Steve Hopkins, owner of Hoppy’s Garden Art, installs a blown-glass globe in a sprinkler at his home workshop in Bothell. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Steve Hopkins, owner of Hoppy’s Garden Art, installs a blown-glass globe in a sprinkler at his home workshop in Bothell. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Sprinklers with style, and much more at Everett’s Sorticulture

Steve Hopkins’ artisanal irrigators will be among hundreds of offerings at the garden art festival.

Be prepared to stare at Steve Hopkins’ sprinklers at Sorticulture next week much like you would fish in an aquarium.

You’ll be mesmerized by the counter-rotating hoops that seem to be changing direction — but it’s just an optical illusion.

What’s more, they’re as functional as they are artistic.

“It’s an effective sprinkler,” said Hopkins, owner of Hoppy’s Garden Arts. “Depending on water pressure, the spray pattern will be about 15 to 30 feet in diameter. They don’t beat up plants if they’re too close. Other than rain, it’s about as gentle as you’re going to get.”

Steve Hopkins says his sprinklers shoot gentle streams of water in a 30-foot-diameter pattern.

Steve Hopkins says his sprinklers shoot gentle streams of water in a 30-foot-diameter pattern.

See Hopkins’ sprinklers at Everett’s annual garden arts festival, set for June 7-9 at Legion Memorial Park in Everett. The 57-year-old Bothell man will be in booth No. 148. His sprinklers are one of many gems waiting to be found.

Now in its 22nd year, Sorticulture mixes art with horticulture. More than 150 vendors, including nurseries, landscape artists and gardening experts, will be featured at the free three-day event. About 25 of them are new to the festival, said Lisa Newland, the city of Everett’s cultural arts coordinator.

The festival attracts about 17,000 people each year.

Hopkins has sold his sprinklers at the festival for the past nine years. A self-taught artist, he likes to create functional and attractive things with his hands.

In 2007, he was making wooden trellises with copper accents for the Woodinville Farmers Market when a customer asked if he could turn his copper designs into a sprinkler. He eventually settled on the idea of two hoops holding up a globe wrapped in spiraling copper.

His 4-foot-tall sprinklers stand on a four-pronged steel base that is anchored in the ground. He buys 6-inch globes in a variety of colors and patterns from local glassblowing artists. Water pressure causes the hoops to spin.

Steve Hopkins puts together a spinning sprinkler in the front yard of his home. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Steve Hopkins puts together a spinning sprinkler in the front yard of his home. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Hopkins makes the sprinklers with assembly line-like efficiency in his garage, sometimes with the help of his 16-year-old son, Quinn Hopkins. Each sprinkler takes about an hour to craft.

Hopkins, who’s a job recruiter by day, plans to have 80 sprinklers for sale. He’s not out to get rich off sprinklers, though. It’s more a hobby than a business.

“It’s a seasonal thing that I will never be able to retire on, unless I scale them up,” he said. “I just really like interacting with people and making them smile.”

Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.

Sorticulture details

This year’s Sorticulture Garden Arts Festival is June 7-9 at Legion Memorial Park, 145 Alverson Blvd., Everett. The three-day event has numerous art, garden and food booths.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 9, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 10. Admission is free.

Park for free at Everett Community College, 2000 Tower St., and take the free Everett Transit shuttle bus from Student Fitness Center. The bus picks up or drops off every 15 minutes. Limited disabled parking will be available at the park. More about parking and the shuttle service at

Or ride your bicycle to the festival and let Sharing Wheels watch your bike, helmet and shoes for you.

The featured display gardens are by Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center and Planscapes and Complete Landscape Inc.

Grab a pick-up pass for a suggested $5 donation and Housing Hope will hold your purchases for you while you stroll the festival, or retrieve your vehicle to pick them up.

Kids’ activities will include face painting, art projects and wood carving.

Celebrity gardening expert Ciscoe Morris from KING-TV and KIRO-FM will be the keynote speaker at 2 p.m. June 8; he’ll also answer questions from the crowd.

Live music is scheduled all weekend in the wine and beer garden. Performances by 12 musical acts are planned.

Food booths will be open daily at 10 a.m. until close. The fare will include crepes, funnel cakes, seafood tacos, kettle corn, pizza, gyros and vegetarian fried noodles.

The Snohomish County Master Gardeners and the Snohomish County Noxious Weed Control Board will have informational booths.

Tour the Evergreen Arboretum & Gardens, found at the south end of the park. The arboretum has 10 themed-gardens with sculptures and a gazebo.

For more information, including an events schedule, go to

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Pet detective Jim Branson stops to poke through some fur that Raphael the dog found while searching on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Everett, Washington. Branson determined the fur in question was likely from a rabbit, and not a missing cat.(Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lost a pet? Pet detective James Branson and his dogs may be able to help

James Branson, founder of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue, helps people in the Seattle area find their missing pets for $350.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers pose in their costumes. (Photo by Bree Eaton)
Faire thee well: Renaissance is coming to Whidbey Island

The volunteer-run fair May 25 and 26 will feature dancers, a juggler, ‘Fakespeare,’ various live music shows and lots of food.

From a 17th-century warship to ABBA, Stockholm’s delights span the ages

The city — known for Nobel prizes, “Pippy Longstocking” and a very tall city hall — sits on 14 islands connected by 54 bridges.

A guitarist keeps rhythm during Lovely Color’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Black Lab in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
No matter what music you’re into, Fisherman’s Village has a hook for you

From folk to psychedelic pop to hip-hop, here’s a quick guide to artists you might want to check out in downtown Everett.

Patterson Hood (left) and Mike Cooley perform with Drive-By Truckers at Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in 2018. (Ben Flanagan /
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Take in the Fisherman’s Village Music Festival in downtown Everett and get a close-up look at unique aircraft at Paine Field.

On moving day for elderly mom, a moving reminder of what matters in life

Older adults don’t talk much about accomplishments during their working lives. Instead, they talk about the value of family.

Iberia told me to file a chargeback, but now I don’t have a ticket

When Joel Revill’s ticket purchase doesn’t go through, a representative advises him to dispute it on his credit card.

Paeonia Itoh Hybrids "Lolliepop" in the spring garden
Bushy with big blooms, Itohs blend the best of herbaceous, tree peonies

A bit spendy, this sought-after hybrid, with its multi-colored flowers and lush foliage, offers plenty of bang for your buck.

A child gets some assistance dancing during Narrow Tarot’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Lucky Dime in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Fisherman’s Village 2024 casts a wide musical net in Everett

From Allen Stone to a local musician showcase at Zamarama Gallery, get ready for it to get loud downtown.

Gnomes, per lore, are more than garden decor. This guy’s ready to travel.

In fact, his atypical attributes — a blue cap and total lack of garden tools — make this pottery gnome all the more valuable.

Primula denticulata is native to the Himalaya Mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet, Burma, and China. The habitat is wet meadows from 5,000 feet to 14,500 feet. (Richie Steffen/Great Plant Picks)
Great Plant Pick: Drumstick primrose

What: This primrose, also known as Primula denticulata, is quite like a… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.