Favorite Celebs & Friends Speaking at Garden Show – Part 1

Favorite Celebs & Friends Speaking at Garden Show – Part 1

The Northwest Flower & Garden Show’s extensive seminar program is one of the best in the world – a testimony to the countless plant addicts and gardening aficionados in the Pacific Northwest. Speakers from all over the nation flock to the show to share their wit and wisdom with our attendees.


But just as our Northwest climate helps make everything here grow as if it’s on steroids, the region also boasts an abundance of talented gardening writers, designers and horticulturists – people who have become household names and familiar faces at the garden show over the years. These attendee favorites always have something new and exciting to share with us. So here’s a glimpse of what you can expect from our friends and mentors at the 2012 show. (Just go to the Seminar Schedule pages of our website for complete details on each speaker.)


Dan is back! Yes, Dan Hinkley, a guy who never really gets his couch very warm before he takes off again, will be in town to speak at the garden show. This year he’s waxing philosophical on Windcliff, his legendary garden perched on a cliff in Indianola. Despite the fact that Dan is a world-famous plant explorer, horticulturist, author and former nursery owner, Mother Nature treats him like the rest of us and, gasp! Dan’s plants do die. (Now, don’t you feel better knowing that?) So he’ll be separating myths from facts about Windcliff, and sharing which plants outlived and outlasted our horrid winter of 2010-2011 in his two seminars at the show.


The first thing I reach for every Sunday morning is the Seattle Times Pacific Northwest magazine, and Val Easton’s ‘Plant Life’ column. (Good thing my husband always reaches for the Sports page, or we’d be incompatible.) Val has been writing this weekly column for over 15 years! This year at the garden show she’ll be sharing her recipe for bold and beautiful bouquets from your garden, showing how we all can bring the garden indoors, year round. Learn about the joys of turning your entire garden into a cutting garden, and discover many ideal plants for arrangements that probably never occurred to you.


Lucy Hardiman never ceases to amaze me with her eloquent weaving of photos and tales that serve as illustrations for her garden design wisdom. I can sit in her seminars for five minutes (always wishing I could stay the hour) and learn so much from her. Lucy inspires me to be a better gardener, to think outside the ordinary and try new things, or see old things in new ways. This year she’s sharing her secrets for bolder borders, and decorating your own personal Eden. I have no doubt you will come away inspired as well.


Garden writer Marty Wingate is out to help you solve a problem many of us have – ugly, unsightly views, unwanted wildlife and trespassers, and polluting sound and other nuisances. Her new book, Landscaping for Privacy: Innovative Ways to Turn Your Outdoor Space into a Peaceful Retreat, was just released by Timber Press. (Buy one for your neighbors and leave it on their doorsteip – hint, hint!) Marty’s seminars will help you look at your problem areas and create useful and attractive solutions. Don’t sit in your garden and do a slow burn about your neighbors! Discover how to turn the pits into a personal paradise.


It’s hard to believe, but Marianne Binetti has another new book coming out! Her latest, Vegetables for Washington & Oregon will be released just in time for you to pick up a copy at the show. I always love Marianne at the garden show – she gives 150%. She is so enthusiastic about answering people’s questions about their garden dilemmas, she shows up 15 minutes early and just launches right in. This year she’s taking you to the Opera – the Garden Opera. She’ll be talking about those drama queens, demanding divas, vile villains and handsome heroes that we all have in our gardens. And she’s giving advice on what to do with unwanted plants. (Hint – it often involves the compost bin.)


Robin Haglund has seen too much murder in her career as a Garden Mentor; too much mayhem, madness and must-nots. Yes, I’m talking about the things all we gardeners have done that causes our plants to up and die, and our money to go down the drain. Save yourself! Avoid these disastrous flubs and reap a garden that is installed and maintained the right way. Then you can pull out that Adirondack chair with a good book and actually enjoy your garden, instead of slaving away doing maintenance from poorly chosen shrubs and trees. You know you want to do that, and it’s time to get started.


Edible gardening is all the rage right now. People want food safety, lower costs, and unadulterated delicious food. And Lisa Taylor aims to show you how – and it doesn’t matter if you dwell in a small urban plot in downtown Seattle, Portland or Vancouver, BC. Author of Your Farm in the City: An Urban Dweller’s Guide to Growing Food and Raising Animals, Lisa will show you how to do the seemingly impossible – eat your landscape. What will the neighbors say? They’ll probably be ringing your doorbell, inviting themselves over for dinner, saying Bon appetite!


I’ve known Riz Reyes since he was a skinny 15-year-old with a gleam in his eye for plants. I knew a potential plant addict when I saw one, and I was right. Riz thinks a garden should not only look good, it should smell good too. All year round! He’ll be showing you his favorite Pacific Northwest perennials, trees and shrubs that will give you a heavenly smell when you poke your head outdoors – even on the coldest, dreariest days of June… and December. Learn how to buy them, plant them and care for them, and you’ll be inhaling deeply again and again when you’re enjoying your garden.


Growing up, we were taught to ‘play well with others,’ to mind our boundaries, and to behave. Mary-Kate Mackey thinks this applies to plants as well. Oh sure, we all want a bit of pizzazz in the garden, but if you’ve planted a lot of drama queens that manage to take all your time and effort just to keep them in bounds, then it’s time to discover some “button down” plants that play well with others. These invaluable plants should be the mainstay in every Northwest garden, and Mary-Kate tells you which ones are best.


Tomorrow, look for Part 2 of our favorite garden celebs who will be speaking at the show. These are seminars you won’t want to miss. ~ Janet



  • Riz Reyes
    Posted at 03:30h, 11 January Reply

    Skinny? Really, Janet??! Hhahahah

    Can’t wait to give you a big hug! Let me warn you though, I’ve tacked on a few more pounds since high school.


    • Janet
      Posted at 03:39h, 11 January Reply

      You WERE skinny when I first met you! You were , like, 15. Looking forward to my hug. You know I’ll need it! ~ Janet

  • Mary-Kate Mackey
    Posted at 04:16h, 13 January Reply

    You really understand “Button down plants” and why we need them! Here’s to all gardeners everywhere who have been enticed by beautiful garden “thugs.” And here’s to the undemanding unsung garden “heroes” who allow us to enjoy our gardens with less stress.

    • Janet
      Posted at 23:25h, 13 January Reply

      Thanks Mary-Kate – I’ve been trying to eliminate those thugs and can really use some good ideas on well-behaved plants. ~ Janet

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