20 Dec Make Connections at the Garden Resource Center
The Northwest Flower & Garden Show has long dedicated space in the show to nonprofit organizations that support and strengthen the gardening community around us. Our 2012 show will feature 34 such exhibitor booths in our Garden Resource Center. It’s the place to meet fellow gardeners who share the same interests as you – whether it’s roses, Iris, ferns, daylilies, garden clubs, supporting regional botanical gardens, or even learning stone sculpting.
Look for the Garden Resource Center in Rows 2300, 2400 and 2500 and 2800 in the North Hall (or, after you meander through the show gardens and cross the sky bridge into the North Hall, turn to your left). It’s a wonderful way to check out the many benefits of joining a location organization, see what they each have to offer, and discover which organizations share your interests and passions.
If you’re a novice gardener looking for camaraderie as well as horticulture information from certified plant geeks, look no further than the many organizations that provide a wealth of great gardening knowledge in fun and friendly style. Many will be at the show, ready to answer your questions about membership. The Hardy Plant Society of Washington, North American Rock Garden Society, Northwest Horticultural Society, Northwest Perennial Alliance, Pacific Horticulture Society, Plant Amnesty, Washington Native Plant Society, and the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs will all be hanging their banners at the show.
Many of these organizations offer lectures as well as workshops, newsletters, magazines, garden tours, websites and symposiums with renowned speakers. And of course fundraisers, but supporting these organizations is a big part of the reward, and besides, most of them fundraise with plant sales. What could be better than a good excuse to buy plants?
The Pacific Northwest is blessed with having many historic botanical gardens, and there will be exhibit booths in the Garden Resource Center in support of these regional treasures. Look for booths sponsored by the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, Chase Garden, Soos Creek Botanical Garden, Friends of the Conservatory, Kruckeberg Botanic Garden, Dunn Gardens, Kubota Garden Foundation, Lake Wilderness Arboretum, Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, The Bloedel Reserve, and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens. When you become a member of these nonprofit organizations supporting these historic gardens, you are helping to secure their future for generations to come.
If you are an aficionado of certain kinds of plants, there is sure to be an association you can join – American Bamboo Society, Hardy Fern Foundation, King County Iris Society, Northwest Orchid Society, Puget Sound Dahlia Association, Puget Sound Daylily Club, Seattle Rose Society, Seattle Fruit Tree Society, Sequim Lavender Growers Association and Western Washington Fruit Association will all have enthusiastic volunteers at the show. Talk to their knowledgeable members and find out what they have to offer, so you can learn more about growing your favorite plants. Joining a group where members share a common focus (some might say addiction) is always very rewarding.
If you are interested in a future career in horticulture, there will be some folks on hand who can answer your questions about the horticulture programs at local community colleges. Look for Edmonds Community College and Lake Washington Technical College, two outstanding programs in our vicinity.
Other organizations that will be represented include the Cascade Harvest Coalition, an organization devoted to local foods and farms; the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, which promotes natural yard care and native plants; the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association, demonstrating the art of sculpting on stone; the Specialty Nursery Association, which offers a guide to ninety Western Washington specialty nurseries; and the Washington State Nursery & Landscape Association (WSNLA), an organization for landscaping professionals. While there are many organizations representing the flora, we can’t forget the fauna – Bats Northwest, the Woodland Park Zoo and the National Wildlife Federation will also be at the show. – Janet