February 4, 2002
'Springtime gorgeous' in February
by Bronwyn Wilson
Senior Staff Reporter
For many, the winter doldrums could be setting in about now if it weren't for the 2002 Northwest Flower and Garden Show opening in Seattle Feb. 6-10. For five days, winter drops dead as spring bursts on the scene inside the Washington State Convention Center. "It's the place to go," says John Russell, owner of Russell Watergardens in Bothell. "It's so nice to go inside and get out of the bad weather. The first thing you smell are the flowers. You're transported from wintertime gray to springtime gorgeous." Russell, who is also a columnist for Northwest Garden News, is one of 27 landscape designers who will exhibit a full-size show garden. "We're going to have a working hot tub in the middle of a koi pond," says Russell. The garden's koi pond, he says, will have two "water-walls," each 8 feet wide and 7 feet high. On the other side of the pond, a 2-foot waterfall will cascade into a stream. A bridge over the pond leads to a spa pavilion that is bordered on two sides by five 4-inch waterfalls. Russell emphasizes, "The focus is on the water ... to give people ideas what they can do with water." And there'll be plenty of water to demonstrate. Forty thousand gallons will cycle through seven pumps of various sizes. The use of bright colorful flowers, like azaleas and tulips, plus a native mix of deciduous plants will highlight the watercourses. Koi in all sizes, even a 26-inch fish named Howard Huge, will swim throughout the pond providing entertainment.
"All of the show gardens are in the new part of the Convention Center," Russell explains.
To get to the gardens, showgoers cross a skybridge and enter a parklike setting where the 27 gardens will be on display. Russell says this year's Flower and Garden Show is twice the size it has been in past years. "It's not quite so crowded," he adds.
In addition to the classic, contemplative, even whimsical show garden exhibits, there will be numerous other attractions. A theatrical performance will feature the wit of the late garden writer Beverley Nichols in "Tea & Beverley." There will also be several new features, such as a "Cool Plant Corner" with out-of-the-ordinary plants for sale and a floral themed art gallery. Returning show favorites include the Orchid Pavilion, Bonsai, Great Plant Picks, Ikebana, and the Children's Garden's.
Tickets for the Northwest Flower & Garden Show can be purchased at the following area nurseries: Cottage Creek Nursery and Molbak's in Woodinville and Bellevue Nursery, Ravenna Gardens and Smith & Hawken in Bellevue. Tickets are also available at the Made In Washington store at Bellevue Square or on-line at www.gardenshow.com. Ticket prices at the door: adults $18 and children (ages 4-11) $7. Hours: 9 am to 9:30 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.) and 9 am to 7 p.m. (Sun.) For further information, call 800-229-6311.