The year is new, yet it's time to mark a few special gardening events on the calendar so you don't miss out. As April approaches, the gardening season heats up just as gardening chores pile up. So now's the time, not only to dream your way through seed catalogs, but to sort through upcoming events...here are a few early highlights of the year to come...
January 28 & 29 - Bouquet Banque Nursery Open House in Marysville. Who doesn't love cyclamens, with their exquisite flowers and marbled foliage, well as any excuse to buy plants and talk gardens in the dregs of January? An acre of coldframes holding thousands of hardy cyclamen in full bloom are open for your shopping pleasures; you can visit with owners Bill and Judy, tour the winter garden, and visit the workshop to see fiber plant basketry. 8220 State Ave. in Marysville; 360-659-4938
February 1 - Fundraiser for the Miller Horticultural Library/Launch party for my new book, Petal & Twig .There'll be a dessert buffet, plant auction, and I'll give my first talk about the book and show images of bouquets plucked fresh from my garden in Langley. I'll sign books after - it's the first time they'll be for sale. Please come. See the Northwest Horticultural Society's web page for details.
February 8-12 - The theme of this year's Northwest Flower and Garden Show, at the Washington State Convention Center, is "A Floral Symphony" but it scarcely matters. It's simply a huge 5 day blow-out of an early springtime celebration. There are gardens to see, things to buy, people to meet and lectures to attend - and you'll see all your gardening friends you've missed over the winter.
March 9 - 11 - The Northwestern Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society's 37th Annual Western Winter Study Weekend will be held at the Holiday Inn in Everett. Speakers, garden tours, plant displays, demonstrations, and the chance to rub elbows with fellow alpine enthusiasts are all reasons to attend. The Study Weekend will focus on an area often overlooked: the flora of Washington and Oregon east of the Cascade Mountains. Here the habitat varies from forest to shrub -steppe, and from desert to riparian ecosys- tems. The Columbia River winds its way through this region, providing a broad canvas of remarkable habitats and plants. See the Chapter's web page for more information, or contact Ilse Burch at Mail4IlseB@gmail.com or 425-681-9341.
March 24 - Woodland Gardening: Building Beauty from Shade-Loving Plants is this year's annual NHS Symposium, held at Bastyr University Auditorium in Kenmore. Registration: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 206-780-8172. Last year's symposium sold out, so be sure and register early to hear local, national and international speakers like Rick Lewandowski, director of the Mt. Cuba Center for the study of Piedmont flora, Jimi Blake (left) from Dublin, Ireland, Richie Steffen of the Miller Botanical Garden, and Cole Burrell, author, educator and designer.
April 19 - Plant fanatics listen up - For the first time ever, we're going to have a Seattle version of the Portland plant extravaganza known as Nerd Night. Local growers, like Far Reaches Farm, will bring their most exciting new plants for show and sale. There'll be swag bags, wine, an auction, and music, song and dance from the Chorus of the Goddess Flora who is traveling north to perform. See the Northwest Horticultural Society's web page for more information. 6 - 9 p.m., April 19, at the Mountaineers at Magnuson Park.
Stay tuned for my next post - a gardener's dream come true chance to study at Great Dixter...