Gardens on Parade!

Yesterday, while much of the city was distracted by a bit of Super Bowl celebrating, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show kicked off its annual celebration of all things flora at the Washington State Convention Center (Downtown, 7th Ave. & Pike St.; 206.694.5030;

The theme for this year's competition gardens is "Art in Bloom," and you'll find 23 artful displays that will wow, including one showcasing the glassy garden works of Seattle artist Ginny Ruffner. As well as a Small Space Showcase of container gardens and a floral design competition, there's the show's biggest-ever Marketplace, a shoppers' paradise containing some 350 exhibitors, from Molbak's and Monrovia, Plant Amnesty to Portgage Bay Grange (featuring a too-cute chicks pen).

This year's Seminar Series is also chock-a-block with gardening talent, from local author Debra Prinzing who puts on a "Flower School" (Fri., 9:30 a.m.) to a tasty Garden to Table Cooking Series to Dan Hinkley's "Good Weed" talk (10 a.m., Sat.). See the full line-up at:

Drop by the show until 8 p.m. tonight to get in a few hours of garden cruising, or make a full day of it on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Show hours: 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Thurs-Sat.; 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. Tickets: 1-day adult, $22; 2-day adult passes, $31; half-day tickets, $10; youth (ages 13-17), $5; children, free. Tickets can be purchased at the show, or online at:

Go, garden lovers!