by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Some of the top landscape designers in Oregon will be on hand to show their talents at the 2014 Yard, Garden & Patio Show.This year’s spring gardening season will hit the Oregon Convention Center in Portland this weekend.

On Friday, Feb. 28, the annual Yard, Garden & Patio Show will stir everyone’s imagination with a palette of entertaining spaces, designs for meditation and relaxation, whimsical fairy features and edible gardens.

“Whether you aspire to create a yard with a waterfall, sustainable elements or floral and foliage features, this year’s Yard, Garden & Patio Show will inspire you to dream, while also teaching you how to make that dream garden a reality,” said Allan Niemi, director of events and education for the Oregon Association of Nurseries. “The Enchanted Food Forest, spaces for family and friends to gather, and other unique garden features will bring out the ‘outdoor designer’ in everyone, no matter how green their thumb is — or perhaps isn’t!”

Among the many features at the show will be outdoor cooking demonstrations from Portland-area restaurants, small garden vignettes and of course the main attraction: the Designers’ Challenge Showcase Gardens. Local landscapers will be creating seven gardens that incorporate solutions to common landscape challenges faced by Northwest gardeners.

“A value of a yard, garden and patio show is it can inspire people to see opportunity that they might be able to sneak into their own home,” said Drew Snodgrass, one of the owners of Dennis’ 7 Dees.

There will be sustainable living options, outdoor cooking classes from notable local chefs, edible gardens including a food forest, and free seminars geared to novice or master gardeners.

The main exhibit hall will be packed with hundreds of booths showcasing a variety of plants, gardening equipment, garden art, structures, decking, patios, and landscape professionals — everything needed for imagining, starting and completing gardening projects. Niemi added that there is a sustainable living theme at this year’s show.

“We are proud of our sustainability focus and encourage everyone to come and learn real, tangible things they can do to help our environment – literally in their own backyards,” he said. “From the seminars and demonstrations to the Urban Edible Garden and Cracked Pots artists, there are a plethora of ideas to inspire every level of gardener.”

Art showcased by the all-volunteer, non-profit organization Cracked Pots brings a total of 26 artists displaying hundreds of uniquely crafted and inspired pieces of art made from recycled items.

One of the artists, Oregon City resident Ben Dye, has carved out a niche creating drums from recycled propane tanks. He will also be unveiling a 12-foot tall dragonfly statue named St. George’s Horse at the show.

“We are delighted to be at the Yard Garden & Patio Show for our fifth year,” said Tess Beistel, co-founder of Cracked Pots. “We are featuring new artists, including some talented folks who make stunning jewelry or clothing from reused materials. Our artists truly turn trash into treasure.”

OMSI has returned to the show with their popular Kids Digs area, which provides a place for children of all ages to “dig in” with hands-on activities.

There will also be a wine and beverage garden to allow people to take a break and ponder how to incorporate the landscaping concepts at the show into their own garden.

“There are so many exciting elements to the show that will speak to those living in small or large spaces. The entire weekend is packed with surprises and experiences for the whole family,” said Niemi.

2014 Yard, Garden & Patio Show hours and ticket info

• Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28-March 1, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• The Oregon Convention Center is at 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland.

• $12 for adults; children 12 and younger are free.

• Additional info:

The Oregon Association of Nurseries in Wilsonville represents more than 900 wholesale growers, retailers, landscapers and suppliers. Oregon’s ornamental horticulture industry is the state’s largest agricultural commodity, with annual sales of $742 million. More than 74 percent of the nursery plants grown in Oregon are shipped out of state. For more information,

visit or call 503-682-5089.

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