NW Flower and Garden Festival…canceled but not forgotten

“Normally”, (remember “normally”?), we’re talking about and looking forward to the annual Northwest Flower and Garden Festival in Seattle which takes place at the end of February. Sad to say it was Covid canceled   One of the most popular components of the show was the well attended seminars focusing on authors and their new books. This year’s show may have been canceled but determined garden writers haven’t stopped turning out wonderful antidotes to isolation. Never has armchair gardening been more important. Begin some armchair garden traveling with…


“Adventures in Eden, An Intimate Tour of the Private Gardens of Europe” by Carolyn Mullet

Private gardens are personal gardens. Visit some of the most beautiful ones in England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy through the eyes of Carolyn Mullet. These aren’t gardens you have read about over and over, they are gardens whose owners have created their own versions of paradise.  No two gardens are alike.

     Each garden comes with a readable description and a passel of beautiful pictures that typify each country. The gardens tend to be grand gardens, not backyard ones, but all of the photographed plants are ones we can grow here in the South Sound. One thing you might notice…lawns are almost non-existent.

     It’s not surprising that gardens in England are well represented.

      English gardens are favorite destinations for South Sound gardeners because of our similar climates and a great example of that is….


“The Modern Cottage Garden, A Fresh Approach to a Classic Style” by Greg Loades

Cottage gardens tend to have a reputation of being old fashioned. Throw a combination of heirloom annuals and perennials together and you have a cottage garden. 

     “Modern Cottage Garden” maintains that it’s ok to mix things up. Along with the cottage garden plants that have been grown and regrown for decades…mix in some of the newer, more trendy plants and see what happens.

     Prairie style gardening has been trending for many years, filled with swathes of ornamental grasses. Even if that’s not your style the author suggests adding some graceful grasses to update a traditional cottage garden. Experiment. Both annuals and perennials disappear for part of the year but adding ornamental grasses fills in the gaps when the garden is usually naked. Include more shrubs. Embrace change.

     The author encourages the use of containers and presents plenty of recipes for extending the seasons. Once again, all of the plants recommended can be grown in the South Sound.

     Return from touring well-established European gardens and go to a bittersweet story about a New England gardener who is…


“Uprooted” by Page Dickey

When circumstances cause you to leave a house and garden you have nurtured and loved for more than 34 years, how do you cope? One-way is to record as much as you can about it…sweet memories.

    Anyone who has made such a move will recognize the angst and the nostalgia of what you have left behind followed by the anticipation and excitement of where you you’re going.  

     Heartfelt and personal, “Uprooted” is a nostalgic memoir, an adventure and a lesson in enthusiasm all wound up in one well written book. Page Dickey is a garden writer who manages to infuse spirit into a very American story about moving and starting over. This one is also an audiobook.



“Adventures in Eden” by Carolyn Mullet Timber Press, Dec.2020, 319 p., $40

“Modern Cottage Garden” by Greg Loades, Timber Press, Sept. 2020, 212 p., $24.95

“Uprooted” by Page Dickey, Timber Press, Sept. 2020, 248 p. $27.95,