Seminar Spotlight: Practical Matters

Seminar Spotlight: Practical Matters

Gardening – it’s both an art, and a hobby. For some of us (I’m talking to you) it’s an obsession. But good gardening requires some skill and knowledge so that the plants – and your body – are treated correctly. And before you even consider putting plants in the ground, you must consider the soil. Then, if you’ve done your job well, the plants grow and thrive. Sometimes they thrive too much – then what?! Pruning a shrub correctly extends it’s life – and it’s beauty.


All these dilemmas are addressed in seminars at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, seminars that I think of as “practical matters.” Getting the basics down is the first step to a great garden. So check out these great seminars on how to avoid common gardening mistakes (been there, done that), build a rain barrel, set up drip irrigation, prune correctly, start seeds, and save your own body from damage when you dive into gardening. You’ll be glad you did!


Stacy Walters – Kinesiotherapist, master gardener & ‘Fit to Garden’ blogger
Stacy Walters is a Registered Kinesiotherapist, master gardener and composter, holistic lifestyle coach, and budding freelance writer with a passion for green living.  The development of Stacy’s brainchild Fit to Garden™ is the result of the fun-loving blend of her love affair with nature and enthusiasm for her profession.  The program is designed to help gardeners prepare their body to safely perform the task at hand; the bending, kneeling, twisting, standing and squatting movements necessary for effective lawn and garden care. The goal is for gardeners to reduce the risk of injury, make lawn and garden work easier and more enjoyable–and ultimately help gardeners become stronger! Stacy educates audiences via local television and radio interviews, presentations, magazine articles, and her videos co-starring NASCAR driver Carl Edwards.

 Garden for the Health of It
Learn How to Safely Perform Gardening Tasks
Wed, Feb 8 at 3:30 pm / DIY Stage

Thurs, Feb 9 at 6:45 pm / DIY Stage
Stacy Walters’ Fit to Garden program is designed to help gardeners prepare their body to safely perform the task at hand; the bending, kneeling, twisting, standing and squatting movements necessary for effective lawn and garden care.  Join Registered Kinesiotherapist and master gardener Stacy Walters as she demonstrates exactly how to quickly warm-up before heading out to the garden, the proper gardening biomechanics to protect the knees and low back, simple post-gardening stretches, and even off-season exercises to keep gardeners in shape all year long. Learn these simple techniques and stay Fit to Garden!



Robin Haglund – President, Garden Mentors Inc.
Robin Haglund, Founder and President of pioneering garden coaching firm Garden Mentors®, is viewed nationally as The Garden Mentor. She is an award-winning designer, an engaging speaker, a gardening television writer & producer, and she dedicates much of her own gardening time to educating & raising crops and plants to feed others in need. Her articles and lectures are peppered with colorful anecdotes derived from her childhood on the farm, her daily adventures with honeybees & puppies in the garden, and her every day garden coaching experiences working hand-in-hand with professional & aspiring novice gardeners in their gardens. Robin’s garden coaching, design insights, her tips for gardening with pets, and her experiences with urban beekeeping are featured in several media sources including Organic Gardening Magazine, The New York Times, Sunset Magazine, The Seattle Times, Dog Park Wisdom, PBS’s “Growing a Greener World” and HGTV’s “Landscaper’s Challenge”.

Mayhem, Murder & Must-Nots
Top 10 Maintenance Mistakes Gardeners Should Avoid
Sat, Feb 11 at 10 am / Rainier Room

We’ve all made gardening mistakes even when our intentions are for the best. Some slip-up’s are easily remedied, some take years and lots of money to put right and others result in a complete loss. Knowing how to garden correctly in the first place saves time, money, and keeps the garden healthy and looking good. Take a visual tour through some of the most frequently made mistakes in the garden. And, learn how to achieve your gardening goals without making these costly flubs in the first place. From pruning, to weeding to mulching and more discover how to make gardening easy on yourself – and even easier on the eyes!



Cass Turnbull – Founder, Plant Amnesty & author, Guide to Pruning
Cass Turnbull’s name is synonymous with the art of good pruning.  As the founder and President of Plant Amnesty, her mission has been to “end the shameless torture and mutilation of trees and shrubs.”  She left the Seattle Parks Department in 1986 after 11 years to start her own landscape maintenance and consulting business, Cass Turnbull Gardening Services. An updated 3rd edition of her must-have 2004 book, Cass Turnbull’s Guide to Pruning, will be released by Sasquatch in December, 2012. Cass is also the author of The Complete Guide to Landscape Design, Renovation and Maintenance (Betterway, 1990). She has made many media appearances and her articles have appeared in Organic Gardening, Pacific Horticulture, the Seattle PI, Los Angeles Times and quoted in the Wall Street Journal. She is on the Arboretum Foundation Bulletin Editorial Board and has won awards from the International Society of Arboriculture, the City of Seattle, WSNLA and the National Arbor Day Foundation. 

