Seminar Spotlight – Quintessential NW Plants: Conifers, Maples, Rhodies & More

Seminar Spotlight – Quintessential NW Plants: Conifers, Maples, Rhodies & More

Conifers are beloved Northwest garden plants known for easy care and beautiful colors

Roger Rugosa – Retail Manager, Wells Nursery
Roger Ragusa is originally from San Francisco, California and now lives in Mount Vernon, Washington. He began his career in horticulture in Marin County, California, and he now has 19 years experience in the nursery trade. Roger is the Retail Manager at Wells Nursery. An active Rotarian, Roger is also a popular public school supporter, and a past board trustee for the Theater Arts Guild, producing or on the stage. Website:

Conifers of Color
Garden Worthy Shrubs for Year-Round Color
Wednesday, February 23 at 7:15 pm in the Hood Room
Conifers form a beautiful, easy-care structure to the Northwest garden, and perfectly complement other popular plants, such as Japanese maples. With so many conifers to choose from, which are the most garden worthy? Roger Ragusa has been selecting conifers for his customers for over 20 years. Join him as he shares his favorites.


Japanese maples make good trees for containers and go perfectly with conifers too

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, California.  His passion grew when he acquired his first Japanese maple, Acer japonicum ‘Acontifolium’ 15 years ago.  Now his collection consists of almost ¾ of the world’s available cultivars, and he is still adding to it.  Barry serves as president of the Northern California Japanese Maple Society and regularly conducts classes as “The Maple Guy,” teaching about gardening with Japanese maples and their care, planting and pruning.  He has lectured to many garden clubs and nurseries and has made radio and television appearances talking about how to use Japanese maples in the landscape.  Visit the Maples for All Seasons exhibit at booth # 2420. Website:

Container Gardening with Japanese Maples
Creating Beautiful, Long-Lasting Gardens with Maples
Thursday, February 24 at 9:30 am on the DIY Stage
Japanese Maples thrive in the Pacific Northwest. That’s why it seems there is at least one in every garden. Barry Hoffer shares his passion for maples and discusses how to prep a tree and properly plant a Japanese maple in a container. He’ll also talk about root pruning, soil mixes and fertilizing, and which cultivars make the best specimens for container culture. Learn the many ways you can use Japanese Maples on patios or balconies or in small spaces, and the proper way to plant them to ensure years of beautiful growth.


Native plants can provide soil erosion control and lend beauty to the garden

Elliott Menashe – Natural resource manager, Greenbelt Consulting
Elliott Menashe has been a natural resource management consultant since 1987. His firm, Greenbelt Consulting, provides forest management, environmental planning and restoration services. He specializes in shoreline landscape restoration and management, pre-purchase property evaluations, low-impact rural and exurban residential planning and development, tree retention and hazard assessment, critical area management and landscape and tree appraisal. He is the author of Vegetation Management: A Guide for Puget Sound Bluff Property Owners, published by the Washington Department of Ecology in 1993. He received a degree in Forest Management from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1975. Website:

Native Plants for Shoreline Landscapes
Guide for Beautiful & Effective Erosion Control
Thursday, February 24 at 7:00 pm in the Hood Room
Natural resource manager Elliott Menashe is often called upon to consult with homeowners living on shorelines after it’s too late – the property has eroded and damage has been done. Now you can discover which native plants are not only ornamental and beautiful, but also highly effective for erosion control. These plants can also provide valuable habitat for native wildlife, bringing extra beauty to your garden.


Discover interesting Rhododendron varieties at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden

Dennis Bottemiller – Nursery Manager, Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
Dennis Bottemiller is the Nursery Manager and Propagator of the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, WA. Dennis is considered an expert nurseryman and is responsible for propagating and distributing the world-class collection of rhododendrons and companion plants grown at the RSBG. Dennis received his Horticulture degree from Washington State University and has participated in numerous international meetings and collecting trips. He is a popular and highly regarded speaker and writer with a great gift for sharing his love of plants and people. Visit the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden exhibit booth #2408.  Website:

Not the Same Old Rhody Garden
A Look at Today’s Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden
Thursday, February 24 at 7:00 pm in the Rainier Room
There are more than 850 different natural species in the Genus (group) Rhododendron. The state flower of Washington is the Pacific rhododendron, Rhododendron macrophyllum, which means “rose tree with large leaves.”Azaleas are also rhododendrons. The Pacific Northwest is renowned for a climate that is perfect for growing Rhododendrons, and the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way is the nation’s leading botanical garden dedicated to this invaluable plant group. Nursery Manager & Propagator Dennis Bottemiller fills you in on all the exciting changes that has been happening in this internationally acclaimed garden, with a new tropical conservatory, a Meconopsis Meadow, a fern stumpery, and new introductions from the wild.


Learn the best fruit tree varieties for Northwest gardens and how to grow them

Sam Benowitz – Owner, Raintree Nursery & fruit tree expert
As owner of Raintree Nursery, one of the largest fruit & berry nurseries for home gardeners, Sam Benowitz has been searching for and testing the best fruit varieties for the Pacific Northwest for more than 35 years.  He is the founding president of the Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation, and has been a fruit advisor for the Sunset Western Garden Book.  He has appeared on HGTV as well as on Cisco Morris, Ed Hume, Peter Punzi and Scott Connor’s shows, and articles about Raintree Nursery’s unique and unusual fruits have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Organic Gardening and others. Visit the Raintree Nursery exhibit at booth # 2218. Website:

The Best Fruit Trees for Northwest Gardens
Discover the Ease of Growing Fruit-Bearing Trees
Sunday, February 27 at 4:15 pm in the Hood Room
Being able to grow your own fruit is a wonderful way to boost the value of your garden and provide delicious and healthy eating too! But which varieties do well in our Pacific Northwest soils and climate? Get the benefit of 40 years of testing and experience from Sam Benowitz and you’ll discover all the varieties you can grow, in containers and in the ground, from apples to plums to figs and many more.

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