Seminar Spotlight: Container Gardening

Seminar Spotlight: Container Gardening

No matter what size your gardening space – patio, balcony, porch or a one-acre plot – containers will fit right in. They can enhance a large border as a focal point, or dress up the entry to your home, perched on a step. Container design can embrace all kinds of style, echoing the color of your home or providing a bold accept to draw the viewer’s attention. We’ll have plenty of seminars about container gardening, so you can learn all the tips and tricks from the region’s best container designers. Here’s a sneak preview:

Beautiful, cool blue poolside containers add drama. Design & photo by Wendy Welch.

Join Wendy Welch as she shares what she has learned in her 15 years of designing container gardens.  Wendy will dispel some long lived mythology about container culture -drainage, soils, water, fertilizer, longevity etc. – and empower you with her best tips for successful, long-lived and sustainable container gardens.

Wendy Welch
Container Culture
Truth vs. Myth for Healthy Container Gardening
Saturday, February 26 at 1:45 pm on the DIY Stage
Wendy Welch combines a passion for plants and good design with an ardent commitment to environmental stewardship in her landscape design practice. For more than 15 years she has worked with residential clients throughout the Pacific Northwest to create, install, and maintain gardens that are uniquely suited to each garden owner. Equally committed to providing both good design and empowering education, her classes and lectures at Edmonds Community College, garden shows, nurseries, garden clubs, and luncheons are practical and popular. She is a member of The Great Plant Picks Committee, is on the design team of the innovative Seattle Children’s PlayGarden and is on the Board of The Northwest Horticultural Society. You can see images of Wendy’s work at

There are many reasons to use plants other than annuals. First of all, so many annuals are one-trick ponies – they offer a single attribute, be it color, leaf texture or fragrance. But they often don’t lend themselves to dynamic plantings, since they don’t change much from month-to-month. Perennials, shrubs and trees change with the seasons, and can either be left in the container or planted out in the garden. Learn how to become a better gardener using perennials in your containers and create container gardens with year-round impact and beauty.

A stylish container makes an easy focal point. Design by Roanne Robbins; photo by John Gruen.

Roanne Robbins
End of Disposable Plants
Container Gardening with Perennials
Saturday, February 26 at 4:30 pm in the Hood Room
Container gardens are the most popular form of gardening, and it’s easy to see why – they’re simple to plant, quick-growing, and perfect for small spaces. It’s no wonder containers have become a must-have outdoor décor element from suburban porches to the rooftops of modern high-rise buildings. But too often, containers peak during just one season and are then left to wither for the remaining months of the year. Author Roanne Robins will show you an innovative system for creating stylish containers that easily change with the seasons. Gardeners of every level, in every setting, will be able to create a container garden for every season.

Roanne Robbins
Continuous Container Gardens
Create Stylish Containers that Change with the Seasons
Sunday, February 27 at 10:00 am in the Rainier Room
Roanne Robbins launched her Rhode-Island-based company, Nature Contained, in 2005 to offer creative container plantings, small space gardens, and floral designs for events, holidays and everyday home décor. She is also the co-author of Continuous Container Gardens: Swap in the Plants of the Season to Create Fresh Designs Year Round, to be published by Storey Publishing in February, 2011. Before starting her business she served as the Garden Design Manager and a floral designer at Winston Flower & Garden, Boston’s top florist and container garden firm. Roanne also currently works as a design consultant for Western Nurseries where she is developing and managing the Seasonal Services division of their operation.  Website:

Learn how to echo color in containers for maximum impact. Design & photo by Wendy Welch.

Mary-Kate Mackey
talks about design and staging ideas that will make your next season’s container garden the best yet. From fool-proof formulas to creative problem solving, she offers solutions to the conundrums of container gardening. Her plant choices include those that grow in water-filled pots for a lush look with less care during the hottest months and a shopping list to check off your future favorites.

