Highlights of the NW Flower & Garden Show…Plus Shopping!

– Posted in: Garden Adventures, Garden Design, Garden Musings, Garden Travels

I recently travelled to the second largest flower and garden show in the US, in Seattle, to give two presentations. Here’s what I enjoyed  most—a subjective collection, to be sure, and one dependent on the capabilities of my iPhone’s camera. Even so, 25 photos is more than double the number I usually show in a GGW post. (I think it might have been the shopping that did it. I kept thinking, “I can’t bring this home, but at least I can show it to everyone!”)

White glass flower

A recurring theme of the display gardens was blown glass. Famed  artist Dale Chihuly’s studio is near Seattle, and his influence is everywhere. For example, this white glass flower in a green-and-white garden.


The Pacific Northwest is famous for salmon, so finding them swimming through a garden seems appropriate.


Don’t you love the way this display brought the weather indoors?

Pot Inc.

Designer Todd Holloway of Pot, Inc. in Vancouver, B.C. created a succulent garden in shades of blue on the convention center’s skybridge. He let me be part of the display while he took my photo.

Pitcher plants

Blown glass pitcher plants.


An artist standing at an easel in one of the displays painted this still life on the spot. (Note that the fruit are glass.)

Orange plate

Yet another glass flower.

Glass containers

Tillandsias (air plants) were included in numerous displays.

Bouquet labeled

For my DIY presentation, I made two bouquets: a dry (no-water) one consisting of red tillandsias, eucalyptus greens and wired succulent rosettes, with green split peas for ballast…

Wet bouquet

and one with water, consisting of wired echeverias, string-of-pearls and greens, plus roses that repeated the rosy red in the succulents.

DLB signing books

While signing  books, I chatted with people about growing succulents in their gardens. And whenever I got a chance, I went shopping. I’m a recreational shopper.

Above is the Dig garden boutique booth, which sold Pot, Inc.’s metal hanging containers. The owners were really nice and keen on succulents.

Blown glass

Not only was blown glass everywhere in the display gardens, it also was for sale.


It was fun to meet various artists in their booths. Many of them spend all year preparing for the show.


Look at these blown glass slugs! Do you think they’re cute or gross?


Garden-themed jewelry was everywhere.

Night lights

I love anything that plays with light, like these night lights.


I really liked this artist’s crystal-glazed pottery. She sells under the name of Juneberry. I bought a couple of small pieces from her—nothing as magnificent as this mirror.


Growing one’s own food is a big deal these days. But just how badly do you want to do it? This contraption will enable you to grow lettuce indoors in the dead of winter, regardless of where you live.

Glass balls

A bevy of blown-glass balls. Don’t they look like helium balloons?

Frog bowl

This pottery saucer has  little points (a frog) to hold stems upright.


The booth of one of Seattle’s most popular garden center’s, Molbak’s, had these.


Another booth sold repurposed objects, like this birdhouse made of a metal funnel, a tin of coffee, and a vegetable steamer.

Beetles And who doesn’t need a pair of big bugs? These measured more than 18 inches across.


Or goofy coiled, colored wires? Don’t these look like repurposed bed springs? Uh…OK.

So, what might have tempted you to try to carry home?


My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulents in gardens, containers and landscapes via blog postsnewsletterspublic speaking and workshopsphotosvideosmerchandise, and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardensand Succulents Simplified.  www.debraleebaldwin.com 

Debra Lee Baldwin
Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include thrifting, birding and watercolor painting. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
16 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Belinda February 21, 2014, 7:58 am

Hi Debra

Thanks for the nice posting. Looks like a fun time at the show. Spring is around the corner!

Carol February 21, 2014, 9:07 am

Thanks for these photos. Amazing to me that they were taken with an iPhone. Wish I could have gone to the show.

Lita Sollisch February 21, 2014, 9:17 am

I enjoyed your take on the NW Flower Show. Unfortunately, I’m here in Northeast and cannot attend. I’m interested in contacting the artists who created the fabulous colorful metal bugs. Any information would be helpful. Thanks!

