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.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Frozen Flower World Part Two - Come In from the Cold!

Earlier this week, we saw the other side of this pond covered in ice.  As you can see, the other side is quite different.  

It may be  cold but in the pacific northwest when the sun shines in the winter we all go out and enjoy those rays!

It's that magic time of year when house plants go on sale.  At Flower World, which already has very low prices, a 40% discount is as alluring as the rays of the sun. If you ever visit Flower World, be sure to sign up for their  e club in advance as membership entitles one to a 10% discount on top of any other sales.  That makes this a 50% off sale.

The only house plants that really thrive for me are those that can stand neglect and fairly cool temperatures.  If you want water on a fairly regular basis, you probably don't have what it takes to live at my place.  Fortunately, there are lots of plants that have a fairly strong will to live.

These large ceramic Mason jar planters are kind of fun. 

January always brings the bright colors and sweet fragrance of primroses.  Every grocery store, hardware store, and nursery offers them as they are such a bright spot in this bleak season.

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' still blooming like there's no tomorrow.  

Flower world is a 15 acre nursery with three of those acres being under cover.  That's a lot of greenhouse space!

Ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata) hold a special place in my heart as I got one in a four inch pot in high school and it lived with me until a few years ago when it got too tall for the house.

Dieffenbachia 'Tropic Marianne's striking white leaves seduced my eye and one came home with me.

There are several heat zones represented as one travels between the huge greenhouses.  On cold days, the tropical houses feel especially good.

Philodendron 'Pink Princess' is a temptress.

A vibrant croton.  I have one that survives because it gets to live in the kitchen near the sink where it gets watered.  Those in other parts of the house have a tendency to rebel against dryness by shedding all of their leaves.

I've killed this Cordyline.  Here it is in bloom, something new to me. 

Ludisia discolor was seriously considered for it's fab foliage but the tag says it likes to remain moist.  

F.W. has a growing collection of Calathea.  Too bad they need warm temperatures and moist conditions. More than one of these has made it's way into the compost bin.

Enjoying the sun inside.  What could be better?

Succulents, cacti, bromeliads, and I get along just fine.  Throw a bit of water on them a couple of times a month, throw them outside in the summer and everyone's happy.

Are you a houseplant diva or drop-out?  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday Vignette - Dumpster Diving

What's in your trash can? 

Seen at a friend's antique store, (Howard Welborn Antiques) this  Italian chandelier was too heavy to hang on the hook usually used while restoration work is done so this alternative worked well.  It almost looks as if the light fixture is being thrown in the trash.   Howard's shop is incredibly full of treasures casually  strewn around.  One never knows what he/she will find. This trash can of beauty made me smile. 

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Go to her blog to join in the fun.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Frozen Flower World Part One

On the grounds of Flower World, a huge and amazing nursery about an hour north of  my garden is a pond (small lake)  with jets that shoot water about 20 feet into the air.  The effect of the water blowing and freezing on things around is rather lovely.

The floating platform of one of the jets had been turned sideways by the freezing of water so the water was shooting a bit sideways instead of straight up so there was a bit more ice coating the vegetation on one side of the pond.

You can see un-coated  green lawn in the background.

So pretty it almost makes our recent freezing temperatures worth it. 

Okay, we've celebrated the beauty of winter, can we get on with spring now? 

Procession of shrouded mourners?  Ghosts?  I think perhaps the Trachycarpus fortunei will be appreciative  of their winter coats.
Tomorrow, the temperature here is predicted to rise to 54 which will feel downright balmy, especially compared to the predicted low of -27 for my sister and niece in Alaska.  Hope that arctic air doesn't plan on traveling south.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

In a Face on Monday/Euphorbia flanaganii for Foliage Follow Up

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Go to her blog to see her arrangement this week and find links to those of other participating bloggers.  This week my vase is a face planter and the contents were foraged from a  nursery.

Foliage Follow Up is hosted by Pam at Digging on the day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day each month to remind us of the important role foliage plays in our gardens.  I cheated a little there too.

This week, I'd planned, well in advance,  what I was going to put in a vase  for this post but then  we visited Molbak's (90% off all holiday merchandise) and I noticed these which, at first, didn't really appeal to me. Nonetheless, one was allowed to ride in my cart for a while.  A delightful worker saw it in my cart and decided to advise me about  plant possibilities and went about grabbing plants and plopping them in.  We were both having fun so I didn't bother telling her that I didn't need another plant.  Eventually, we came up with something that was pleasant and whimsical enough.

Then, over in the cacti and succulent area was this windblown-looking Euphorbia flanaganii.  The other plant was quickly re-shelved.  I already have one of these but it's far to big for this pot and they're such fun and easy plants that everyone could use another, right?

Here they are together.

Throw in a bow left from the flowers my sisters sent a couple of weeks ago et voilà, a lady on a windy winter day

Many thanks to Cathy and Pam for hosting and for putting up with my cheating ways!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day January 2017

On the fifteenth of every month, Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Garden bloggers from around the world are invited to post images of blooms in their gardens.  Many thanks to Carol for hosting the floral party; it's a great way to peek at gardens around the planet.

Due to our recent freezing weather, there's not a lot blooming in my garden at the moment.  Inside the greenhouse, some of the schlumbergeras are still blooming.  (You may notice that no moss has covered the ugly pot yet but I got the moss and it's sitting in a bag waiting.

Abutilons outside are a bit frozen and probably won't resume blooming until later in the year, assuming that the freeze didn't do them in.  However inside is a different story.

The crazy pelargonum (geranium) is looking cheerful.

Believe it or not, even with night temperatures in the teens, there are still blooms outside.

Camellia japonica

Lonicera fragrantissima

Viburnum × bodnantense ‘Dawn’

Helleborus argutifolius which is now a mostly prostrate 7 foot circle of weirdness.  One of these years, I swear that I'll support it somehow.

There may be a primrose or two blooming but during the freeze they were laying on the ground and looking quite shriveled.  Most likely the winter jasmine has a bloom or two as it has for a couple of months now.   Only 64 days until the vernal equinox!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Visiting a Nursery During A Cold Snap

So, what do nurseries do when the weather turns really cold?  I visited Watson's over the weekend just to see.  The parking lot there is almost always full on weekends  so I was surprised that there were only two other cars in the lot when we pulled in.  Seems that some folks are thinking things other than gardening about now.  Hmm.    Anyway, all of the woody plants (trees, shrubs, evergreens) were still outside in their regular spots.  Watson's has a large covered area (roof, no walls on three sides)  attached to the greenhouses. In this area, hardy plants and annuals are sometimes covered with row cover fabric at night.  This cold snap called for more radical action.

Where did all the plants go? 

Some were on wheels and had spent the night inside.

Others remained inside. 

That's probably why their heucheras look like this.

While mine look like this.  Mine did perk up a bit when the weather warmed. 

I wanted to check out the  70% off Christmas merchandise inside and ended up purchasing a silver ball and eucalyptus seed capsule wreath and a large bottle brush tree that I'd admired earlier and ended up spending nothing for them as I still had space on a gift certificate. 

There are always things to admire.

And others not so much.
Great art is always large and matches your couch, right?  It's comforting to know that one can now obtain hippieastrum (Amaryllis) bulbs and candles that match.  ($44.99 You  know you were curious.)

Happy Weekend!  Only 66 more days until spring.