Northwest Flower & Garden Festival 2023

I’ve been attending the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival in Seattle since the mid-1990s. It’s one of the premier garden shows in North America and always a delight to savor in February, when spring is just around the corner and we gardeners are thinking about the upcoming season.

Afterglow display garden by Redwood Builders LLC, Landscaping and Bonsai Northwest, NW Flower & Garden Festival, Seattle, WA. © 2023 Mark Turner

Now that we’re mostly out of covid pandemic restrictions, this year’s show feels a lot more like it did pre-pandemic than it did in 2022. The display garden area is back to capacity, with 18 gardens this year. The crowds are back, too. That’s good for business, but does make it a little crowded on the show floor while you’re enjoying the display gardens and shopping among all the vendors.

As I’ve done in many previous years, I photographed each of the display gardens and created a fast-paced video slideshow to give you a feeling for the show. Like other years, the display gardens can best be described as garden theater. There’s dramatic lighting and sometimes you’ll see plant combinations that just won’t work in the real world. But you’ll definitely come away with new ideas to incorporate into your own garden, whether it’s a cool plant you’ve never seen used that way or an idea for a structure or hardscape.

Here’s the video, which runs just over 7 minutes. It’s best on a big screen. Enjoy!

On the Bleeding Heart Carpet

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Bleeding Heart

Spring has to be my favorite time of the year. We put the cold, snow, wind, and heavy rains behind us and welcome the return of green plants all around us.

Here in our little corner of paradise we’re blessed with a massive carpet of our native bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa) on large expanses of our woodland floor. I’ve been checking on the emergence of the foliage and flower buds for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday I found the first almost-open flowers, which means than within a week or so we’ll have a glorious flower show. Continue reading