Don’t let the recent run of warmer weather fool you. We aren’t done with winter yet. We have had winters like this before and had the bottom fall out of the thermometer in early February. The daffodils may be poking the tips of their leaves out of the ground but they are just testing the weather. Just settle for raking leaves and doing some cleanup for now.
For you die-hard gardeners out there, I know that’s asking a lot. So here are a couple of options to channel that energy for now.
If you are up for a short-notice trip to Seattle, the revitalized Northwest Flower and Garden Show starts Wednesday and runs through Feb. 7, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The show’s theme this year is “Beauty and Functionality” with lots of displays and seminars on combining these two elements into beautiful gardens.
The seminar lineup includes three world-class garden luminaries who will also review and judge the display gardens: Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter in England; Andrea Cochran, a San Francisco- based landscape architect; and Roger Swain, author and former host of the Victory Garden. More than 350 vendors of all things garden will be there to further inspire you.
New this year for children is a butterfly exhibit, where the children can learn about the life cycle of these beautiful creatures and interact with them. Check out the full range of activities and revised entrance fees for children under 17 at www.gardenshow.com.
On the local scene, save Feb. 15, Presidents Day, for the Cabin Fever Gardening Symposium, A Winter Cure for Gardeners. The WSU Spokane County Master Gardeners are opening their vast storehouse of information and expertise to bring 16 workshops focused on gardening in the wacky and wonderful Inland Northwest climate. You won’t find this information on the general Web sites or in books or magazines. Registration deadline is Feb. 8.
The morning sessions will feature talks on organic vegetable gardening, basic flower gardening, alternative lawns, the ins and outs of gardening in the Inland Northwest, designing and building raised beds, propagation, pruning, and the lives of honeybees. The afternoon sessions will feature talks on growing and using culinary herbs, perennials, planting for wildlife, planning and using a greenhouse, growing fruits and berries, roses, landscape design and dealing with deer in your landscape. All the talks will be taught by local Master Gardeners and experts.
“It is a chance to get some good gardening education under your belt so you can fire up your imagination for those spring projects,” says Penny Simonson, coordinator of the Spokane Master Gardeners program.