The answer to many of the new year’s resolutions can be found in gardening

The Compleat

Home Gardner

Marianne Binetti will speak at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, 10 a.m. Feb. 21 on “New Plants for Old Gardens” and at 2 p.m. Feb. 22 on “Garden Thunder from Down Under.” The show is at the Washington State Convention Center at Seventh and Pike in downtown Seattle. For more information go to

The second week of February is the time to check in on the progress of New Year’s resolutions – and realize that gardening is the answer to all your self-improvement goals.

Did you resolve to lose weight last month? Get more exercise? Save money? Experience less stress? These are the most common resolutions and the easy answer to them all – plant a garden.

The Northwest Flower and Garden show runs Feb. 18 through Feb. 22 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle and this show marks the official start of spring for area gardeners. This year can also mark the first day of the rest of your life as a gardener when you jump-start your self-improvement goals by taking in this huge show.

Lose Weight! Get More Exercise!

This show covers six acres with show gardens, seminars, shopping, food, Sproutopia (a place for kids) and beauty all around you. Wear your walking shoes and don‘t worry about the weather. This entire show is indoors.

By being inspired to plant a garden this year you’ll also be making a commitment to regular outdoor activity and burning calories. Gardening is a weight-bearing exercise that helps promote better balance, stronger bones and muscle mass. One hour of weeding burns 300 calories. So dig in, get fit, plant a garden.

Save Money! Make good Investments!

OK, tickets to the NWFG show aren’t cheap ($20 each) but you can go online ( to take advantage of group discounts, half-day discounts and youth discounts. Going to the garden show is a great investment when you consider how many hours of enjoyment and education you’ll get. Plenty of dedicated hort-heads get the discounted two or three day ticket so they can see all the gardens and sit in on several seminars. You’ll also be able to buy bulbs, plants, gifts, pots and all types of gardening gizmos for dirt cheap. There’s lots of vendors so lots of competition and plenty of “Garden Show Specials.”

Find your inner bliss!

Gardening is a great reliever of stress and anyone that leaves the world a more beautiful place knows how to create a more meaningful life. By sitting in on a garden show seminar you’ll be inspired by topics that range from pruning roses to creating a garden inspired by New Zealand. I’ll be speaking at 10 a.m. Feb. 21 and 2 p.m. Feb. 22.

New Plants for Old Gardens and

Garden Thunder from Down Under

These are both my topics for this year’s show and I’ll be giving tips for improving old, crowded gardens with new, improved plants and explain how to age graceful with your garden. My talk on “Garden Thunder from Down Under” will turn your garden upside down as I share design ideas, exploits, and plants from the under side of the globe.

• • •

Marianne Binetti has a degree in horticulture from Washington State University and is the author of “Easy Answers for Great Gardens” and several other books. For book requests or answers to gardening questions, write to her at: P.O. Box 872, Enumclaw, 98022. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a personal reply.

For more gardening information, she can be reached at her Web site,

Copyright for this column owned by Marianne Binetti.

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