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.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Random Friday

First up is another plant that I got at Wells Medina Nursery on my visit.  The first was the camellia with variegated leaves, gold new leaves and red stems.  This is Farfugium japonicum 'Shishi Botan.'

How fortuitous to find this sign at Hortlandia last weekend.  I'd no idea about this plant not liking competition.  It'll get a nice home in a pot!

The Great Dane was little when I got him...  It's been years since I've started anything from seed so forgive me.  Seed packets used to have so many more seeds in them, right?  Anyway, I thought it would be cool to start my own tomatoes from seed since I now have space.  I sowed the contents of six  packets (Thank you to Botanical interests for Sungold and Pineapple) thinking that most would not germinate.  Oops, seems like they all did.  They're actually closer to the same height than it appears in the picture.   This is after I'd potted quite a few already. Other varieties are Siletz, Delicious, Sweetie, and a packet of mixed heritage varieties.

I stopped at about 60 and still had hundreds of seedlings that desperately needed to be planted.  An email at work had people offering to take them off my hands so they all went to good homes. In addition, I purchased a black tomato because I'd seen them last year and they're so handsome, an early girl in a gallon pot, and something else in a gallon pot.  Those both got planted up to five gallon pots.  The suckers all got cut off (how could one throw those away?) and, well, there were still some four inch pots that were empty. Seventy tomato plants in all.  Hopefully my sister will want  some. I really only need about ten to twenty plants.  Oh well, I'll know better next year.  

Meanwhile, in another part of the laboratory, the begonia experiment is coming right along.  Next year, heating pads.

Out in the hell strip, the Paulownia tomentosas are starting to bloom.  The blue of the ceanothus below provides an interesting color combination. I have great difficulty taking pictures of these blooms for some reason.  Sorry for the bad pictures.

By the front steps, a couple of clematis are starting their show. 

Happy weekend and happy gardening!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wells Medina Nursery Part Two: Rhododendrons

O.K. mostly Rhododendrons.  Forgot to include this in the previous post.  Daphne odora 'Leucanthe' is new to me.  Much as I love variegated foliage, something about the handsome dark green foliage of this new-to-me daphne was very attractive.  Of course, there are all of those incredibly fragrant flowers blooming now after my Daphne odoras have finished.  

Have you grown this one? 

Ulmus parvifolia 'Lois Hole' with fresh green spring foliage is a beauty but I need another dwarf tree in a pot like I need a hole in the head.

Okay, on to the Rhododendrons.  R. sinogrande is a foliage favorite of mine. Those large leaves look almost tropical to me.  A loquat for shade only with larger leaves.  Who cares if it blooms?

I may have messed up some of the names but here goes.  'Grace Seabrook'

'Surrey Heath'

'Nancy Evans x Furman's Yellow'

'Opal Luster'

Unknown Chevalier hybrid

'Deep Clover'

'Ann Cree'

Another variegated Rhododendron with gorgeous flowers. 

'Blatt Gold,' a new hybrid from Germany looks and sounds (from inteweb images and descriptions, the plant didn't initiate a conversation.)  a lot like 'Super Flimmer' to me.

It sure is  beautiful!

'Elise Watson'


Rhododendron stenopetalum 'Linearifolium'  another foliage favorite and the fun spidery blooms are an added bonus!
Must visit the Rhododendron Garden Nursery again soon to see in bloom that special magenta hybrid that Diane named after her father!  (see post here.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday Vignette

My pal, Anna, at Flutter and Hum hosts Vignette Wednesday, a bit like Wordless Wednesday only with words.  How fun is that? 

On my recent visit to Wells Medina Nursery, the echeveria lilacina had just been watered and I was fascinated by the way the water was held by the center of the plant. 

It also seems to be held away from the leaves by a layer of air.  (Having fun playing with photo editing tools.) The leaves are covered with a powder that repels liquid.

It looks a bit like ice, doesn't it?

Hope you can join in the fun and show us something that caught your eye this week.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wells Medina Nursery Part One.

