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.

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!

Monday, March 19, 2018

In a Vase on Monday - Beauty and the Beast

Many thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting In a Vase on Monday, the addictive meme that challenges us to bring something from our gardens or foraged nearby inside to cheer us during the week.  Click here to see what participating bloggers have artfully arranged or unceremoniously plonked in a container this week.

Our delightfully dry weekend was spent doing delightful things like attending a specialty plant sale, wandering Heronswood, visiting nurseries, and playing in my own garden.  Pots of Narcissus 'Tete-a-Tete' were part of Valley Nursery's spring sale.  The first daffodil to bloom in my garden, they're always a welcome bit of bright yellow at this time of year and at only $1.50 a pot, why not add a few more?  Instead of cutting them, I decided to simply use the potted bulbs in a couple of receptacles.  First, beauty.  You may recognize Alison from an earlier IaVoM post.

Now, the beast, a troll sans body planter made by a Kitsap area artist. 

Muscari and camellias joined the daffodils.

The beast looks very friendly but needs a name.  Suggestions? 
 Stone?  Clay? Auribus? 

Friday, March 16, 2018

March 18 Foliage Follow-Up

Each month, on the day after Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, Blogging wizzard Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Follow-Up to help us celebrate the important role foliage plays in our gardens every day of the year.  Click here to join the chloro-phylled phun.

Spring is full of excitement as plants awake from their winter slumber pushing foliage out of the ground full of the promise of the growing season to come.

The podophyllum are officially above ground and starting to unfurl their glossy parasols. 

Cardiocrinum giganteum

Trillium.  Just yesterday, while out taking these pictures, I spotted the first bloom of a native trillium which I thought had died.

Trevesia aff. palmata got thrown into the greenhouse during the recent freeze and is now unfurling new leaves.

Speaking of the greenhouse...

This crazy cussonia looses all it's leaves periodically but then regrows again.  Crazy plant. 

Helleborus 'Reanna's Ruby,' sister of 'Anna's Red' and 'Penny's Pink' and is supposed to have lovely flowers.  Who cares?  Look at that foliage?

Berberis is waking up but still has a bit of foliage from last season. 

Paeonia tenuifolia

Tricyrtis latifolia wx SICH 1735 hopped into my box from the Far Reaches table at a recent plant sale.

This large pot that came from my blogging pal Alison is a great place to hide newly acquired purchases showcase particularly interesting plants and easily accommodates  six  or seven gallon-sized pots.
Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day March 2018

Well, somehow we've made it through another winter and spring is only five days away.  On the fifteenth of every month, Carol, now twice published author,  at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  To see what's blooming in gardens all over the world, click here.  To see most of what's blooming in my zone 8 western Washington garden, scroll down.

Winter pansies looked quite dead during our February freeze but have bounced back nicely.

Primroses always look better if kept under cover but even with a little rain damage, their bright colors are welcome this time of year.

Muscari armeniacum aka Grape hyacinths.

Iris reticulata 'Katherine Hodgkin'

The galanthus flowers will soon begone but we'll get to enjoy the grassy foliage for a short time before it, too, is a memory.



Stachyurus praecox

Edgeworthia chrysantha

Arctostaphylos something or other

Arctostaphylos something else altogether

Species tulips have returned in the parking strip but haven't increased since they were planted a year ago.


Inherited lawn crocus.

Crocus tommasinianus planted a few years ago are spreading like wildfire.  

Euphorbia wulfenii

 Virbunum x bodnantense 'Dawn' whose blooms and fragrance have brought pleasure since autumn.  

Lawn violets that appeared from nowhere and are slowly spreading.  I still laugh about a flier left by a lawn spraying company at my door which listed violets as one of the weeds in my lawn.  If they only knew...

Lonicera fragrantissima

Daphne odora 

This is cheating as this Aristolochia californica (Califronia Pipe Vine) just came home with me from a plant sale.

Out in the greenhouse this salvia, labeled Salvia dombeyi  is blooming but it looks as if it may have been mislabeled. 

Fewer flower spikes this year on one clivia and the other has none.  Hmmm.  Maybe I should feed them and pot them up.
What's blooming in your garden this month?   For those of you who currently have only frost flowers atop your snow mulch, you have my sincere sympathy.