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Originally published Friday, February 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM

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Here are some eco-friendly offerings at this year's NW Flower & Garden Show

Get a whiff of the upcoming growing season by visiting the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, Feb. 20-24.

Special to The Seattle Times

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IN JUST A FEW days, you can wander past bright blooming flowers and inhale the familiar scent of fresh soil. No, spring hasn't come early. But you can get a whiff of the growing season by visiting the annual Northwest Flower & Garden Show, which runs Feb. 20-24 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Some businesses will be showcasing items that promote sustainability, or are made using salvaged and recycled materials. We preview in this column a few of those eco-friendly options.

Little Mansions Designs will be displaying a greenhouse made in part from reclaimed materials, including vintage windows. The company's greenhouses encourage both city and country dwellers to grow their own food. Studio structures and custom designs also are available by order. Greenhouses start at $2,000, and the structures range in size from 6 x 8 feet to 10 x 12 feet. Visit www.artisanstructures.com to see more designs.

If you want to sink your hands into fresh soil or perhaps some compost, check out Pacific Topsoils' display. You'll find samples of topsoil made from recycled soil, and compost and mulch made from yard waste and cow manure. The company gets its materials largely from its customers, who can recycle yard waste and soil through Pacific Topsoils. The company even has a large herd of cattle that contributes to its compost-making operation. Products range in price, starting around $20 to $30 per cubic yard for materials. More at www.pacifictopsoils.com.

Cedar Grove also will have a variety of compost blends available at the show. The company diverts more than 350,000 tons of residential and commercial yard and food waste from landfills each year to make soil products. You can check out potting soil, a vegetable-garden mix, mulch and more — all made in part from the scraps in your food-waste bin. See www.cedar-grove.com.

Imagine growing herbs, vegetables and flowers without ever sinking a shovel into the ground. The Tower Garden and FOODYs products, both on display at the show, allow you to grow plants vertically, using less water and space than traditional backyard gardens. These units prevent water runoff and land degradation that can result from careless farming and gardening practices. They also help save on fossil fuels by encouraging people with no garden space to grow their own food. Tend many different vegetables and flowers, or plant one favorite crop. FOODYs range in price from $149 to $299, and the Tower Garden starts at $499. Online at www.towergarden.com and www.smarttogrow.com.

Dress up your yard with colorful metal artwork made from salvaged farm equipment. Marta Farris creates wreathes and flower designs from the faded, weathered metal that once was part of a tractor or other piece of equipment. Farris' husband, Steve Farris, finds scrap metal from all over Oregon and brings it back to be repurposed into artwork. Marta Farris' items range in price from $18 to $180. If you stop by and have your eye on a piece, be sure to ask her what it used to be. More at www.martafarris.com.

Run your fingers over the smooth surface of tiles made from 100 percent recycled glass from Bedrock Industries. The Seattle business recycles close to 100 tons of glass each year by hand-making tiles, glass curtains, mosaics and other gift items. Pieces range in price from $1 to $350. More at www.bedrockindustries.com.

Consider the iconic Pacific Northwest salmon when you swing by Oly Mountain Fish Compost, a company that creates organic compost blends from locally sourced yard waste, native hardwoods and Washington fish. Stop by and take a whiff; you shouldn't smell any fishiness! More at www.olyfish.com.

Michelle Ma is a Seattle-based freelance writer. She works for Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall.

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