Medina is a very exclusive area quite near Seattle with a population of nearly 3,000 people of which Bill Gates is probably the best known.  Visitors are welcomed by signs that read "You Are Entering A 24 Hour Video Surveillance Area."  The system records the license plate of every car entering the city and police are notified if the license number is recorded in any database.

In this area is Wells Medina Nursery (previous post here.) started by Ned Wells in 1972, now run by his two daughters. Although they don't propagate their own stock,  Wells Medina is a plant lover's paradise as they carry not only standard nursery stock but also less common and unusual plants. The variegated camellia from a previous post was purchased here.  It's a treat to visit this nursery that is a nine minute drive from the bustle of downtown Seattle.  The setting is quiet and park like and the people who work here are friendly and serious plant people who really know their stuff.

There is always something interesting to b found  here regardless of the season but spring is a special time at any nursery!

I love the circle of palms echoing the circular shape of the raised beds and planter in the center.

They're getting ready to bloom!  In case you were wondering, that price tag reads $995.00

This is a place that doesn't do anything in a small way.  Here is a tiny portion of their rose selection. 

Huge pots of Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo Paws) for instant impact.

A small forest of Abyssinian Red Bananas (Ensete ventricosum)

Paeonia veitchii with gorgeous foliage hails from China and is one of the few peonies that thrives and blooms either in sun or shade.

Speaking of instant impact,  feast your eyes on this fabulous blooming brugmansia.

Looks like the WEHOP (Western Horticultural Products) truck made a delivery as these chartreuse pots are all form Montery Bay Growers.

 Echiveria 'Doris Taylor' is such a cute little hirsute thing!

Dudleya caespitosa was a serious temptation. Others also must have agreed as there were only a few left.  Since one already lives in my greenhouse, it was easier to leave it behind.

These always tug at my heart.  Each plant looks like a flower.  

Abutilon 'Rosa Linda' is a charmer!

So, here I am feeling smug that I wintered these over in my greenhouse.  Perhaps someday mine will be as big as these fifty dollar, two gallon Cordyline 'Pink Passion'

Four inch pot of Sanguinaria canadensis 'Multiplex.'  

Lots of charmers for shade.

I'm liking Heuchera 'Fire Alarm.' Such vibrant color.  

Who doesn't love Cardoon foliage?  I was seriously tempted by this but for thirty some bucks, I decided it would be better to find a seedling and watch it grow. The nice thing about the availability of these large plants is that if one really wanted to impress the garden club when they come for tea and cucumber sandwiches, the addition of a few really grand plants that look like they'd been there for a while would do it!

 O.K. Stachys Bello Gigo is officially everywhere this year.  I've seen it at lots of nurseries.  I vow to get mine in the ground in the sun this year and not let it struggle in a pot the way I did last year.

Itoh Peonies are nice enough and don't require staking but I'm not all that crazy about them.  

 Camellia japonica 'Nicki Crisp' 

 A lovely collection of conifers and beyond that deciduous trees, not to mention the Acer palmaum collection.  Sigh.

 Lophomyrtus x ralphii 'Kathryn.' Is that cute foliag or what?  My plant lust-o-meter dial was on ten until I saw that it's only hardy to zone 9a.

Azaleas screaming out that it's definitely spring.   The rhododendron area will get it's own post.

There's a Pieris Japonica for just about everyone!  P.j. 'Flaming Silver'

P.j. 'Rialto'

P.j. 'Katsura' 

 I nearly added American Hybrid tuberous begonias to the Begonia experiment in the laboratory. The tubers from Breck's finally arrived so we have hardware store, Blackmore and Langdon, and Breck's Dutch tuberous begonias to compare.  There are already lots of them in the lab so these stayed at the store but  perhaps next year.

The size of the tubers is larger than any of the others I'd planted.  These were too large to even fit in the four inch pots in which the others are starting.

Coprosma repens 'Infeno' 

Sigh, this Yucca rigida is gorgeous and for $595.00 it could be yours!  Instant impact does come at a price.

If you're ever in the Seattle area, a visit to Wells Medina is a must!