Mary-Kate Mackey
Beauty in Bounds
Designs for Successful Container G
Friday, February 25 at 5:45 pm in the Hood Room
Mary-Kate Mackey is an award-winning garden writer, co-author of Sunset’s Secret Gardens—153 Design Tips from the Pros and contributor to the Sunset Western Garden Book and Gardening in the Northwest. Her articles have appeared in numerous national magazines. Online, she has blogged for the Christian Science Monitor and now writes a monthly gardening column for Hartley-Botanic at

Do your container gardens look sad and dreary? Learn how to create two exciting designs to take your pots from ordinary to extraordinary. Karen Chapman will not only talk about the plants she is using, but also describe how and why the design works by the careful use of color repetition, textural interest and form. With this approach, you will gain confidence and be more successful in your own container creations. Karen will also cover the important basics, such as container selection, potting mixes, fertilizers, and the inclusion of unusual plants, combinations and innovative ideas.

Create year-round interest in container gardens. Design & photo by Karen Chapman.

Karen Chapman
Pizzazz in a Pot
Transform Dull Containers into Dazzling Accents
Wednesday, February 23 at 9:30 am on the DIY Stage

Born in England, Karen Chapman grew up with an appreciation for the beauty of nature and the wonders of gardening. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1996 she joined one of the leading nurseries as a garden plant specialist and discovered the satisfaction of helping homeowners enhance their outdoor living spaces. Karen established Le jardinet in 2006 in order to share her enthusiasm, artistry and knowledge with others. Whether on the stage, television or radio, Karen’s aim is always to inspire, educate and share the fun of gardening with her audience. Website:
Everyone deserves to have and be around a COOL PLANT in their busy lives. Find simple solutions to a creative endeavor by learning to plant a container throughout the seasons for maximum impact and minimal maintenance. Riz Reyes will cover topics such as selecting containers, potting mediums, plant materials, composition, and maintenance.

Who says you have to garden in the ground? Design & photo by Wendy Welch.

Rizaniño “Riz” Reyes
The Year-Round Container Gardener
Simple Solutions for Maximum Impact
Wednesday, February 23 at 7:00 pm on the DIY Stage

Riz Reyes’ interest in plants and gardens began as a young boy growing up on a family fruit plantation in his native Philippines. Immigrating to the US in 1989, he was exposed to a new environment that unveiled an overwhelming diversity of plants he felt compelled to learn about and grow on his own. This led him to displays at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in his early teens, a degree in horticulture from the University of Washington, and travels all around to find rare and unusual plants for avid gardeners. Riz has worked at the UW Botanic Garden’s Center for Urban Horticulture and runs his own horticultural enterprise called RHR Horticulture. His garden, Landwave, is located in the Shoreline area and he is actively involved in the local horticultural community; he writes a gardening blog for and his own dubbed, “The Next Generation Gardener”. He is also a part-time instructor at Edmonds Community College. Website:
If you have a small space garden and wish you could grow your own fruit, this seminar is for you! You can grow fruit-bearing plants – in containers. Horticulturist Theresa Knutsen will discuss the types of plants that can be grown in containers in general, and the needs of specific plants such as citrus, blueberries and apples. Learn about soils, fertilizers and containers that are best for fruit-bearing plants, along with potting and repotting techniques. 


Enhance small spaces with container gardens. Photo by Karen Chapman.

Theresa Knutsen
Growing Fruit Bearing Plants in Containers
Timely Tips for Edible Produce in Small Gardens
Saturday, February 26 at 11:00 am on the DIY Stage
Theresa Knutsen is a horticulturist at Raintree Nursery, a Washington nursery specializing in fruit trees.  She answers customers’ questions about plant selections, cultivation, and managing pests and diseases on fruit trees. She is also Propagations & Greenhouse Manager at Raintree, overseeing greenhouse productions and the care of inventory during the sale season. She has a BS in horticulture from Washington State University.  Website:

To check out the entire 2011 Seminar Schedule, go to our website at (Hint – you’re going to want to buy that 5-day ticket, there are so many great speakers!)  I am also posting weekly spotlights on our speakers on the Featured Speakers page: – Janet

No Comments

Post A Comment