Lita Sollisch

Cher Kondor February 21, 2014, 10:30 am

Thank you for the mini visit. It is great to see the wonder full sites at the NW Flower and Garden show. It looks fantastic! Please consider coming to the Pennsylvania garden Show of York 2015!

Beatrice Kendall February 21, 2014, 11:35 am

Thank you Debra for sharing the PNW show. I have been wanting to see it for some time now and it
was very nice to get a peek of it.

Tobie Schapiro February 21, 2014, 1:32 pm

Thank you, Debra for letting me be a recipient of Gardening Gone Wild. I get enormous pleasure from all of the issues. I also love two of your books which have a permanent place on my desk.

Cherie Smith February 21, 2014, 4:19 pm

Loved your coverage of the SW garden show-I’ve heard you mention this event before. After your sharing of generous thoughtful photos- I must go!!!
Many thanks!
Cherie Smith,
San Luis Obispo

Lisa at Greenbow February 22, 2014, 6:57 am

I love glass but not in the garden. I am too hard on it. I break everything glass outside. I do like those glass slugs. The only slugs I would want in my garden. I also like the beetles.

Audrey February 22, 2014, 8:39 pm

These pictures are really beautiful – I enjoyed them immensely! The show must have been a marvelous one. So sorry I missed it.

Kathy Spejewski February 24, 2014, 2:02 pm

I am so glad I found this blog post. I love glass garden art. I re-purposed vintage glass into beautiful glass garden flowers and find the blown glass flowers delightful. Thank you for posting your found treasures.

JardinsDeCharmebyKathy on Facebook

Mary Yee February 25, 2014, 9:01 am

Wow, Debra. Thank you. I felt like I was at the show. What a beautiful diversion at a time when we have mountains of snow everywhere (I live in Minneapolis, MN). I LOVED your bouquet with the tillandsias (and how clever to use dried peas as ballast).

Eve Vogelstein February 26, 2014, 12:13 am

I really enjoyed your pictures from the Seattle show. You really captured such fun, beautiful and creative exhibits. You’ve inspired me to go to the show in Philadelphia this weekend. I hope to see some of the exhibitors there. The theme this year is art and flowers. Seattle is a bit too far from Maryland but it’s great to see some highlights.

Joan Carroll, MG retired February 26, 2014, 9:25 am

Thanks for the lovely pictures.
Do most of my “traveling” now via desk chair.
The “bed bug” that was green reminded me of the
Japanese beetles in NY and the fig beetle that showed
up in my yard in Orange Co.

Lotus March 4, 2014, 1:42 pm

Hi Debra… It’s great to know we are just few exits away from sunny Oceanside, CA. Can’t wait to meet you in your Succulent paradise. Thank you for sharing these inspiring show pictures and as always, looking forward to read your next issue. The blown glass art – amazing!

I enjoy creating succulent dish gardens at the Mission San Luis Rey with some lovely skilled ladies… Hope to see you there one day soon, or maybe another special event.

Kim Smith March 8, 2014, 8:31 am

I loved seeing these pictures, and it only makes me wish I could come too. I like those slugs. Such a clever idea. All those blown glass flowers are really pretty, but definitely only for inside. I would hate to have one break in my garden.Thanks for allowing me to “take a tour” without being there.

Deborah Banks March 19, 2014, 4:50 pm

I love seeing your photos of the Seattle show. I was able to go this spring to the Philadelphia flower show. They had a great package deal that included 4 tickets to the show along with early admittance to the show on the opening Saturday. So for 3 hours I and 3 of my women friends wandered around with all the PHS members, enjoying the luxury of being able to see all the exhibits without the crowds. AND of course the shopping is more enjoyable then. One of the vendors (Its Cactus) had big steel bugs made in Haiti from steel drums. I got a dragonfly, a bee and a beetle. Very cool.

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