Longtime event makes one final run

Several Redmond businesses will be featured at the final run of the nation’s second-largest flower show, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. It happens Feb. 18-22 at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

Marc Lagen

Several Redmond businesses will be featured at the final run of the nation’s second-largest flower show, the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. It happens Feb. 18-22 at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

More than a million-and-a-half people have attended the show since its inception 21 years ago, but this is the end of an era. The organizers at Salmon Bay Events have chosen to move on to other pursuits. The theme of this year’s show is “Sustainable Spaces. Beautiful Places.”

Among Redmond exhibitors is Durable Plastic Design, 17725 NE 65th St., Suite A-100, known for its Orcaboard brand of “lifetime outdoor products for contemporary living.”

Owner Marc Lagen explained that the products such as benches, picnic tables and waste bin surrounds are made of recycled, high-density polyethylene, put through a very controlled process to keep colors and quality the same. They mostly use milk jugs because they’ve never been dyed or bleached. Because they’re so natural, they’re very desirable and therefore, more expensive than products made of PVC.

However, they’re guaranteed to last for 50 years, without splintering, cracking, rotting or fading. The products are seen at many schools, residences and government properties. Probably the most popular is the raised-bed garden kit.

“From now ‘til the end of July, we can’t make them fast enough,” said Lagen. They’re popular worldwide and “we own Hawaii” because salt water and volcanic ash are so corrosive, he noted.

“In the last three years, the green aspect has really picked up a lot of steam. You hear it in elections, in the stimulus package, converting government buildings to be greener. We’ve been doing this all along.”

It’s not just about “turning garbage into gold” but having real durability, attractiveness and environmental responsibility, he noted. For more information, visit www.orcaboard.com.

Another Redmond exhibitor, Plant Stand, Inc., 8533 152nd Ave. NE (in the Works Industrial Park) originated in New Zealand and came to the United States in 1997. Its main products are the Down Under Plant Stand and Down Under Plant Caddie.

The former is a sturdy, invisible plant stand that keeps potted plants from leaking onto and staining carpets and decks. It comes in 12-inch and 16-inch versions and can be cut down to other sizes as needed.

The caddie supports up to 500 pounds and features built-to-last nylon/steel wheels, with a locking feature on one of the wheels to steady it.

Plant Stand, Inc. owner Bob Gillingham used to be a carpet cleaner and saw the problems associated with setting plants directly onto floors, he said. He still sells his products in New Zealand and Australia but also distributes them nationwide to U.S. garden centers. Local stores carrying the products include the Gray Barn in Redmond, Bellevue Nursery and Molbak’s in Woodinville. They’re also available through his Web site at www.eskimo.com/~bobg/index.html.

Other Redmond exhibitors at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show are Bamboo Gardens of Washington, Chinook Compost Tea, Heritage Makers, Keep It Simple, Inc., King County Iris Society and Seattle Tree Fruit Society.

Admission, which includes entrance to gardening seminars, is $20 for adults; $9 for students 25 and under with valid ID; $4 for kids ages 6-7; and free for children under 5. Advance tickets are also available at a discounted price of $16 for adults.

Tickets can be purchased on the Web and at many gardening retailers throughout the region. For information, visit www.gardenshow.com.

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