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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Saturday in Portland Part One: Hellebores!

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite garden cities, Portland, Oregon, attending their Yard, Garden, and Patio Show with pal Alison, and visiting several great nurseries. At the Y,G, & P show, there was a large display of winter flowering plants assembled by the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon.  There were lots of great blooms on display but my favorite was this bowl of floating hellebore blossoms.   



A great way to display these flowers whose faces usually bow demurely toward the ground.  

No wonder that it's often done to show the huge variety of heavenly hellebores.


Don't want to pick that many blooms?  A smaller bowl is also very effective. 


I didn't intend to buy any more hellebores on this trip but this display convinced me that my garden needed more yellows to balance the others.

Do you have a favorite hellebore or do you love them all?  Does anyone not like them?  What could be better?  Shade tolerant, nice evergreen foliage that fills in nicely around herbaceous plants that offer them shade in the summer and die back beneath the foliage in the winter, and stunning winter blooms that dance in the wind.
Much more to come from a thoroughly enjoyable day of plant shopping. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Northwest Flower and Garden Show Funny Business

One of the gardens at the NWFGS, "Over The Moon"  was quite interesting.  The large full moon worked perfectly in the darkness of the show gardens area.






 Later in the show, this sign appeared.  It wasn't clear where said escorts would be so I searched the internet for escort services...

The results were not G rated!  Why would  the creators of  "Over the Moon" support such an industry?  (X Factor award went to another garden.)

It makes sense that a woman wearing an evening gown would be a lady of the evening, right?

For some reason, these lovely ladies didn't find that logical at all.  

Looks like the old woman who lived in a shoe finally figured out what to with all of her children.  I hope this addition to the place will help.  There didn't seem to be anyone home.


Maybe once the kids were grown, the old lady downsized to this mushroom. 

 A glorious display from the Northwest Orchid Society.  Funny, they didn't ask me to use any of my orchids.  Guess they didn't want any crispy brown dead plants in their garden.  Go figure. 

One would imagine that fish out of water would feel a little blue.  



And don't you forget it!  Also  Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is pronounced thlann vyre pooth gwinn gith gogg-erra kweern drobbooth lann tuss-ill-yo goggo gauk. There will be a test so do practice.   Perhaps this video will help.

  

Happy Friday All!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

An Afternoon of Local Surprises

On Saturday, I needed to get a few terra cotta pots so I headed to McLendon Hardware, an institution in Western Washington.  See their interesting history here. The nearest store used to be in Sumner, just down the hill from where Bonney Lassie gardens and not far from Windmill Nursery and VanLierop Garden Market.  McClendon does amazing seasonal sales in their garden department and it was always worth the drive.  How lucky Tacoma is to have been chosen as their newest location.  


The garden buyer here does a great job of finding great plants.  

I'd never seen Brugmansia sold this way (although I'd gotten them via mail order before) and was intrigued.  This rode in my cart for a while but since there are already several huge Brugmansias that have wintered over beautifully in the greenhouse, this would be a redundant purchase so it went back on the shelf.

The story of Talavera Pottery was new to me.


Last time I visited the Sumner store, there was an even larger selection.  (If you need more to go with the ones you got at the show, Alison.)

Another surprise this year has been seeing so many Peony 'Coral Charm' for sale.  This is the favorite peony of Tatyana at My Secret Garden and she's posted lovely pictures of it.  I'd resisted it a couple of times but decided to yield to temptation.

Two other delightful surprises awaited me in the outside garden area.  First, fresh from Iseli Nursery in Boring,  Oregon  were some Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pines, still looking very gold and with the lowest price I've seen for them.  (bit larger than two gallon pot which is usually about $250. for $89.00)  The second surprise was running into a new gardening acquaintance to whom I'd been introduced at the Seattle show.  Nan is a long time Tacoma gardener whose garden I will get to see soon.  We had a great time poking at plants and talking about gardening.

There were lots of terra cotta pots there but I was looking for shallow and large ones to use for agaves so it was off to the box stores but on the way, Tacoma Boys called my name.


This place has great produce and other food and an extensive wine selection but where else can you go and buy plants, pots, potting soil 24 hours a day seven days a week?  You know how it is, you're up at 2:00 a.m. and decide to do a spot of gardening but don't have just the right pot or run out of soil...


Intresting pot shape& the spotty chartreuse glaze is pretty nifty, right Danger?


One of the things I don't like about Tacoma Boys is that they sell their pots at two for the price of one or sometimes three for the price of one; not sure which it is now.  They will sell you a single pot for half price or one third price but the full price sticker shock always puts me off. O.k, so half of 460 is 230 but if it's two thirds off... let's see, 459 divided by three is 153 which is a reasonable price.  Why not just price the pots lower to begin with?

Oh well, on to plants.  Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' always reminds me of this post and its author.  And here it is, at Tacoma Boys!  What the heck, I haven't killed this plant yet and have a head pot in the greenhouse that might like this hairdo.



Finally at Lowes to find the shallow pots.  Riot of spring color 

The outside garden area at this particular Lowes is o.k. but the indoor plant area is quite good.

Opuntia monacantha monstrose 'Variegata' and


Cereus forbesii monstrose, along with some really nice golden barrel cactus  were among the cool plants here.

So, the little errand to get pots turned into a couple of hours of looking at plants.  Worse things could happen. 







Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Some Faces from the Northwest Flower and Garden Show 2015











Sun faces are from Inside Out Home and Garden which also does mail order here.  Are those expressions funny or what?  Ceramic Faces are by Cynthia Jenkins Pottery.  I'd admired Cynthia's work for many years and finally purchased a few pieces this year.  The problem is just choosing one or two things as they're all so fabulous!  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Garden Bloggers' Fling 2014: Visiting Cistus and Joy Creek Nurseries

One of the many joys of attending the Garden Bloggers' Fling in Portland last summer was seeing gardens that I'd only heard about but wanted to see in person, another was visiting a couple of my favorite nurseries!  Previous posts about both of these nurseries can be found here and here.   Both of these places have great plants, both are run by great people,  both do mail order sales but they are very different places!  Cistus is on flat ground while Joy Creek is on a rolling hillside and the differences don't stop there. 
The driveway into Cistus is packed with treasures!  Notice the towering (for the PNW) eucalyptus on the left.

While the surprises and excitement is mainly in the foliage and flowers, there are a few surprises in the way of yard art.

Our native Oxalis oregana holds rain on its leaves like sparkling jewels. 

Alan (It's Not Work, It's Gardening) taking a close up which he does very well!

 Agaves and yuccas and aloes, Oh my!


While there are certainly flowering plants at Cistus, I think it's fair to say that their focus is on fabulous foliage plants from around the world like this Ficus afghanistanica which also grows in my garden.

With foliage like this, who needs flowers?

 Not far away is Joy Creek Nursery whose gardens certainly rely on foliage and include some great conifers but their focus is more on flowering plants.  Their clematis, delphinium, and hydrangea programs are well known. 

Love the bamboo flanking the entrance.

During our lunch break, we got to attend a demonstration by the Dramm Corporaition, one of the Fling Sponsors.  It's always fun to see their colorful and truly useful watering tools and we  appreciate their continued support of the GBBF!

Mondarda and clematis bloom in one of Joy Creek's beds. 

More colorful delights.


 Paths meander through the sunny and colorful gardens
 which surround the old farmhouse on the property.  

A wonderful way to continue day one of the fling!