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New products dazzle at Northwest garden show

Tamara Cullen of Spokane demonstrates The Roo gardening apron in her booth at the 25th annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle last month. (Susan Mulvihill)
Tamara Cullen of Spokane demonstrates The Roo gardening apron in her booth at the 25th annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle last month. (Susan Mulvihill)

I’ve recently returned from the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, which is each February at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The show is the perfect antidote to the midwinter blahs and a great way to jumpstart one’s enthusiasm for the coming season.

I viewed 23 stunning display gardens, learned gardening tips from seminar speakers and wandered through the booths of 300-plus exhibitors. It’s a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it.

At the show, I found some interesting new products worth sharing:

• The Roo gardening apron: Designed by Mark Williams of Spokane, this heavy-duty, machine-washable apron makes a great gardening tool. It has a large, water-resistant pouch that will hold harvested fruits and veggies, pulled weeds or prunings. The pouch easily releases so you can empty the contents. It is available at Ritter’s Nursery, 10120 N. Division St., Spokane. Watch a video of how it works at

• M Brace raised garden bed brackets: Those interested in raised-bed gardening might like this set of four corner brackets for creating any size bed. The brackets, made of recycled steel, come in 10 decorative designs in two different finishes. All you have to do is cut your boards to the desired length, set them into the channels within the brackets and you’ve got a bed. There are also smaller, colorful corner brackets to make beds for kids to garden in. To learn more, go to www.outdooressential or call (866) 910-9114.

• Earthpots: Biodegradable fabric sleeves for starting and planting your seedlings, Earthpots reduce transplant shock and eliminate the waste generated from using plastic pots. Some nurseries also sell plants grown in Earthpots. More information is available by going to or calling (800) 477-4744.

• Seed Ballz: These balls of clay and fertilizer, which are hand-rolled and packaged by people with developmental disabilities, contain seeds that sprout through the season. They offer lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, edible flowers, wildflowers, herbs and sunflowers. For more information, visit their website at or call (800) 398-0539.

• EarthBox: Modular Organics has created a growing system that has everything you need: a 29-inch-long container, casters to make it mobile, mulch covers, organic fertilizer and dolomite, and more. They also sell grow tents and greenhouses. Go to or call (425) 814-7977 for more information.

Here are two products made for gardeners who have difficulty bending or getting down onto their knees. They would also work well for those who have limited space:

• Elevated Patio Garden: This attractive, lightweight raised planter is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It is designed to be easy on a gardener’s knees and back, and is wheelchair-accessible as well. The planter looks elegant with its glossy-white paint and measures 48 inches long and 38 inches tall. It will hold 4 cubic feet of soil and has a built-in drainage system. You can view it at or call (866) 691-7816.

• The Little Greenhouse: Built in Kingston, Wash., these cedar garden boxes are raised on legs to make gardening easier. The cedar has been coated with multiple layers of fiberglass to keep the wood from rotting. Options include a twin-wall polycarbonate cover, grow lights, heat cables and wheels for the legs so the beds can be moved easily. Call (360) 710-1510 or for more information.

If you’ve never been to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, consider a trip to Seattle next February. I guarantee it will become an annual tradition.