Last-ever Northwest Flower and Garden Show starts February 18, 2009
Andrea Bellamy |

under the arbor

From the 2008 Show: Under the Arbor display garden.

The Northwest Flower and Garden Show, held in downtown Seattle’s convention center, starts Wednesday, February 18 and runs through Sunday, February 22. I’m heading down tomorrow to cover the event. I’m lucky enough to be able to attend a media “sneak peek” of the always-fabulous display gardens… and of course I’ll be reporting back to you. Check back on Tuesday night for your own sneak peek!

As you may have heard, this is likely to be the last Show in the event’s 21-year history. Wanting to retire and unable to find a suitable buyer for the Show, Duane Kelly, chairman of Salmon Bay Events, the company that founded and owns the event, has decided to close the Show for good.

Salmon Bay Events also owns and produces the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, which will also be closing barring a last-minute buyer. The Northwest and San Francisco Flower & Garden Shows are the second- and third-largest flower shows, respectively, in the United States; the largest is in Philadelphia.

The theme of this year’s shows is “Sustainable Spaces. Beautiful Places.” The 26 display gardens are pretty much guaranteed to be spectacular; in keeping with the theme, many promise to offer inspiring ideas about sustainability in gardens. Sustainability will also be the focus of many of the 120 free seminars presented by speakers from around the world.


From the 2008 Show: Molbaks container display.

I’m stoked to attend the show for a few reasons: first, it’s really the best garden show in the Pacific Northwest (and thus the only one I regularly attend). Second, I missed last year’s show because I was too pregnant to get health insurance for travel to the States. Third, it comes at the perfect time of year: a breath of spring at the end tail of winter. All the inspiration needed to jumpstart the growing year. Fourth, it’s probably going to be the last one. And I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

The last Northwest Flower and Garden Show will be held Feb. 18-22 at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. The cost of admission, which includes entrance to gardening seminars, is: $20 for adults; $9 for students 25 and under with valid student I.D.; $4 for kids ages 6 and under.

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