Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2012

Last year when I wrote about the Northwest Flower and Garden Show I talked a lot about how the gardens didn’t feature wildlife habitat, but could have easily done so and I featured specific examples. I also expressed hope that a nature organization would partner on a display garden. This year, my hope was realized with the Birdsong Garden, which was a partnership between the Washington Park Arboretum Foundation and Seattle Audubon. The garden aimed to illustrate the variety of bird habitat which can be found in the Washington Park Arboretum and featured many native plants including Indian Plum, Kinnikinnick, Evergreen Huckleberry, Red-flowering Currant, Salal, Salmonberry, Vine Maple and others. The corner of the garden replicated the habitat of Marsh Island, which was featured in Marsh Madness (Brackishology):: Marsh & Foster Islands and ‘the Fill’. There was also…

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Shoreline Wildlife Habitat Tour

The 2nd annual backyard habitat tour in Shoreline, an area just north of Seattle, was dubbed ‘Where Our Wild Things Are’ and presented six, certified yards. Shoreline is a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. The gardens ranged from just begun to established and featured highlights such as urban farming, accessibility and integrated family space. The tour was set up very nicely with not only the homeowner at each location, but a ‘habitat steward’ ready to welcome you and answer any questions. In addition, at each stop was an educational opportunity, individuals or groups who were available to talk about a variety of topics including habitat, plants, composting and even bats.

Habitat 1, the first habitat garden on the tour was a 23 year-old garden full of beautiful trees and wildflowers. The owner had a long interest in native plants enhanced by hiking and wildflower books….

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National Pollinator Week:: Roundup of Posts

Today marks the beginning of National Pollinator Week, a good time to think about pollinators. Many posts from The Metropolitan Field Guide have focused on pollinators, so to begin Pollinator Week, here is a roundup of the posts. Once you learn about pollinators, visit Pollinator Design and Butterfly and Moth Design for many resources to learn how to design for pollinators. (more…)

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Tukwila Backyard Habitat Tour

The 11th annual Tukwila Backyard Wildlife Festival took place last weekend in Tukwila, Washington. Tukwila has the distinction of being the first  community in the state of Washington, and only the fourth in the nation, to become certified by the National Wildlife Federation as Community Wildlife Habitat. In addition to yards, all of Tukwila’s schools were certified along with several businesses. The festival included a series of talks including topics on hummingbirds, pollinators and backyard habitat as well as booths set up by local organizations, an art show, kids activities and a garden tour.

Tukwila is located just south of Seattle at the intersection of two major highways, Interstates 5 and 405, and along the Duwamish River which flows to the north and empties into Elliott Bay. Toxic runoff from industrial sites, the airport and other sources have tainted the Duwamish River to the point that over…

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Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2011

Last weekend was the large Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. Running for four days, the show’s theme this year was Once Upon A Time…spectacular gardens with stories to tell. The show consisted of a large show garden area with over 20 individual gardens, a container garden display with over a dozen displays and funky junk gardens which are created by high school classes using reused materials. This year a high school senior had a full show garden display featuring reused materials called Paradise (to be) Regained, which was very impressive. While wildlife habitat is not often prominent in these shows, this year there was at least one seminar about backyard wildlife habitat and another about designing for pollinators. There was also a large marketplace which included many…

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Foragings:: The latest news, resources, designs and more

Interesting Nature


  • School of the Year Awards:: From the Big Wildlife Garden in the U.K. is a list of regional winners of the first Big Wildlife Garden School of the Year competition.
  • Gardens of Delight:: From the Deccan Herald is an article about corporate landscaping in Bangalore for wildlife habitat. Design theory is discussed and it is interesting to see that much of the principles of habitat design are the same in Bangalore as they are here in North America.
  • Biophilia: “An Innate Emotional Affiliation with Nature”:: From The Dirt blog discusses how people experience biophilia and how to use that in landscape design.
  • Creating wetlands in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor:: A video from the NBC Nightly News…

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