Solving Design Challenges with Style: Artistic Inspiration for Every Garden

Solving Design Challenges with Style: Artistic Inspiration for Every Garden

Here’s a gardening truism: No two gardens are the same; and no two days in the garden are the same. Your garden is ever changing, as are your needs for your garden over time.

Our leading designers and horticulturists will show you how to look at your garden with the eye of a professional, so you can discover the root of your garden’s problems along with possible solutions to address those problems. Learn how to get more from your landscape while still expressing your individual style. There’s no need to settle for a garden that doesn’t bring joy to your life!


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.

The Inspired Landscape: The New York Botanical Garden’s Native Plant Garden

Sheila A. Brady, FASLA—2017 Show Judge, Principal / Vice President, Oehme, van Sweden & Associates

Designed as a series of microclimates, the NYBG’s Native Plant Garden creates memorable garden spaces that highlight the beauty, diversity and cultural significance of native plants. This seminar will illustrate the diversity of native plants chosen, the selection and enhancement of patterns from nature and the resultant design—one that engages visitors to learn more about native plants and natural ecosystems. Ms. Brady will discuss the role of native plants as a means to increase biodiversity, how herbaceous and ephemeral native plant selections adapt to specific environments, and methods to design ecologically-compatible gardens.

Wednesday, Feb 22 at 10:30 am / Rainier Room

Dining Out: Gardens to Dine For

Vanessa Gardner Nagel, APLD, NCIDQ2017 Show Judge, designer and author, The Professional Designer’s Guide to Garden Furnishings

Who doesn’t love s’mores by the fireside, a sip of wine by the pool, or a full-blown barbecue and picnic? Learn more about creating a garden especially for outdoor dining and cooking, and a relationship of convenience to a close relative, the edible garden.

Wednesday, Feb 22 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

One Ingredient – Two Designer Recipes: Unique Ideas Using Foliage First

Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz—Designers and co-authors, Gardening with Foliage First and Fine Foliage

Fabulous foliage is the key ingredient to successful landscape and container design. Join designers Christina Salwitz and Karen Chapman as they share ideas to help you transform your garden into a medley of delicious flavors. Challenging each other to design a stunning combination around one foliage ‘inspiration’ plant, the team will share dueling photos for building a foliage framework then introduce a finishing touch to create dozens of dramatic combinations that you will want to try.

Wednesday, Feb 22 at 1:45 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

GARDEN 101: Don’t Let Moving Scare the Plants Out of You!

Get Ready: Should it Stay or Should it Go?

Robin Haglund—Garden coach, speaker, writer and president, Garden Mentors® Inc.

Get Set: Making it Theirs and Making it Yours

Sue Goetz—Garden designer, owner of Creative Gardener and author, The Herb Lovers Spa Book

Now Grow! Planning and Dreaming About Your New Garden

Christina Salwitz—Award-winning co-author, Fine Foliage and Gardening with Foliage First

Selling a beloved garden or buying a new home and garden can be overwhelming. Whether you’re up-sizing, downsizing or buying your first home, don’t forget the garden! Robin Haglund helps you make wise choices as you say good-bye to your garden, and hello to your new garden. Sue Goetz next shares advice for prepping your old garden for sale, and how to make your new garden truly yours. Finally Christina Salwitz shares the right questions to ask about your future landscape and how it can fit with your goals for both maintenance and enjoyment.

Wednesday, Feb 22 at 2:15 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Evolving Gardens: Reimaging a World of Design Inspirations

Colston Burrell, MLA—Designer, horticulturist and author, Perennial Combinations

Gardens and wild places around the globe provide inspiration for garden design: Christopher Lloyd’s long border, Burle Marx masterpieces or Jensen council rings, as well as boundless prairies and cathedral woodlands are all grist for the mill. Designer C. Colston Burrell explores the landscapes, iconography and experiences that shape the gardens he creates for clients with diverse needs and expectations, and invites you to imagine how your own garden has been shaped by these classics in garden design.

Wednesday, Feb 22 at 5:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Garden Evolution: A Designer’s 25-Year Landscape Challenge

Vanessa Gardner Nagel, APLD, NCIDQ2017 Show Judge, designer and author, The Professional Designer’s Guide to Garden Furnishings

Breathing new life into an existing landscape is a challenge and an opportunity. It isn’t unusual to encounter a previous owner’s lack of care & planning, difficult neighbors, sob-worthy views, and even environmental issues. Learn how a designer took advantage of diverse obstacles and continues to create a remarkable, organic, and pollinator-friendly garden.

Thursday, Feb 23 at 10:30 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

New American Gardens: A Regional Approach to Garden Design

Sheila A. Brady, FASLA—2017 Show Judge, Principal / Vice President, Oehme, van Sweden & Associates

Gardens become most compelling when they connect people to the cultural, historical, and ecological context of the region, capturing the spirit of placethe physical and symbolic elements that define regional character. In a series of case studies ranging from the West Coast to the Eastern Seaboard, Ms. Brady will illustrate how OvS’ New American Garden style is built on a foundation of regionalism, exploring how integrating the plant palette, materiality, and existing ecology provides a sense of cultural and regional continuity within designed outdoor spaces.

