Solving Design Challenges with Style: Artistic Inspiration for Every Garden

Here’s a gardening truism: No two gardens are the same; and no two days in the garden are the same. Your garden is ever changing, as are your needs for your garden over time.

Our leading designers and horticulturists will show you how to look at your garden with the eye of a professional, so you can discover the root of your garden’s problems along with possible solutions to address those problems. Learn how to get more from your landscape while still expressing your individual style. There’s no need to settle for a garden that doesn’t bring joy to your life!
 
The Seminars by Category are listed in chronological order. Please check the Seminar Schedule for a full list of ALL our seminars. No ticket refunds for Speaker cancellation.

All seminars at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival are FREE with your ticket!

Buy Tickets Early and Save!

Four Steps to Create a Fire-Smart Landscape

Toni Gattone–Award-winning speaker and author, The Lifelong Gardener

The western half of the U.S. is at a turning point. How do you adapt your landscape to be fire-smart and climate-resilient? What can you do to design a healthy, aesthetically pleasing landscape, while creating a defensible barrier from fire for your family and home, along with safety for firefighters? Discover the essential things to plan and maintain a fire-safe landscape and “harden” your home for protection, plus plant choices to avoid, tasks to do, and tools to get the job done.

Wednesday, Feb 15 at 9:30 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

Nature as Nurture: Can Gardens Heal the World?

Arit Anderson–2023 Show Judge, BBC ‘Gardeners World’ presenter and co-founder, Sustainable Landscape Foundation

As we continue to live in a fast-paced world that is driven by technology and commerce, we are increasingly facing nature deficit as we disconnect from the natural rhythms of the world. British garden and landscape designer Arit Anderson is a Trustee of the National Garden Scheme in the UK, a charity that is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for nursing and health charities. This talk will explore why gardens should be an essential part of patient care plans in the health sector, and how community gardens can be the life and soul of towns and cities. 

Wednesday, Feb 15 at 10:00 am / Rainier Room

Arit Anderson’s appearance sponsored by the Northwest Horticultural Society

NHS-Logo-wide

 

Designing for Theme: Unifying Space, Architecture and Plants

Danilo Maffei, CPLD, PCH, FAPLD–2023 Show Judge, founding principal, Maffei Landscape Design

Few other design principles can deliver a more impactful garden experience than creating a compelling theme. Explore the design process and learn from case studies on how to create captivating, thought-provoking and memorable garden spaces that are built around an organizing, storytelling principle.

Wednesday, Feb 15 at 11:30 am / Rainier Room

Danilo Maffei’s appearance sponsored by the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society

Bellevue Botanical Garden Society

https://bellevuebotanical.org/bellevue-botanical-garden-society/

 

 

School of Rock: Creating Your First Rock Garden

Ross Bayton, PhD–2023 Show Judge, director, Heronswood Gardens, and author, The Gardener’s Botanical: An Encyclopedia of Latin Plant Names

The Heronswood Garden is famed for its dramatic herbaceous borders and lush woodland garden, but over the last two years, we have begun to build an epic rock garden in our parking lot. Join garden director Ross Bayton on a journey of creation as he guides you through the building process, providing tips on construction, soil selection and best plant picks.

Wednesday, Feb 15 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Ross Bayton’s appearance sponsored by King County Master Gardeners

Master Gardener

https://mastergardener.wsu.edu/

 

 

Big Dreams, Small Garden: Creating Something Extraordinary in an Ordinary Space

Marianne WillburnAward-winning blogger, GardenRant.com and author, Tropical Plants and How to Love Them and Big Dreams, Small Garden

If you’re struggling with a difficult outside space, you are not alone. In a challenging housing market, many gardeners are realizing they may be in their current home longer than they envisioned. However, by breaking down the process of garden creation into manageable sections, shifting our perspective and cultivating a sense of contentment, we can create the garden that lives inside of us—right where we are. Marianne will share inspiration, design tips, and real-life gardens to get you excited about your outside space—no matter what it is.

Wednesday, Feb 15 at 1:15 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

Color In and Out of the Garden

Lorene Edwards ForknerAuthor, Color In and Out of the Garden and gardening contributor for The Seattle Times

Color is one of nature’s most sophisticated tools to capture the attention of all living creatures. Learn how cultivating our perception of color and honing our ability to distinguish nuance can be used to create pleasing garden pictures and enhance everyday life. Sharing observations and imagery from her daily practice, Lorene invites you to take a closer look at plants and color in hopes of enlarging the way you see the world and deepening your compassion for beauty in nature.

Wednesday, Feb 15 at 2:45 pm / Hood / Book signing to follow

 

 

Nature As Gardener: Working with Natural Process for Beauty and Reduced Maintenance

C. Colston Burrell–Garden designer, photographer, lecturer and award-winning author, Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide

Picture-perfect plant combinations make for beautiful gardens, yet keeping every plant in its place is a lot of work. If you grow native and site adapted plants, and long to lower your maintenance time and budget, this seminar is for you. Learn tips and techniques for working with Mother Nature to create a beautiful, reduced maintenance garden by augmenting and editing. Using layering, under planting, free seeding perennials and annuals, and a little benign neglect, you can reduce the amount of time spent working in your garden.

