We are having a good old fashioned Okanagan winter my friends.
Still not old fashioned prairie weather like we had in ’49-’50 or ‘64-‘65 but it certainly is coming close and it’s not over yet.
I’m anxious to see how much effect it will have on plant material in the garden as I’m sure we will see some damage to certain marginal species: Hybrid Tea roses, Laurel and some of the newer Weigela varieties for example.
At this point in time the only thing we can do is wait a couple of months for the final results.
Oh, but wait. There is something we can do which may not directly save any vulnerable plants from the ravages of winter but it will offer some psychological assistance in dealing with the winter gardening doldrums.
For many of us, taking the four-day round trip to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle in February is the best way to kick off any spring, gardener or not.
The trip consists of the ride to Seattle on the 23rd of February arriving just in time for happy hour.
Once registered into the Best Western Executive Inn in downtown Seattle we are on our own for the evening when we can, depending on the weather, walk about the city to explore.
The hotel is very close to the famous Space Needle which is a great way to view Seattle.
In the morning, we get up to a complimentary breakfast served at the hotel and then it’s off to the Flower Show.
This wonderful show has been held every year beginning in 1989 and it has the distinction of being the largest event of its kind west of the Mississippi, and the second largest garden show in North America.
Each year the show presents a different theme and this year it is The taste of Spring celebrating food, organic and urban gardening, sustainability, and a variety of culinary experiences, including outdoor dining.
You will find the region’s top garden designers and landscape firms embracing the theme with their dramatic display gardens.
It’s a rich palette of colour and light, with thousands of blooming flowers and exotic plants giving show-goers a sneak preview of spring.
The growers and nurserymen spend the weeks leading up to the show forcing plants into bloom just for the event so anyone wanting to touch and smell the roses can do so even when we still have winter in the Okanagan.
As well as the huge landscape displays there is a complimentary Small Space Showcase presenting innovative, idea-generating small space and container gardens for those seeking inspiration for gardens on their deck, patio and terrace.
The artistry of the area’s top floral designers is spotlighted in the Floral Competition, with lavish displays of artfully arranged blooms.
Highlights of the show include six acres of display gardens all in a comfortable indoor setting.
There are 110 gardening seminars in theatre settings so they can be enjoyed in comfort.
Over 300 vendors with everything from cool plants to unique funky garden ornaments and fixtures are in the mix with the hottest new gardening related products.
We spend two full days at the show as well as the evenings, however you are on your own to take a walk down to Pikes Market with abundant shopping along the way or even take a side tour to the Boeing plant or the world famous Chihuly Garden and Glass displays.
On Sunday, we board the bus for the trip home.
Once across the border we drop in to Minter Country Gardens to have a complimentary lunch and a visit with Brian Minter.
From there it’s back home to the Okanagan over the Coquihalla connector.
To join me on this great trip call Sun Fun Tours (250) 763-6133.
Listen to Don Burnett and Ken Salvail every Saturday Morning from 8am to 10am presenting the Garden Show on AM 1150 now in its 34th year.