Thursday, Feb 23 at 11:45 am / Rainier Room

The Well-Designed Mixed Garden: Building Borders with Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals and Bulbs

Tracy DiSabato-Aust—Best-selling author, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden and The Well-Designed Mixed Garden

Go from blah to bodacious as you discover the design fundamentals of border building using the wide palette of plants available in today’s nurseries. Tracy covers design steps, color, texture, form, design principles of order, unity, and rhythm; garden art, maintenance of the mixed garden, as also mixed garden designs, vignettes, and combinations. This must-see seminar, by a renowned artist and keen plantswomen, will help you create a gorgeous and environmentally sound mixed garden.

Thursday, Feb 23 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style

Joseph Tychonievich—Author, Rock Gardening and Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener

Growing tiny plants among rocks is a classic style of gardening that is undergoing a revival. Rock gardening is water-wise, perfect for today’s small gardens and busy schedules, and aesthetically fresh and innovative. This seminar will give you a guided tour through great rock gardens around the US and UK, introduce you to some of the many great rock garden plants, and give you the skills and information needed to design and build a beautiful rock garden of your own.

Friday, Feb 24 at 10:00 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Building Bodacious Borders: The Art of Making Plant Combinations

Lucy HardimanEducator, garden writer and designer, Perennial Partners

Explore the art of creating vivid and visually exciting and sustainable plant combinations starting with the plants that form the architectural and structural framework of the garden. Foliage, flowers, bark and berries are the fabric of the garden. From brazen and bold to petite and prim see how plants are woven together creating gardens that are beautiful and compelling.

Friday, Feb 24 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room

Designing a Show Stopping Rain Garden

Zsofia Pasztor—Founder and Executive Director, Farmer Frog and author, Rain Gardens for the Pacific NW

Because they are specially functioning systems, designing rain gardens is more complex than designing most gardens. Zsofia will take you step by step so you can follow the steps and successfully design your own rain garden. She will cover measuring, special site considerations, other variables to consider, planting plans and drawing a construction plan. You’ll be off to a good start learning how to plan your rain garden and avoid many mistakes before you make them!

Friday, Feb 24 at 5:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

Got Drama? Garden and Landscape Lighting Basics

Jack Schneider, P.E.—Licensed Electrical Engineer, NAC Architecture

Have you always wanted dramatic mood lighting on your garden at night? Now you can learn the fundamentals of applying lighting in the garden and landscape environments. Electrician Jack Schneider will share the basics of lighting, how it’s created, and the interaction with light in a garden environment. It’s all presented in a non-technical way easy for home gardeners to apply, so you’ll increase your confidence at selecting and applying lighting in your own garden and landscaping.

Friday, Feb 24 at 7:30 pm / Rainier Room

The Building Blocks of Successful Planting Design

Darcy Daniels—Designer and owner, Bloomtown Gardens and founder, eGardenGo

There are many so variables to consider in making a garden; the choices can seem overwhelming. But the job is simplified if you use basic ‘building blocks’ of good design: the cultural needs of the plants, the assigned jobs for the plants, and so on. Asking the right questions in the right order can narrow your choices. In this seminar, packed with examples and gorgeous photos, you’ll learn a simple hierarchy to guide your garden-making, leaving you inspired and energized.

Saturday, Feb 25 at 10:00 am / Hood Room

Landscape Design Simplified: Gardening Where You Live

Cynthia Bee, BLA—Landscape architect and garden communicator

Landscapes should ideally be created to function within the region they are located in. The design process is the same no matter where the landscape is located, but the materials and plants change based on location. Designer Cynthia Bee shares her simple 5-step process that you can implement which simplifies the design while still ensuring a beautiful and functional landscape. You can even sketch your own landscape design during the seminar!

Saturday, Feb 25 at 3:00 pm / Hood Room

True Confessions: Stories from the Garden

Ciscoe Morris—Radio, TV host, columnist and author, Ask Ciscoe

Ciscoe Morris has spent a lifetime in the garden, dealing with everything from easy plants to difficult people (or is it the other way around?). Ciscoe will share stories about his most memorable successes—and a few failures—that he has experienced over the years. Whether dealing with the Jesuits at Seattle University, naughty pets, or with his lovely and brilliant partner Mary in their shared home garden, he has a lot of secrets to tell!

Saturday, Feb 25 at 4:30 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

First Impressions Count: Creating Curb Appeal

Cynthia Bee, BLA—Landscape architect and garden communicator

More than just a quality landscape, homes with curb appeal stand out from the crowd. You’ll learn which projects provide the greatest bang for your buck and get great ideas to up the curb appeal of your current home—on any budget. The right projects, products and process ensure that your greatest investment continues to be an asset.

Sunday, Feb 26 at 11:45 am / Rainier Room