A bounty of berries in a pot and seminars at the garden show
Garden writer Ciscoe Morris on growing berries in a pot and on seminars at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
Special to The Seattle Times
Northwest Flower & Garden Show Opening-Night Party: 5-9 p.m. Feb. 4. Buffet dinner, wine bar, live music, auction and an early peek at the display gardens. Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle; $145 members, $165 nonmembers, benefit for the Washington Park Arboretum (www.arboretumfoundation.org).
Northwest Flower & Garden Show: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Feb. 5-8, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 9. Display gardens, marketplace and seminars. Ciscoe Morris speaks Feb. 6 and 8. Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle; $22 general admission, various discounts on website, age 12 and under free (www.gardenshow.com).
Plant Amnesty Master Pruner Series: Pruning Roses: 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 9. Sand Point Magnuson Park, Building 406, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle; $20 general public, $15 PlantAmnesty members, $5 horticulture college students and native Spanish speakers, no preregistration necessary (www.plantamnesty.org).
In the Garden
If you’re frustrated because you love raspberries and blueberries but lack adequate garden space for a berry patch, give one or more of the newly introduced BrazelBerries a try.
Hardy to 20 below, BrazelBerries grow only 1 to 3 feet tall and wide, the perfect size to grow in a pot, yet these small shrubs produce an abundance of delicious fruit.
‘Raspberry Shortcake’ grows about 3 feet tall with thornless canes that require no staking or trellising. The red raspberries are full-sized and sweet. Give it a sunny location, water whenever the soil feels dry and work about a cup of organic vegetable food into the soil every March.
In summer, once the fruiting is finished, prune out the canes that produced fruit, leaving the new canes that grew up during summer. They’re the ones that will produce fruit the following year.
The two blueberry BrazelBerries now available grow only about 2 feet tall and wide. ‘Jelly Bean’ pumps out gazillions of large, very sweet, midseason fruit. The leaves on this deciduous variety turn spectacular shades of red in fall.
The other variety, ‘Peach Sorbet,’ is so named because in spring the newly emerging leaves range in color from peachy pink to fiery orange. The fruit is delicious, but ‘Peach Sorbet’ would be worth growing in a prominent location for its ornamental value alone.
When temperatures drop, the evergreen leaves turn a rich eggplant purple and remain strikingly beautiful all winter long. Look for BrazelBerries at the Raintree Nursery booth at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
The Northwest Flower & Garden Show is the second biggest show of its type in North America, but even more impressive is the fact that it offers more seminars than any other garden show in the world, and they’re all free once you’ve paid the price for a ticket.
The problem is that there are more than 100 from which to choose. A good place to narrow your search is to visit the show website — www.gardenshow.com — where you’ll find a schedule of all of the seminars and a legend with symbols to guide you to topics on edible gardening, small-space living and seminars geared to new gardeners.
There’s also a search function to help you find a specific speaker or topic. If you’re new to gardening, make sure you check out the seminars offered on the DIY (Do It Yourself) Stage. That’s where skilled experts give hands-on practical demonstrations on topics ranging from pruning to propagation and everything in between.
No matter what level of gardening you’re at, it’s usually a good bet to attend a talk by one or more of the three world-famous horticultural luminaries the show brings in to judge the gardens. Their talks are guaranteed to be educational, inspiring and entertaining.
Of course, we have some world-class speakers in our area as well. Don’t miss “Plant Crack for Plant Junkies” by Kelly Dodson and Sue Milliken of Far Reaches Farm, and “Good Weed” by plant explorer Dan Hinkley. If you’re into color and combinations, you’ll want to catch “Perfect Pairs” by Nita-Jo Rountree, or “Walk to the Garden,” by Mary Flewelling Morris.
Ciscoe Morris: firstname.lastname@example.org “Gardening With Ciscoe” airs at 10 a.m. Saturdays on KING 5.
About Ciscoe Morris
Ciscoe Morris' column runs Thursdays. His show "Gardening with Ciscoe" airs at 10 a.m. on Saturdays on King 5.