Wednesday, Feb 15 at 4:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

Climate Change in Your Garden: Building Resilience Now

Kim StoddartU.K. garden journalist and co-author, The Climate Change Garden

Sally Morgan–U.K. co-author, The Climate Change Garden and author, The Healthy Vegetable Garden

Join the U.K.’s Sally Morgan and Kim Stoddart for a look at how climate may bring extreme weather challenges, changing seasons and greater risk of pest and disease in U.S. gardens. How will this affect trees, bulbs, flowers, shrubs and edibles on the ground for everyone? This is a solution focused presentation with accessible, savvy ideas and inspiration to help gardeners make their outside spaces more climate resilient for the future (water conservation, storm water management, soil management, looking at plant selection and much more besides). The importance of soil, encouraging wildlife for biodiversity and natural pest control and many more hands-on easy-to-employ ideas.

Wednesday, Feb 15 at 6:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

EDGE = ENERGY: Activating Boundaries in the Garden For Excitement, Engagement And Clarity

Danilo Maffei, CPLD, PCH, FAPLD–2023 Show Judge, founding principal, Maffei Landscape Design

Gardeners spend massive amounts of time concentrating on what is going to be “in” the garden, but usually not so much time about what goes “around” the garden. Selecting plants, choosing materials and shopping for furniture all contribute to its aesthetics, but which organizing principles are being used to create the gravitational pull that holds them all together? Careful attention to the boundaries of the garden can define the space both conceptually and physically, prevent distraction, underscore meaning and even become a space unto itself, thus assuring the interpretive success of that which lies within.

Thursday, Feb 16 at 10:00 am / Rainier Room

Danilo Maffei’s appearance sponsored by the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society

Bellevue Botanical Garden Society

https://bellevuebotanical.org/bellevue-botanical-garden-society/

 

Edible Growing for Person, Plate and Planet

Kim StoddartU.K. garden journalist and co-author, The Climate Change Garden

Sally Morgan–U.K. co-author, The Climate Change Garden and author, The Healthy Vegetable Garden

With the myriad of challenges we now face, growing some of your own food is arguably more important than ever. With an emphasis on building resilience in the gardener as much as the garden, this seminar will look at simple but effective ways to work with the natural world to grow truly planet-friendly food year-round. Designed for gardens of all sizes, this is satisfying and effective grow-your-own edible gardening that boosts confidence, success, saves time and also lowers your carbon footprint overall.

Thursday, Feb 16 at 10:45 am / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

Finding Common Ground: Good Communication is Like Mycorrhizal Fungi

Arit Anderson–2023 Show Judge, BBC ‘Gardeners World’ presenter and co-founder, Sustainable Landscape Foundation

Arit Anderson is a British garden and landscaper designer, but she also presents on TV, writes for magazines, has a podcast and is co-founder of the Sustainable Landscape Foundation. A well-known figure in the UK garden media, Arit wants to share why she has a passion for communication and how she is using it to inspire gardeners and landscape professionals to think and be greener. Just like mycorrhizal fungi helps plant communicate, she will share her experience on why talking and collaborating is crucial for the future health of gardens and planet.

Thursday, Feb 16 at 11:30 am / Rainier Room

Arit Anderson’s appearance sponsored by the Northwest Horticultural Society

 

 

NHS-Logo-wide

https://northwesthort.org/

 

 

Connect with Color

Lorene Edwards ForknerAuthor, Color In and Out of the Garden and gardening contributor for The Seattle Times

Connect with nature by capturing the colors of the garden in a simple color study. We’ll explore the nature of color, in and out of the garden. Learn how recording colors in paint, fabric, collage, or photos, can encourage you to slow down, pay attention, and savor the season. Then download the handout with simple directions for creating your own color study and a call to share your colors at #NWFGColorcollective.

Thursday, Feb 16 ay 11:45 am / DIY Stage / Book signing to follow

 

 

Squeezing It All In: Small Space Garden Design for Your Urban Garden

Kathy Jentz–Award-winning author, Groundcover Revolution, co-author, The Urban Garden and editor/publisher, Washington Gardener

Do you suffer from too many plants and too little space? Using examples from area gardens, Kathy Jentz, co-author of The Urban Garden, will illustrate basic design principles for maximizing garden space. Kathy will address common small-space challenges such as creating privacy and adding light to shady areas. She'll offer low-or-no-budget solutions as well.

Thursday, Feb 16 at 12:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

A Memorable Garden Is Built from a Series of Vignettes

Loree BohlAuthor of Fearless Gardening and blogger, thedangergarden.com

When reflecting upon a garden that inspires you, do you recall the big picture, a panoramic shot? Or do you remember evocative details, a creative display within the garden, a vignette? These smaller elements encourage you to stop and engage. By including vignettes throughout your garden, you create focused areas within the whole. As a result, the space expands and feels much larger. Loree will share inspiring vignettes from her garden travels, as well as from her own Portland garden.

