Gardens of the World – come for FREE!

It's that time of year when Seattle-ites go into season-denial. Sure it may be snowing or raining outside, but within the walls of the Washington State Convention Center the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the air is perfumed with the heady spring time mix of hyacinths, daphne and sweetbox (Sarcococca). It's Show Time!

Yes in just a few more weeks the Northwest Flower and Garden Show will be back in full swing. Forget Disney – to gardeners this is surely the best show on earth! And the theme this year is Gardens of the World.

What you'll see

One of the 2018 display gardens that caught my attention last year

There are 20 display gardens to captivate your imagination and transport you to the gardens of Italy, Asia, and The British Isles to name just a few, all created by some of the regions top landscape designers.

Dreaming of recreating the invigorating alpine scenery of a recent trip? Then you’ll want to see Escape to the Mountains – a retreat with “altitude” by Adam Gorski Landscapes Inc. I can't wait to see the plant selection for this one.

Personally I’m intrigued to see Notting Hill Modern English Garden created by Folia Horticultural and Design – if only because that’s one of my favorite Hugh Grant movies! Join me for a peak into this artsy London neighborhood to see how the designers interpret this contemporary style using symmetry and non-plant elements.

Take heart if you don’t have an outdoor space  as Patterns of Peace on Earth by West Seattle Nursery has the perfect display garden for you inspired by the tropical forests and sandy beaches of Ghana. This distinctive paradise will give you ideas for creating the perfect indoor vacation.

You can read about ALL the display gardens here.

What you'll learn

After traveling around the globe you'll be ready to sit for a while so take advantage of one of the 100 free seminars on offer. Speakers include world class notables such as Richard Hartlage and Charles A Birnbaum, top notch “out of town” speakers including Melinda Myers, Nicholas Staddon, C Colston Burrell, and CL Fornari and lots of your local favorites including the one and only Ciscoe Morris, Sue Goetz, Richie Steffan, and your favorite deer-challenged, foliage-first designer: ME! I'd love you to join me for my talk The Squish Factor: Designing Abundant Containers on Sunday February 24th at 4.30pm in the Rainier Room.


And be sure to check out the fun Container Wars competition MC’d by my good friend, gardening columnist and television host Marianne Binetti will have you laughing while you learn.

What you'll want to buy

Delicious food and a glass of wine will soon revive you sufficiently to shop from the thousands of garden-related treasures in the Marketplace.

Win two tickets

I'd love you to be a part of this great show and so I'm offering a pair of tickets that can be used on any day of the show. To enter just leave me a comment below telling me where in the world you'd most like to go and why. I'll draw a random name on Tuesday January 29th at 9am PST and mail the tickets straight out to you.

Boring rules that have to be stated: comments must be left below, not on an image and not on social media (that just gets too complicated!) You'll have 48 hours to respond to my email telling you that you've won, after which I'll draw another name. Finally, all entrants must currently live in the USA or Canada.

Visit England for Real!

Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire England

Touring the Chatsworth Estate: Karen & Andy Chapman

Have you always dreamed of visiting England? Would you like to join me on an adventure there next year? Read more about my upcoming tour

“Secret Gardens, Iconic Estates and Medieval Tales of Yorkshire and Derbyshire”

and sign up here to notified of updates as they become available and the opportunity to register. I'd love to share "my England" with you.

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  1. Dana Jorgenson on January 22, 2019 at 7:30 am

    I most want ti ho to the U.K. to see. My ancestors' history, and to see the gardens!

    • Karen Chapman on January 22, 2019 at 9:49 am

      You'd enjoy a trip to England for sure!

  2. Diane Nichols on January 22, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Netflix has introduced me to Monty Don "coaching" amateur gardeners. He sent a couple of them to the Chelsea garden show for inspiration. So now that is on my travel bucket list as well! Thanks for the chance to enter your drawing for tickets to our NW show. I also live in deer country and enjoy your tips on dealing with critters.

    • Karen Chapman on January 22, 2019 at 10:19 am

      Hi Diane – I love his programs too and am treating myself to a visit to Chelsea next year before I lead a tour of gardeners to Yorkshire and Derbyshire! I decided it was time to just "do it"! Thanks for entering

  3. Cathi Lamoreux on January 22, 2019 at 10:57 am

    I would love to go to Scandinavia. I know the growing season is really short, but the landscape is gorgeous. I would also love to go to New Zealand, especially at this time of the year when they are experiencing summer.

    • Karen Chapman on January 22, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      Oh what exciting ideas! I'm very tempted by New Zealand too!

  4. suzanne kalish on January 22, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I also want to go the UK to renew my love of everything British and the lovely gardens there– saw many of them in the 90s– have they changed?

    • Karen Chapman on January 22, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      Well of course Andy and I hope you'll join us to see for yourself Suzanne! I'd say the essence of an English garden remains unchanged yet at the same time I have seen new ideas embraced yet given a distinctly English twist. The interpretation of meadow style planting at RHS Harlow Carr was a great example and I think we'll see that at Scampston too

  5. Jo-Ann on January 22, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    So many gardens, so little time. If I must choose, it would be Sicily and the lovely gardens in Taormina. Of course, family roots in that region will always be a 'place to call home.' I, too, am drawn to the UK and a view over a garden gate is rarely disappointing. Familial roots in Sicily and the UK add a special interest to explore both regions.

    • Karen Chapman on January 22, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      I knew you'd say Italy!! Good luck

  6. Kim Van Atta on January 22, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    I want to go to Japan to ski! And to visit their tranquil gardens.

    • Karen Chapman on January 22, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      That sounds like two trips to plan for!

  7. Lisa Melton on January 22, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    I have always wanted to see Kew Gardens, and the castle Gardens of Scotland, so Britain is first on my list!

    • Karen Chapman on January 22, 2019 at 9:31 pm

      I hope to visit Kew next year when I'm back in London -it's years since I've been! Great choices.

  8. Margo Leishman on January 22, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    I've always wanted to go to Spain and see the Alhambra, as well as their plant palettes.

    • Karen Chapman on January 23, 2019 at 9:20 am

      What a fabulous idea !