In the Garden: It’s time for Garden Expo, the biggest gardening show in the region

We Inland Northwest gardeners should take a moment to reflect on how lucky we are. Why? We have Garden Expo, the biggest and best annual garden event around. Sponsored by Spokane’s largest garden club, the Inland Empire Gardeners, it takes place at Spokane Community College’s Lair Student Union building on Saturday .

In addition to free admission and parking, the organizers offer interesting and educational demonstrations and seminars throughout the day.

Now in its 22nd year, this event is put on by gardeners, for gardeners. Residents and visitors alike are fortunate that an occasion of this magnitude is even possible.

“The Garden Expo is the brainchild of the Inland Empire Gardeners, a local nonprofit club that organizes the Expo annually for the gardeners of Spokane as a public service,” club president ViAnn Meyer said.

This year’s theme is “A feast for the senses!” which is appropriate when you take in the breadth of offerings.

Over 250 vendors will be selling a wide variety of plants, gardening products and services. Examples of local vendors include Sculptured Gardens, Tall Grass Farms, Trellis and Table, Cedar Mountain Perennials and Vicki’s Garden Center. New plant vendors include Alpine Gardens from Springfield, Ore.; Burkland Gardens from Mount Vernon, Wash.; Gray to Green Nursery in Coeur d’Alene; and Noname Nursery which is based in Gaston, Ore.

If you’re looking for something special to dress up your garden, many vendors offer unique garden art such as mosaics, wind chimes, glass products, metal works, stepping stones, lighting, planters, furniture and wood products. New arts and crafts vendors are Bayview Welding & Art from Everett, Wash., Southbound Ceramics of Milwaukie, Ore., The Red Penguin from Emmett, Idaho, and Sandpoint Teak from Ponderay, Idaho.

Other shopping options include garden apparel, birdhouses and feeders, books, tools and pond supplies. As you stroll through the booths, remember that May 14 is Mother’s Day.

Several horticultural organizations will be on hand to answer your questions. The Spokane County Master Gardeners, Inland Empire Dahlia Society, the Friends of Manito, Inland Empire Water Garden & Koi Society, Spokane Orchid Society and the Inland Northwest Garden Railroad Society look forward to chatting with you.

If you’d like to learn more about the Inland Empire Gardeners, be sure to visit their website at

Susan Mulvihill is author of “The Vegetable Garden Problem Solver Handbook” and “The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook.” She can be reached at [email protected]. Watch this week’s video at

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