Gardeners, rejoice! One of the Inland Northwest’s most highly anticipated events is back after a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus. I’m referring to none other than the Garden Expo, which is hosted by the hardworking, community-minded members of the Inland Empire Gardeners.
It will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene St. The Garden Expo will feature more than 250 garden-related businesses and organizations, informative seminars and demonstrations and food vendors to help you keep your energy level up. Best of all, admission and parking are free.
Attendees will want to head to Lair auditorium at 2:30 p.m. for a very special event. Popular Pacific Northwest gardening personality Ciscoe Morris will dare you to stump him with your questions. He will also be selling and signing his newest book, “Oh, La La! Homegrown Stories, Helpful Tips and Garden Wisdom.”
The Garden Expo, which is in its 21st year, is a plant shopper’s dream. There will be a wide variety of vegetable starts, flowers, succulents, alpine plants, natives, carnivorous plants, herbs, shrubs and aquatic plants. The show will host specialty nurseries from the Inland Northwest and Puget Sound.
This year’s newest plant vendors are Alpine Gardens (Springfield, Oregon), Burkland Gardens (Mount Vernon, Washington), Gray to Green Nursery (Coeur d’Alene) and Noname Nursery (Gaston, Oregon). Returning local vendors include Cedar Mountain Perennials, Desert Jewels Nursery, Elithorp Farm, Parks Place Plants, Pepper Paradise, Petal Pushers, Tall Grass Farms and Trellis and Table.
If you’re looking to spruce up your yard a bit, you’ll find garden benches and art, birdhouses, stained glass, stepping stones, windchimes and signs.
Take advantage of the opportunity to speak with local horticultural organizations such as the Spokane County Master Gardeners, the Inland Empire Dahlia Society, the Friends of Manito, the Inland Empire Water Garden & Koi Society, Spokane Orchid Society and the Inland Northwest Garden Railroad Society.
“The Inland Empire Gardeners is a general interest garden club dedicated to promoting the joys of gardening in the community,” president ViAnn Meyer explained. “We consider the Garden Expo to be our most important community service project, and it is managed completely by volunteers.”
The club’s 400-plus members have a wide range of gardening experience. They meet at 4 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month (except December) at Shadle Park Library, 2111 W. Wellesley Ave.
The following events will take place in the Spokane Community College Lair conference room:
10 a.m. – “Kokedama Art” with Samona Cranley, retired florist and Japanese floral culture enthusiast.
11 a.m. – “Mini Macrame Hanging Succulent” with Megan Monroe, owner of Crafted.
1 p.m. – “Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie Demonstration” with Sabrina Gonder of Get Healthy with Sabrina.
2 p.m. – “Hyper Local Cuisine” with Ricky Webster, owner of Rind and Wheat and Morsel and author of In the Kitchen With Ricky.
The following seminars will take place in the Spokane Community College auditorium:
10 a.m. – “The Story of Chickens” with Juan Juan Moses, Spokane Public Library’s Community Educator.
11:30 a.m. – “Gardening With Wildlife” with Sue Bockelman, the Plant Pro.
1 p.m. – “Gardening With Native Plants” with Robin O’Quinn, Eastern Washington University professor of biology.
2:30 p.m. – “Q&A Session: Stump the Chump” with Ciscoe Morris, gardening expert, author and TV and radio personality.
Susan Mulvihill is author of “The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch this week’s video at youtube.com/susansinthegarden.
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