The theme of the NW Flower & Garden Show this year is “Sustainable Spaces Beautiful Places” so I was really expecting a lot of the show gardens and booths to showcase innovative ways for us to all make our gardens and public spaces more sustainable. So I was pretty surprised at the slim pickings I found on the day I attended.
The seminar schedule offered a few talks related to this subject, but none during the time I was attending. In fact, they seemed mostly to be clumped onto a single day instead of being spread throughout the week. Wonder why?
The very concept of a massive indoor garden show, where thousands of tons of plants, rocks, furniture, and sale goods are hauled in by gas-barfing trucks and then hauled back out again is, by nature, not very sustainable. In fact, it’s pretty wasteful! So the “theme” really felt like paying lip service to a hot topic without backing it up in reality.
I searched nearly in vain for any examples of edible plantings – a small container garden collection by local nursery Emery’s Garden was pretty much all there was, and although they did a great job of showcasing how beautiful vegetable planters can be, they were not in the high-profile “show gardens” space so they may not have had as much of an impact. (Caveat – at times the crowds were so thick that it could be I missed something!)
Aside from a few flower and veggie seeds for sale, there weren’t even very many food crop things to buy at the booths. I did see one kiosk of rhubarb starts and asparagus crowns, but I don’t think they were organic:
Raintree Nursery was there and they had a few things for sale, including mushroom-starter kits that could be fun to try someday. I do love shiitakes.
I was excited to go check out the “Green Living” section of the sale area but it was pretty small. Okay, unless I was really missing something, it was pathetic! One booth selling rain barrels,
some people offering lavender essential oil
and one lonely guy at a roofing booth – that was pretty much it. I hate to be cynical here, but if your whole show is supposed to focus on sustainability, it seems like there should have been a bit more. Did I miss some huge swath of the show because I was too frazzled to pull out the map and really study it?
I had hoped to come away with a lot of new ideas for how to set up areas of my garden to work more in harmony with the land and climate where it is sited. I guess I’ll just have to keep trolling the blogosphere and visiting the library! Did anyone else who attended find sustainable gardening products or ideas to take home? Please share, if so!