Arts and Entertainment

See you at Sorticulture

This Friday through Sunday at Legion Park in the north end of Everett is the 11th annual Sorticulture, Everett's Garden Arts Festival part art, part horticulture. Sorticulture will showcase artists presenting a variety of handcrafted, locally-made garden embellishments, and specialty nurseries presenting a wide array of rare and unusual plants.

Sorticulture will feature some of the Northwest's noted garden personalities, demonstrations by local chefs using fresh and local ingredients, kids' activities, live acoustic music, and hundreds of ideas to create your own beautiful outdoor environment.

If you've never attended this event then you really should do so this year. I've been to every one of them as either a spectator, exhibitor or speaker and have always had a good time. Some years have been cold and windy and some have been blazing hot. I'd like to promise you sunshine this time around but with the way this season has gone I'd be crazy to do so. Let me just say that rain or shine you will not be disappointed.

Every year I manage to come home with something useful (or at least fun). One year I bought this contraption made from recycled beer bottle caps (Heineken to be more specific). It was a figure that jingle-jangled in the breeze and reflected light to scare off birds from your vegetables or fruit trees. Thinking of my brother in San Diego who just happened to be a Heineken salesman, it made a perfect birthday present for him.

Two years ago I nabbed a plant I have been wanting for some time, a Chinese Rice Paper plant, Tetrapanax papyriferus 'Steriodal Giant'. This is a bold tropical looking plant that I grew up with in Southern California. It was the perfect addition to my hardy tropical garden bed and it has established well in the past two years, in fact a little too well come to think of it. This spring I found it popping up 3-4 feet from the main stalk. I am thinking of digging them up and selling them back to the guy I bought the original one from (or at least trading him for something new and different).

The missus and I have brought home glass creations, rusty metal sculptures, ceramic wall plaques and who knows how many different plants. Our garden is adorned with trophies from past Sorticultures. It's kind of fun to walk around the yard and remember the time we bought this or that and try and recall who made it or even what we paid for it.

Beyond plants and garden accessories, there is the food. I've enjoyed the best pulled-pork sandwiches, tastiest wraps and delicious homemade fudge (and of course no festival would be complete without some kettle corn). A couple of years ago they added the beer and wine garden which was a stroke of pure genius. Nothing enhances the purchasing experience like a little libation. If you prefer a latte over the fruit of the vine, you can get that too, minus the scantily clad barista.

Throw in this mix some good local entertainment, educational seminars and your best friends and you've got the perfect recipe for a wonderful weekend of recreation. Bring that Economic Stimulus Check and plan to have a great time. And don't forget to bring your gardening questions for me to answer at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Here is some additional information.

Admission is free.

Park the car for free?at Everett Community College and ride Everett Transit to Sorticulture. Fare is 50 cents. Go green and ride the bus.

Sorticulture 2008

Entertainment Schedule:

Friday, June 20

2-3 p.m. Chef Larry Fontaine, Comcast Arena culinary demonstration.

2-4 p.m. Ranger and the Re-Arrangers Gypsy jazz and swing standards.

4-5?p.m. Sandy Mila container gardening demonstration.

5-7 p.m. Highwater Tide high-energy acoustic jazz, blues and originals.

Saturday, June 21

10 a.m.-noon Scott Conner, AM 1090 live radio broadcast -?"Gardening in the NW."

11 a.m.-noon Steve Smith, Sunnyside Nursery demonstration by the Whistling Gardener.

12:30-1 p.m. Paige Lizbeth how to make lavender lemonade.

Noon-2 p.m. Back Burner bluegrass, swing and Americana.

Noon-4 p.m. Colorful Events fantastical face painting.

2-3 p.m. Russell Lowell, RDL Catering culinary demonstration.

4-6 p.m. The Senate rock 'n' roll string band.

Sunday, June 22

11 a.m.-noon Janit Calvo, Two Green Thumbs miniature gardening demonstration.

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Real Folk soulful folk, blues, rock and bluegrass.

Noon-4 p.m. Colorful Events fantastical face painting.

1-2 p.m. -?Mary Robson "Thrills. Plants For Seasonal Excitement and Bird Attraction."

2-3:30 p.m. Ciscoe Morris "Fantastic Must-Have Plants" plus Q&A.

Steve Smith is owner of

Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville, a retail garden center that is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. You can reach Steve at 425-334-2002 or online at sunnysidenursery@msn.com.

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