 Difficult Plants to Prune
Basic Techniques, Common Mistakes & Corrective Action
Sun, Feb 12 at 11 am / Hood Room

This presentation will teach you how to prune rhododendron, hydrangea, callicarpa (beautyberry), Viburnum bodnantense and abelia. Included in this slideshow are basic pruning techniques, common pruning mistakes and corrective pruning.



Barry Hoffer – Owner, Maples for all Seasons
Barry’s passion is Japanese Maples.  He turned his passion into a business when he opened Maples for all Seasons, a Nursery specializing in Japanese Maples, based in Pleasanton, CA. His passion grew from when he acquired his first Japanese Maple, Acer japonicum, Acontifolium, 16 years ago, to a collection that now consists of almost ¾ of the worlds available cultivars. He is still adding. He serves as President of the Northern California Japanese Maple Society and regularly conducts classes as “The Maple Guy” teaching about gardening with Japanese Maples, the care and pruning of the Japanese maples as well as discussing the four seasons of the Japanese Maples. Being an expert on Japanese Maples as well as an Arborist, specializing in Japanese Maples, including the care, planting and pruning, Barry was a featured guest on Ciscoe Morris “Gardening with Ciscoe” on Seattle’s KIRO, 97.3FM. He does regular appearances at local Garden Clubs, Home and Garden Shows, Landscape and Garden Shows, and Nurseries throughout the U.S.. Barry owns Maples for all Seasons with his wife and fellow Japanese Maple expert, Sue Hoffer.  Visit his show booth # 2434.

 Pruning Japanese Maples
Pruning Maples From an Arborist’s Point of View
Fri, Feb 10 at 9:30 am / DIY Stage

Barry Hoffer has a passion for Japanese maple, an invaluable tree for the Northwest landscape. He will explain the philosophy of pruning and then demonstrate proper pruning technique on an actual Japanese maple tree showing each point as discussed. An Arborist point of view includes proper cuts, soil and the overall health of the tree we are pruning. Diseases associated with the Japanese Maples are discussed, including how we repair, remove diseased branches and treatment. 



Mallory Gwynn – Portland TV host, “Simply Gardening”
Mallory’s connection to the gardening world began early. He was born in the middle of a strawberry harvest on his parents’ farm. His Mom and Dad had him out in the fields when he was only three days old. Mallory has grown up loving plants. He enjoys sharing what he knows with anyone who will listen. Mallory has 13 years of experience working the retail, wholesale and farming side of the nursery industry. In October 2002 Mallory first appeared on television on KPTV. His second TV debut involved having his own garden program, “Simply Gardening -Anybody Can Do It,” airing on Comcast channel CNW 14. Mallory has offered garden advice on KPAM 860 for eight years now. His “Simply Gardening Minute” is aired Monday through Saturday on the station. Mallory writes a monthly gardening column for The East County Gazette. He travels the Northwest speaking at numerous events including Portland’s Yard Garden & Patio Show and Seattle’s Northwest Flower & Garden Show. Mallory’s greatest passion in life is his family. He and wife Sheri raise five daughters on 2 -1/2 acres South of Portland.

 Be a Drip!
Hydrating Your Favorite Plants with Drip Irrigation
Sunday, Feb 12 at 9:30 am / DIY Stage

Hanging Baskets and deck pots can dry out quickly during the heat of summer. Mallory will show you how easy it is to get planters setup with a drip system. Handouts available and step by step video posted on ‘Simply Gardening’ Facebook page and on the ‘Simply Gardening’ Website.



Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott – Author, “The Informed Gardener” & WSU Horticulture instructor
Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist.  She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.  Linda has lectured extensively to a variety of audiences on diverse topics, all pertaining to sustainable landscaping and always based on current and relevant plant science.  In 2009, she and three other academic colleagues launched “The Garden Professors” blog, through which they educate and entertain an international audience. Over the past 11 years, Dr. Chalker-Scott has expanded her academic writing to popular audiences, including articles for Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening, and MasterGardener Magazine. In 2010, she was named a contributing editor to Fine Gardening magazine. Her first book, The Informed Gardener (2008, University of Washington Press), is an award-winning examination of some common horticultural myths. The sequel – The Informed Gardener Blooms Again – was released by UW Press in 2010 and continues horticultural myth-busting. She also recently published Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: good science – practical application (2009, GFG Publishing, Inc.), a 22-chapter book which she edited and jointly authored with 20 colleagues.

