After a month filled with cold and snowy days, the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival, which begins next Wednesday, may be an unusually welcome harbinger of spring.
That “welcome to spring” feeling begins at the hallway entrance to the show. One of the first things visitors will see is a colorful and aromatic display by the Flower Growers of Puget Sound.
“It really greets folks with a pop of color,” said Lloyd Glasscock of Stanwood, the event’s display garden manager. It will include hyacinthus, known both for their vibrant hues and sweet scent.
The show is expected to draw up to 60,000 visitors, giving them a chance to take in 102 seminars on gardening, demonstrations, sustainability trends, display gardens, a marketplace and tips for gardening for condo and apartment dwellers.
The theme of this year’s show is “Gardens of the World,” developed in 20-plus display gardens, including some by Snohomish County businesses.
Natasha Roberts of Dakara Landscape Design in Edmonds is calling hers the “The Lost Gardens of Heligan.”
It’s based on a garden in Cornwall, England with a 400-year-old history. Its gardeners were sent off to fight in World War I “and pretty much nobody came back,” Roberts said.
The garden fell into disarray, and was eventually restored by The National Trust.
Roberts said her garden has a woodland theme, with a trickling stream, some creatures, the southern Ireland landscape, a circular cobblestone patio and a thatch-roof home for a leprechaun-like creature.
Jones said she particularly enjoys having children come to the show. Her own grandson, who just turned two, “loves plants and he loves to hunt for mushrooms,” she said.
Glasscock joined up again with John Stout of Everett’s Terra Firma Hardscapes to develop their show garden, dubbed “Celtic Travels: Hibernia to Caledonia.”
It will include a waterfall and sheltered pond surrounded by boulders, trees, heather and thyme.
“It’s like a trip from the west coast of Ireland to central Scotland,” Glasscock said.
Glasscock said he thinks this year’s show will provide an unusually welcome break from the recent historic winter storms.
“At a time of year when we’ve had nothing besides snow and ice since Feb. 2, people would be thrilled to get a boost of color,” he said. “It actually will be spring — spring at the convention center.”
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you go:
The Northwest Flower & Garden Festival schedule is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m Feb. 20 to 23 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Washington State Convention Center, 705 Pike St. in Seattle. Early bird tickets are on sale for $19 through Feb. 19. After that, adult admission tickets online are $22. Adult admission at the door is $24; students ages 13 to 23 $10; and children 12 and under are free. Seminar descriptions are available at: gardenshow.com/seminars/schedule. Ticket and show information is at www.gardenshow.com. Parking and public transportation information may be found at: gardenshow.com/information