MYNORTHWEST LIFESTYLE

Northwest Flower and Garden Festival brings an early spring to Seattle

Feb 15, 2024, 2:30 AM | Updated: 2:32 pm

Spring is coming early this year if you trust the knowledge and talents of Punxsutawney Phil.

The season is in full bloom this week at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival.

“It’s spring, two months early. It is full of fragrance and flowers and tons of information,” Marianne Benetti, a local gardening expert, said. “It’s entertainment on an epic scale. You can also get practical advice. There are so many experts under one roof.”

The theme, of course, is spring and is currently underway at the Seattle Convention Center. Attendees will be able to see some incredible garden displays, over 20 of them, and you will not be disappointed.

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I got to take a tour led by Benetti.

There’s lots to think about when planning a garden; one small misstep could lead to a big disaster. Benetti tells me the foundation of a good garden is knowledge.

“The research is important because you will not want to keep gardening if you fail. So we really encourage people to get a little bit of knowledge, just so that they know the basics and then their plant will thrive,” she said. “And then they’ll be growing into more of a gardener.”

The show isn’t just for homeowners or those lucky enough to have space for a big garden on the balcony.

“On the sky bridge is full of tiny balcony gardens.,” Benetti explained. “So you can, if you have just a tiny little balcony, have ideas of how to style the balcony, what to grow on the balcony, and beautiful plants for the balcony. And then we have house plant displays and what to grow indoors.”

Benetti said that three of the show gardens actually have either a greenhouse or a building that has indoor plants in it.

She said you don’t even need to buy a ticket to get educated.

On Saturday, they’re going to have experts at the convention center in the lobby, giving free seminars to people on subjects like how to grow hydrangeas and how to grow succulents.

There will also be plenty of resources if you’re looking to make your garden more native and help support the wildlife around your home and plants that can handle the climate.

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“One of our show’s biggest sponsors is Cascade Water District. And so they are helping us teach the people of the Puget Sound area how to have cleaner water and use less chemicals to recycle their water.

Benetti said the water features at the show will be beautiful as well as practical. “Slow-moving water is what our pollinators need,” she said. “You know, butterflies, bees, and all sorts of different insects.”

Benetti said there will also be drought-resistant and native plants.

“The whole show is devoted to having a more holistic attitude towards gardening,” she said.

There’s also advice for those looking to get their hands dirty and prep their gardens right this second.

“It has been warm the last couple of weeks. People can rake and then mow their lawn,” Benetti said. “I think that raking is important because of all the wind. Get those big branches off the grass. There are also trees and plants that would benefit from pruning right now.”

The 2024 Northwest Flower and Garden Festival runs through Sunday.

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Northwest Flower and Garden Festival brings an early spring to Seattle