specific needs of citrus, blueberries, and apples will be addressed. Sam and Theresa will also cover selecting the right containers, best potting mixes (or make your own), and how and when to water and fertilize. They will demonstrate helpful techniques for getting started with both potted and bare root plants, and re-potting older plants.

Saturday, Feb 25 at 11:45 am / DIY Stage

Getting Vertical: Grow Dozens of Organic Plants in Only 2 Square Feet!

Shawna Coronado—Green Lifestyle Influencer, author, 101 Organic Garden Hacks and Grow a Living Wall

Vertical gardening guru Shawna Coronado shows you how to pack dozens of edible plants in less than 2 square feet. She will also feature her extensive front lawn vegetable garden and will discuss creative sustainable ideas for organic soil maintenance, water collection, and artful reuse of around-the-house items as vertical wall systems. Plus she gives ideas for sharing your overabundance of vegetables – Shawna donates over 100 pounds of food every season to the local food pantry.

Sunday, Feb 26 at 10:30 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Spring Container Fashion Show

Karen ChapmanDesigner, Le Jardinet, and co-author, Fine Foliage and Gardening with Foliage First

It’s time to refresh your container gardening wardrobe with a few well-chosen pieces and some fun accessories. Learn how to mix and match for success every time as Karen Chapman takes the mystery out of creating winning plant combinations. Whether you’re a new gardener, or have years of dirt under your fingernails, you’re sure to get some new ideas that will transform your container gardens. Even better, many of the concepts will also transfer to the landscape.

Sunday, Feb 26 at 3:15 pm / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow