First Sign of Spring: The NW Flower and Garden Show

February 22 – 26 at the Washington State Convention Center

Just when we need it most, the NW Flower and Garden Show arrives each February to provide us with a breath of spring air; providing inspiration, education and motivation for gardeners – new and old. Whether in a backyard, flower box, or rooftop, this is where green lovers go to discover ideas while having fun.

Embracing the upcoming show’s theme, “Taste of Spring”, this year some of the Northwest’s most respected designers will incorporate elements of the theme into big, blooming gardens, as the show celebrates food, trends in organic and urban gardening, sustainability, and a variety of culinary experiences, such as outdoor dining.

In addition to the regular show, which includes grand garden exhibits, seminars, and the very popular Garden Wars, they have added a tasting room in the Marketplace, a container garden contest, and a garden-themed baking competition for local bakeries.

Tasting Corner

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The Tasting Corner will feature samples (and sales) from local merchants that specialize in gourmet food products of the Pacific Northwest, including infused oils and salts, floral elixirs and honey.

Container Wars

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Master Gardeners are tasked with creating three luscious planted containers—each drawing from identical plants—in under one hour. Container gardens are a fabulous addition to any outdoor space, be it a small deck off your condominium or part of the landscape in your backyard.

Bouquet of Cakes

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The cakes will feature artistic, unique and celebratory special event cake designs inspired by elements of flowers and gardens.

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Whether you are a new gardener in need of sensible advice or a seasoned pro, you’ll find scores of inspiring seminars and hands-on demonstrations filled with valuable education and entertainment. Dig in and learn how to solve your landscaping challenges, create livable outdoor spaces, and grow edible gardens for year-round enjoyment.

Winter Gardening – Preparing For Spring

During this time of year when the holiday activities have faded and foliage everywhere is bare, many of us tend to get restless in anticipation of the arrival of spring. Master Gardeners know that gardening during the winter (climate permitting) is therapeutic for your garden and your soul.

Getting a jumpstart on planning, prep work and keeping perennials safe and warm during these months will pay off when warmer temperatures arrive with the first buds of spring. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to get you back into the garden now and keep your cabin fever at bay.

  • Rework your garden design. Were there areas last year that didn’t provide enough sun to some plants and too much to others? Was there wasted space that you’d like to incorporate this year?

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  • Start a garden journal to record your seed/plant orders and keep track of progress on your garden design. Sketch your garden design and decide which plants should be planted in zones based on full sun, partial sun and full shade.

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  • Shop local nurseries for asparagus roots, strawberry plants, and bare-root roses and fruit trees. These can be planted as soon as the ground is no longer frozen.

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  • Top-dress lawns and garden beds with compost and cover root crops still in the ground with an extra layer of mulch.

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  • Sow beets, carrots, radishes, cress, bok choy, and garden peas directly in the garden; cover the planting rows with dark compost to warm the soil.

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  • Sow seeds of herbs, such as dill and parsley in a greenhouse or sunny window. Veggies starts like tomatoes can also be done this way, rather than buying the starts later.

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  • Sow seeds of annual flowers (delphiniums, snapdragons, and larkspur are good choices) anywhere you want flowers for cutting or as a background for other plants.

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  • Feed the birds and provide them with some unfrozen water.

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  • Finish pruning trees, perennials and roses.

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  • Sit back and dream. Your work now will lay groundwork for a gorgeous garden later!

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8 DIY Fire Pits to Get Your Yard Ready for Summer

 

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It might not be exactly tropical in your neighborhood yet. But for many of us, it’s finally warm enough to start daydreaming about summer. And that means thinking about getting the yard ready for cookouts, ball games, and gatherings under the stars.

If you’re thinking about the changing seasons, think about making your own fire pit. This popular backyard feature is surprisingly easy to construct, and will bring your outdoor living to the next level. Make a quick trip to the hardware store, grab the kids to help out, and you can have one of these gorgeous backyard features by this weekend!

1. Stone-Topped Fire Pit

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DIY Network

 

2. Upcycled Lantern Fire Pit

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House & Fig

3. Concrete Bowl Fire Pit

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ManMade DIY

4. In-Ground Organic Fire Pit

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Laura Catherine

5. Glass and Metal Mini Fire Pit

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The Art of Doing Stuff

6. Raised Brick Paver Fire Pit

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Bridgman

7. Mini No-Wood Fire Bowl

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8. Fire Pit Patio (With Bench!)

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Instructables

Are you thinking of adding a fire pit to your yard this year? Is it warm enough in your town yet to even think about spending the evening making s’mores?

 

This article originally appeared on Porch.com

Written by Jacqui Adams

  Porch.com is the free home network that connects homeowners and renters with the right home service professionals.

 

This blog was posted on the Windermere.com.

How to Decorate a Rental

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Abiding by rental rules is important, but so is style and making a house feel more like a home. Thus, we’ve put together a little list for you to help personalize your home, while still insuring you get your security deposit back by the end of it.

Storage – Let’s be honest, rentals often lack sufficient storage place, and since custom cabinetry isn’t usually an option for renters, investing in some added storage is key. Add some simple shelves, bookshelves, baskets, or under the bed storage.

Blinds – Vertical blinds may be the ultimate decorating sin. No one likes feeling as if they’re living in a motel room. We suggest you either take them down or hide them under curtains. Just don’t throw them out or you may not get your security deposit back!

Accessorize – Pillows, throws, candles, books, light fixtures… the only way to get a truly genuine space. This is by far the easiest and a MUST.

Wall Art – Those pesky holes might keep you from hanging art or photos on your walls, but when it comes down to it, they’ll only take a few minutes to patch up when it comes time to move out. This doesn’t mean you have to hang an entire art gallery, but hanging one statement piece and placing the rest of the photos on a mantel or shelf should do the trick.

Rugs – Last but not least, rugs: the peanut butter to your rental jelly. If there are scratched hardwood floors or stained carpets, you can cover those up easily with a throw rug. Not only that, a rug is a great investment piece that will add your personal flavor to any space. And they absorb noise and make a room feel comfy.