Thursday, Feb 16 at 5:15 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

Circles, Arcs and Tangents: The Role of Form and Line in Garden Design

C. Colston Burrell–Garden designer, photographer, lecturer and award-winning author, Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide

Ever wonder why some gardens make your heart sing? Certainly, plants are what draw us to gardens. Colors, forms and scents enchant us, but chances are you are responding to lines and forms. Forms and lines define garden spaces and give strength and unity to a design. Hardscape elements on the ground plane, sculptural elements in three dimensions, and the forms of flower and foliage conspire to give a garden its unique character.

Thursday, Feb 16 at 6:00 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

Garden Design Makeovers for a Changing Climate

Sue Goetz CPH, EcoProOwner, Creative Gardener and author, Complete Container Herb Gardening and A Taste for Herbs

Wet winters, dry summers, heat domes, and atmospheric rivers, whatever the terminologyhow does all this fit the puzzle of garden design? Learn tips, techniques, and stylizing for the real world. Healthy soil, drought-tolerant plants, micro-climates, rain gardens, no lawns, and more! Before and after makeover ideas for sustainability and adaptability.

Thursday, Feb 16 at 6:30 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

The Latest & Greatest in Meadow Making

John Greenlee–Founder, Greenlee Nursery and author, The American Meadow Garden and The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses

Come take an all-encompassing dive into the incredible world of meadow making with John Greenlee, an internationally renowned horticultural and design consultant who works with leading landscape architects throughout America and Europe. Here, you will learn to successfully design state of the art meadows that are beautiful and environmentally friendly. During the seminar, John will carefully walk you through how to select, plant and care for plants from around the world.

Friday, Feb 17 at 11:30 am / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

Climate Change in Your Garden: Building Resilience Now

Kim StoddartU.K. garden journalist and co-author, The Climate Change Garden

Sally Morgan–U.K. co-author, The Climate Change Garden and author, The Healthy Vegetable Garden

Join the U.K.’s Sally Morgan and Kim Stoddart for a look at how climate may bring extreme weather challenges, changing seasons and greater risk of pest and disease in U.S. gardens. How will this affect trees, bulbs, flowers, shrubs and edibles on the ground for everyone? This is a solution focused presentation with accessible, savvy ideas and inspiration to help gardeners make their outside spaces more climate resilient for the future (water conservation, storm water management, soil management, looking at plant selection and much more besides). The importance of soil, encouraging wildlife for biodiversity and natural pest control and many more hands-on easy-to-employ ideas.

Friday, Feb 17 at 12:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

Power Couples: Perennial Pairings for Jaw-Dropping Gardens and Containers

Deborah TrickettAward-winning container designer and owner, The Captured Garden

Perennials are perfect for adding beauty to gardens and containers. But are there some perennials that work better together than others? Are there some pairings that, like the power couples of Hollywood and industry, just naturally cause heads to turn? Join Deborah Trickett, owner of The Captured Garden, as she shares some of her favorite Power Couples—perennial combinations that will get your gardens and containers noticed. This is a fast-paced, visually inspiring, and sometimes humorous PowerPoint presentation that will show the audience how to be a better “matchmaker” when combining perennials for their gardens and containers.

Saturday, Feb 18 at 9:30 am / Hood Room

 

 

Layering for a Dynamic and Beautiful Garden

Laura Watson–Master Gardener, Master Pruner and ‘Clemaniac

One of the most important elements of a beautiful and dynamic garden is layering. Learn how to layer a garden by staggering foreground, middle-ground, and background to create an alluring and satisfying landscape. Principals involved include repetition, scale, flow, depth, contrast, and focal points. Laura’s easy speaking style and great photos will help you learn how bring layering principals into your garden.

Saturday, Feb 18 at 12:00 pm / Hood Room

 

 

Water-Savvy Garden Design

Karen Chapman–Owner, Le Jardinet, award-winning co-author, Fine Foliage, Gardening with Foliage First and author, Deer-Resistant Design

Rather than pining for the “greener grass” on the other side of the proverbial fence, learn to make the most of what you have while conserving both water and your time. This seminar will discuss how to maximize your garden’s potential by assessing the site conditions, determining key design criteria, then combining suitable plants with similar needs for a professional look that balances beauty and efficiency with good stewardship.

Saturday, Feb 18 at 4:00 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow

 

 

Gardeners vs the Apocalypse: 10 Ways Your Garden Can Fend Off the End of the World

Greg Butler,BLA, ATA–Designer, educator and owner, Design of the Times

Are you tired of waking up in the morning, checking the news, and feeling overwhelmed? Fight back by learning how your garden can stave off the apocalypse blues. Even a small garden can help slow climate change, enhance wildlife habitat, and improve our physical and mental well-being. Every little action we take matters, and time and effort spent in the garden is the best antidote for a world gone crazy.

Sunday, Feb 19 at 1:30 pm / Hood Room