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Richie Steffens

Foliage and Flowers: Creating the Picturesque Garden"

Great foliage and showy flowers are the foundation of any beautiful garden. Richie Steffen, executive director of the Elisabeth C Miller Botanical Garden and chair of Great Plant Picks, will share a wealth of great plants, many of which are featured in the 2021 Great Plant Picks garden theme Foliage Fashion. Drawing on 35 years of experience in horticulture with over 20 of them at the Miller Garden, Richie’s eye for mixing foliage and color is superb and transfers to his luscious photography. Learn how about time-tested plant combinations used at the Miller Garden and see how other skilled gardeners use foliage and flowers to make a stunning garden.

Few people have a passion for plants more than Richie Steffen. Richie Steffen is the executive director for the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden and oversees the development of the garden and its educational programs, including Great Plant Picks. Great Plant Picks is committed to building a comprehensive palette of outstanding and reliable plants for maritime Pacific Northwest gardens and has become the go-to website for the best information about plants for our region. As the current president of the Hardy Fern Foundation, Richie, loves to share his knowledge one these interesting and beautiful plants. A noted lecturer, writer, and horticultural personality, Richie recently co-authored and co-photographed the “Plant Lover’s Guide to Ferns”.

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Susie Egan
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Gardening in the Shade:  Bring Beauty to Your Garden with Shade-Loving Plants


Susie Egan is a landscape designer, master gardener alumnae, garden lecturer, and owner/curator of Cottage Lake Gardens, located in Woodinville, Washington.  Her current focus has been on the study, cultivation, and propagation of native and woodland shade plants particularly the endangered wildflower: Trillium.

For the past twenty-five years, Susie has been developing Cottage Lake Gardens into a botanical garden showcasing trilliums and other rare and unusual plants and it is now one of the few places in the world where all 50+ species of the world’s trilliums can be seen growing in one location. Susie also hosts the annual Trillium Tea, Talk, and Tours where guests can enjoy tea and refreshments on vintage trillium china, listen to a talk on trilliums and tour the famous Trillium Trail, recently renovated to display each of the species by geographic zones. 

Susie has given talks on many different gardening topics for the local horticultural associations and garden clubs as well as internationally.  She loves to share her knowledge and passion of gardening and spreading the joy and beauty it brings to others.