Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 59: Northwest Flower and Garden Festival Review

We visited the most impressive flower show in the U.S. and came home with more than just inspiration   

Over the course of the past several years, the staff of Fine Gardening has visited A LOT of flower and garden shows across North America. But one show that takes place every February in Seattle consistently rises to the top: The Northwest Flower and Garden Festival. The display gardens are more than just impressive—they’re truly inspiring and feature an incredible array of diverse plants. These are gardens that not only have the wow-factor, but also give attendees solid ideas for their own backyards that are achievable. This year was no exception. Join Steve and Danielle as they walk through the show and share what they saw, from a cottage garden with swarms of live ladybugs to a variegated daphne so fragrant, you can almost smell it through your headphones.


Expert testimony: Courtney Olander, landscape designer from Seattle, Washington.




Pot fountain in the Blue Bayou display garden at the NWFGS


Cool plant: ‘Maejima’  variegated winter daphne  (Daphne odora ‘Maejima’, Zones 7-9)


Expert testimony: Courtney Olander, landscape designer from Seattle, WA  (courtesy of Courtney Olander)


Example of the exploiting the indoor/outdoor connection from a recent client of Olander Garden design (courtesy of Olander Garden Design)


Pretty conifer: Golden spreader fir (Abies nordmanniana ‘Golden Spreader’, Zones 5-8) (courtesy of Olander Garden Design)


New plant alert: ‘Angyo Star’ fatshedera (x Fatshedera lizei ‘Angyo Star’, Zones 7-9)


Ladybugs assembled on a fence post in the Hill Top Farm display garden designed by Christianson’s Nursery & Greenhouse


Climbing roses on the fence separate onlookers from the veggie garden in the Hill Top Farm display garden


Front view of the Hill Top Farm display garden with a faux house front in the back


Video Clip: The winner of the Fine Gardening award at the 2020 Northwest Flower and Garden Festival Hill Top Farm


A glimpse inside the Ravenna Gardens satellite shop at NWFGS


New favorites: “Scared” unicorn pots and “angry” llama pots caught our eye at the Swanson’s Nursery satellite shop at NWFGS


A modern fountain in the Live Like It’s Spring: An Urban Garden by Folia Horticultural & Design


Cool concept: This boulder, cleaved in half, makes for quite the statement at the entry to the Urban Garden display garden


Arbor inspiration: A wattle arbor (using various colored twigs/gleanings) sits in the middle of the Washington Park Arboretum: Gateway to a Greener Earth display garden


Cool plant: ‘White Icicle’ flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’, Zones 6-8)


Another awesome find: ‘Carsten’s Wintergold’ mugo pine (Pinus mugo ‘Carsten’s Wintergold’, Zones 2-7)


Landscape designer Susan Calhoun at Plantswoman Design (courtesy of Susan Calhoun)


Where the Wild Things Grow display garden with a play tent in the background and a mud puddle in the front


Side view of the Where the Wild Things Grow display garden


Dinosaur eating garden gnome in the Where the Wild Things Grow display garden



View Comments


  1. haroldhulbert 07/20/2020

    Wow, this episode is epic

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