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, March 23, 2018

A Late Winter Stroll Through Heronswood

Another weekend; another plant sale.  Someone pinch me, I think I must be dreaming.  We're so lucky in this region to have so many great growers and nurseries.  Last weekend, Heronswood hosted it's first plant sale of the season and the garden was also open.  Come stroll with me through the garden which was definitely beginning to awaken.

When pulmonaria and hellebores bloom, spring is definitely near.



Inside the house, there was an exhibit of the botanical art of Jean Emmons whose work graced the covers of Heronswood catalogs for years.   The art was glorious and it was a delight to view the garden through the windows of the home.

Meanwhile, back outside, peonies were popping out of the ground.  

In the distance, you can see a couple of the white canopies in the plant sale area.

Originally a potager, this garden is filled in the summer with brightly-colored annuals  as the garden is now available for use as an event venue.

Geranium palmatum

A hardy begonia seems to have just had it's protective wood-shaving protection removed. The tag only said begonia sp. and a number.  Can't wait to visit again and see what the foliage looks like!

I'll leave you with a view of this sweet Sinopanax formosanus.
Happy weekend all!  

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Northwest Perennial Alliance March Madness Plant Sale

In addition to offering a wide variety of classes and workshops, publishing a directory of members' open gardens, volunteering at the NPA border at the Belelvue Botanical Garden, and sponsoring neighborhood garden clubs, The Northwest Perennial Alliance hosts plant sales several times during the gardening season.  March Madness is the first of these and is always well attended.  (For more information about the NPA check out their website here.)

The two words that every winter weary gardener longs to read...

There was a nice variety of plant offerings from unusual to common and colorful.  It's the time of year when even the most jaded collector might be seduced by a vibrant pot of tulips or screaming yellow daffodils in full bloom.

A new hardy begonia with fabulously textured leaves and red fur called my name.

 The BBG gift shop was open and always has some fun merchandise to peruse. 

The sun was out so we didn't stay inside long.  Here are a few shots of spring in the garden.

 The Tateuchi Viewing Pavillion.  

It's an interesting building. How do you suppose it's used?

Looking down on the building where the sale is held.  Seems people are still finding treasures!

It's hellebore time!

While it may look like a plant graveyard with all of those markers, it's actually part of the fuchsia garden.  Must return later in the season to see this in all it's glory!

A thrown-rug of cyclamen.  BTW, how big does a clump have to get to be considered a carpet of cyclamen?

Cardiocrinum giganteum 

The alpine garden 

Farfugium japonicum 'Shishi Botan'  (guessing.)

Mystery perennial.

Hey look what else sprung up in the garden!  It's Tom and Linda Reeder standing next to Alison.  Tom and Linda are both rabid enthusiastic gardeners and tend a gorgeous two acre garden.  You may recognize Linda, Tom, and their  garden from Linda's blog, Linda Letters. It's always a pleasure to spend time with these fascinating folks!
Gardeners are about, plants are waking up, and the days are getting longer.  Spring has definitely arrived.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday Vignette

Over the weekend, I visited Heronswood and snapped a shot of this vine covered wall which I'd seen many times and paid it little attention.  With so many marvelous plants and favorite spots to visit, this dark corner close to the house was previously barely noticed.  I took the picture quickly and didn't give it much thought until going through my pictures of the visit.  The larger opening in the grid giving a glimpse of the garden beyond through the scrim of vines is rather lovely.  Maybe the foliage had previously obscured the view. 

This brought to mind how our perceptions of things change over time, what we notice, what interests us during different seasons of our lives.  Interesting that since the early 90's when I started visiting Heronswood on a regular basis and until just now, this view was noticed but not really appreciated.

Now I find it quite compelling.  The contrast between the grid and the bare vine, nature and artifice is compelling.  The center reminds me of confetti/streamer stained glass and has my mind thinking of how this could easily be interpreted in a leaded glass panel. 

One of the many joys of gardening is experiencing new beauty every day and in every season.

Wednesday Vingnette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to check out the posts of other participating bloggers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Kent East Hill Nursery: Off to a Great Start!

In these days of big box stores selling plants about which most of the employees know nothing and  worrying that independent nurseries might be a thing of the past, a ray of hope in the form of a new nursery is very welcome.  My friend, Camille, told me about Kent East Hill Nursery which now offers a discount to Northwest Perennial Alliance members.  (To find out more about the NPA click here.)  A weekend or two ago, Alison and I decided to visit on our way home from the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

Located on four acres, KEHN has space to carry a wide variety of plants.  A nice selection of fruit trees awaiting homes.

Lots of shrubby goodness.  Both Alison and I fell for a red-flowered Pieris japonica.  I was impressed with their Kalmia selection and had to drag one of those home as well.

Since rhododendrons are only in bloom for a short time, it's good to find one with foliage that also contributes to one's garden.

Once difficult to find, R. 'Everred' is now more widely available.  It's best planted where the red undersides of the leaves can be enjoyed.

In the mood for the tropics but don't want to travel?  How about a topiary pineapple?

Don't want to drive to the beach?  

An desert escape?

This will be a lot more impressive once the trees leaf out but it's easier to inspect branch structure without that pesky foliage getting in the way.

Yucca desmetiana 'Blue Boy' always looks so good in nurseries.

A forest of bamboo and palms.  Hooray!

Maples anyone?  

Stepping inside, Alison pointed out the begonia tubers and other summer bulbs.  Houseplants creatively displayed.

Rural antique (Shabby Chic?) decor is comforting and something that I admire but when I try, it always ends up looking not so good.  Here, they make it work well.

Yard art by Marva Ree

To learn more, check out their website.

This gazebo-esque  table is quite sweet. 
There was lots more to see so do stop by the nursery if you're ever in the Kent area.  I look forward to watching this new business thrive!