The Northwest Flower & Garden Festival is the perfect opportunity for homeowners and gardeners to gather ideas and inspiration for beautiful living spaces. Not only are all the latest plants and gardening gadgets on display, there are all kinds of educational seminars on topics related to gardening and the environment.

 

The show is great for landscape designers like me, too—I always come away inspired, and it also gives me a chance to connect with other designers and contractors. That’s important, because having a network of quality contractors means I can give my clients solid recommendations for construction after the design phase is complete.

 

If you weren’t able to attend last year’s festival, put February 26-March 1 on your calendar for this year! You can escape Seattle’s gray skies and be immersed in natural beauty and joy—even if only for a few hours.  This guy was, by far, my favorite thing in last year’s show!

The gardenPRO 2.0 conference

Coinciding with last year’s the festival was the gardenPRO 2.0 conference, which is geared toward green industry professionals who want to continue to build their knowledge, keep up with what’s trending and network with other professionals. Here are a few of the sessions I found interesting:

  • Green Trends in Landscape Architecture: Increasing the Diversity of Plants in Public and Private Projects. Richard Hartlage discussed recent trends in plant diversity to increase habitat while providing beauty—something near and dear to my heart!
  • Growing a Revolution: Best Practices for Healthy Soil and Happy Clients. David Montgomery and Anne Bikle talked about ways to maintain healthy soil, which leads to happy plants and happy clients.
  • Fundamentals of Pollinator Garden Design. Eric Lee-Mader, representing the Xerces Society (basically an Audubon Society for insects) spoke about pollinator ecology and the value of habitat; this can help us better design and plan pollinator habitats in gardens. A particularly important and timely topic, given the distressing news we have been hearing about bee populations.

We’ve enjoyed incorporating what I learned from the conference in our clients’ gardens—and am sorry I’m going to miss this year’s festival. I hope you’ll attend!