The garden is a Memorial Garden, a garden of benevolence, garden of love. It is a gift to our community from the God of Love, Jesus the Christ. The first “seeds” for our garden have come from members of the congregation and a designation from the congregation’s memorial funds. These seeds have brought us to the beginning of a journey that will last for many years. Guided by the Holy Spirit we will plow forth until row upon row of our work is accomplished and our community is better nourished. The Lord invites you all to be part of His work on earth strengthening and feeding His children. The garden is made possible by generous donations from the community, a Domestic Hunger Grant from the ELCA World Hunger, generous support by the congregation of Lutheran Church of Hope, and support from the Alaska Synod of the ELCA.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Northwest Flower and Garden Festival

I decided on Friday, February 2 to attend the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival in Seattle. I booked my tickets on Alaska Airlines using miles. I booked a hotel using the festival website. The flight down on Tuesday was uneventful, I like them like that. I walked about 20 minutes to the hotel from the Link light trail station in downtown Seattle. I highly recommend the Link from SEA to downtown Seattle. It takes about 35 minutes from the airport and if you are older than 65 the cost is $1. Even if you take a taxi from Westlake Station to your hotel it's a lot cheaper than taking a taxi from the airport and faster than the bus.

Wednesday

Slept well and had breakfast at the hotel. Breakfast was included in the price and was quite good. I walked to the convention center. It took about 20 minutes. The weather was very pleasant. High was in the low fifties. I was actually quite warm when I got to the convention center.

The first thing that struck me was the size of the vendor areas. There are literally thousands of vendors. Vendors were selling or promoting most anything you can imagine. There were two gentlemen from Edward Jones talking with people about securities. People selling jerky, caramels, honey, and jams. Others are selling windows, gutters, bricks and paving stones. Let's not forget the ones that were selling clothing and jewelry. Where ever there are women there will be those selling clothing and jewelry.  And finally there were people selling garden related things. The garden related things ranged from seeds to tools to clothing. In a few hours of walking around I don't think I saw everything that was there. Tomorrow I will do more scouting around. I could certainly spend a lot of money here if I don't show restraint.

At 11:30 I watched container wars. Two ladies competed to build containers with flowers that would look great. They both did a wonderful job. Brenda Adams was one of the contestants. She is the author of There Is a Moose in My Garden, and Cool Plants for Cold Climates. She is also from Homer, AK. Unfortunately the other lady had more support and won the competition. It was fun watching and I won a tool during the process,

Next I went to No Watering Required: Water-wise Garden Design. This was presented by Kirk R. Brown. The presentation was very interesting and informative. He is a wonderful speaker and has excellent credentials.  I am going to another of his presentations on Thursday and am really looking forward to it. I'm thinking about recommending him for a speaker for the 2019 Alaska Master Gardener Conference. I then went to a presentation on pruning flowering shrubs. It was less interesting but I certainly did learn a few things about pruning. Lastly I went to a presentation by Kerry Ann Mendez on Gardening simplified. Don't know that she really simplified anything but she is an excellent speaker and was entertaining.

Don & Kirk Brown
It was then back to the hotel for an evening of phone calls and writing. Looking forward to tomorrow and new information.

Thursday

I went to two presentations today by Kirk Brown. Both were excellent. The first was a container wars demonstration and he did a great job and won the competition. I didn't think it was really any contest. The other presentation was "A Visit from Frederick Law Olmsted". Olmsted is considered the father of American landscape architecture. The presentation was interesting and entertaining. I had no idea who Olmsted was until this presentation. I really like Kirk Brown.

I attended pieces of other talks. All of them were on flower or specialty gardens. Maybe I will be able to use the information in the future. They were of little use to my 2018 gardening plans. I also attended Cool Plants for Cold Climates by Brenda Adams. Her talk was very informative but again for my immediate future in gardening I don't think it was useful. I did enjoy it and will purchase her book by the same name as the presentation.

Tomorrow is another day. There is a spectacular Amazon building just down the street. I will probably take that in tomorrow morning.

Friday

I went to two demonstrations today. Both were on bees, pollinators. One was by Paige Embry the author of Our Native Pollinators. The other was by James Ullrich owner of Knox Cellars Mason Bees. I did purchase Embry's book and will enjoy reading it. I am considering purchasing some mason bees to put in the garden. They will not really compete with the honey bees already there. They work the plants differently and are not nearly as prolific. They should also survive the winter. I have ordered a book to read and then will make the decision. There were no other presentations I was really interested in so I left the festival at about 3:30 today.

I did go to the Amazon Understory this morning. The public can only go into the lobby. I was pretty disappointed. The habitat is only open to employees. It was designed for the employees so it seems fitting they would have access and not the public.

Amazon Understory
This pretty much wraps up the trip. I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot. I don't know if I will come back to the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival just to attend it again. If I can make it part of another trip that would be more likely.  I did come up with a couple of potential speakers for the 2019 Alaska Master Gardener Conference in Anchorage. I am looking forward to sharing some of my ideas with the committee.

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