 Meet Your Garden Soil
How to Determine Your Soil’s True Texture
Sat, Feb 11 at 5:15 pm / DIY Stage

So you think you have a clay soil?  Before you decide to go into the pottery business, find out for sure using the “finger test.” This presentation will demonstrate an easy way to determine your soil’s texture class. Find out if you have silty clay, a sandy loam, or one of several other classifications. Handouts will be provided to allow you to do this test at home.



Colleen Miko – Blogger, designer & owner of Colleen’s
Colleen Miko has been active in west coast horticulture for 20 years. In addition to running her garden design business, Colleen’s, she is the Horticulture Educator for WSU Extension Kitsap where she coordinates the Master Gardener Program. Colleen is a Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH), garden writer and blogger. She has created popular gardens for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show and won the Seattle Homes and Lifestyle “First in Home & Design Award” for her 2007 garden “Suburban Swank with A Twist”. In May 2007 her television debut as winning designer on HGTV’s ‘Landscaper’s Challenge’ aired nationwide. Hands-in-the-dirt experience reinforced by her role as educator makes Colleen a helpful garden consultant and designer. When not in the garden Colleen enjoys making mosaics and hitting antique malls.

 Rain Barrels of Fun
Build a Rain Barrel – Save on Your Water Bill
Sun, Feb 12 at 5 pm / DIY Stage

After this demonstration, you’ll come away understanding all the components and materials needed to take advantage of the free water flowing from your roof drain pipe.  Come learn about how to filter the water before and after it reaches your barrel, the best connections, and how to by-pass in winter when the barrel is full.  Learn the best locations for barrel placement and local sources for purchasing quality supplies.



Farmer John Muller – Owner, Daylight Gardens & Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farms
Don’t try to call John Muller a fancy name like “horticulturist.” John Muller is first and foremost a farmer, and he’s most at home on his tractor. He and his wife, Eda, own Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm and Daylight Gardens in Half Moon Bay, California. They are both passionate about gardening, and looking at their pumpkin farm, it shows. They have created an aesthetically pleasing, nurturing environment for the many farm visitors that visit each year. He is also a regional expert on growing giant pumpkins. Farm John has received many awards for his service and environmental activism in California, including the US Presidential Volunteerism Award, the US EPA External Award for Stewardship, the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Sustainability Award, and the US EPA Extra Mile Award. He has served on the City Council for Half Moon Bay since 2006, and presently serves as the Mayor.  Follow Farmer John online at:

From Seed to Table
Farmer John Shares His Growing Secrets
Fri, Feb 10 at 11:15 am / DIY Stage

Farmer John, a 3rd generation family farmer, will share his knowledge and family secrets on vegetable and flower growing to help you take your seed to the table.  As an urban farmer growing for farmers’ markets, select restaurants, and most importantly, his grandchildren, his approach works for first time gardeners and those who love to eat what they grow.  His practical experience will take gardeners from soil preparation, to seed germination, to planting, and finishing with how and when to harvest!



Nan Sterman – Gardening expert, TV host & author, CA Gardener’s Guide, Vol. II
Nan Sterman is a garden expert, designer, and award-winning garden communicator. She is author of California Gardener’s Guide Vol. II and Waterwise Plants for the Southwest., both books about drought tolerant gardening.  Nan contributes regularly to regional and national publications such as the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune, Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset, Burpee, and Organic Gardening, for whom she also tests new varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Nan is a regular guest on television and radio. She is both a biologist and botanist who has practiced sustainable gardening since the 1970s.

Start Your Garden From Seeds
Thurs, Feb 9 at 9:30 am / DIY Stage

Seeds are magical little things – pieces of dried out “wood” that, when watered, suddenly come alive to make tall redwoods, bright red poppies, even delicious tomatoes and eggplant. Starting from seed allows you to try varieties of plants you seldom see offered in the nursery – especially herbs and vegetables. If you’ve dreamed about starting a garden from seeds, this is a great opportunity to get started. This demonstration will introduce you to the basics of starting plants, particularly annual vegetables, from seed.


For the entire seminar schedule go to our website. Tickets are now on sale in both the nursery outlets and on our website. ~ Janet

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