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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tacoma Home and Garden Show - Heavy Metal

Do you enjoy rusty metal in your garden?    Two of my favorite rusty metal vendors were at the Tacoma Home and Garden Show, Rusty Birds and Blackwaters Metal Art.   Here's a small sample of their offerings.

Rusty birds had a fan blowing on a couple of their kinetic  pieces. 

There were several appealing trellis designs including an Asian-inspired creation, not pictured, that was my favorite.

Love the branches with birds mounted on old window sash.  Wouldn't it be grand to mount stained glass in the back that would emulate a beautiful sunrise with these silhouettes?   Come to think of it, I have some old window sashes up in the attic and a perfect piece of glass.

 Fortunately, Rusty Birds will also be at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show and they also sell via mail order.

These came home with me. 

As did one of these along with a set of spruce trees. 
Black Waters Metal Art, which will also be at the NWFGS had several new things this year and Bob described several other new pieces he's working on for the next show, including four seasons and four directions faces.  I can't wait to see them!

This dinosaur skeleton, jointed so that it can gently sway in the breeze was already sold.   Notice the three-staked garden lamps.  With a hurricane lamp inside these would be even more stunning!

This guy was tempting.

 Every dragon hunter needs a trophy, right? 

What garden wouldn't look better with a pterodactyl skeleton soaring above it?  The flying raven on the right will be living in my garden.

Whoo wouldn't like a wise old owl?  

Okay, iron is a heavy metal but not as dense as, say, lead, so these pieces are are actually pretty light. However, they are heavy in both senses cited in the Urban Dictionary.  These are different from other uses meaning grave or somber  (The news of the disaster was really heavy.) or the noun usage (The principal was a real heavy for expelling the student.) Of course food being heavy usually means that it's rather rich and filling.  Then there's the whole heavy metal music genre and we don't want to talk about the numbers that appear on the bathroom scale.  Gee, one word, so many uses. Ain't language fun? 

Anyway, these creations are cool. (not a temperature observation.)

Monday, January 30, 2017

In A Vase On Monday - Fireworks for Lunar New Year

This vase, from a visit to  Barone Garden  this summer, has been waiting to be used.  I thought it might be appropriate for lunar new year.  I've no idea what it says; do you?

My original thought was to simply fill the vase with branches from the contorted filbert but they didn't really want to cooperate.  Sometimes it's not a bad thing not to have done a thorough fall clean-up in the garden as there are some leftovers to bring inside.  Seed heads from alium, grass join the good-luck coin like seed heads of Lunaria annua to make a firework show for the occasion.  I considered gold and red spray paint but decided against it.

Joining the arrangement are a cloisonné vase found at a thrift store and a metal ginger jar found at my friend  Howard's shop many years ago.

I'm imagining that dried and dead things are probably not the right thing for a celebration of light's return and all things new but it just sort of happened.  Happy new year all!
In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Check out what others are plopping in vases this week by clicking here.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Tacoma Home And Garden Show Part One - Olympic Landscape and Irrigation

The Tacoma Home and Garden Show opened on Thursday and is open through Sunday.   Unfortunately, this show has become more and more of a home show than a garden show. Fortunately, there is still plenty for gardeners to see and do, including some interesting-looking seminars. Today, let's visit the garden designed by Olympic Landscape and Irrigation, always present at this show.

Gabion wall and industrial water feature is lovely in it's simplicity.

Fantastic pairing of art with plants!

Speaking of art and plants, it was a delight to see the work of Shannon Buckner of Bent Productions (I'm assuming it's her work) featured in this garden.

I meant to ask about the paving material which felt and looked a bit like asphalt but didn't feel as hard.

Buckner's work really shines in a garden setting!

Thoughtful placement makes me appreciate Shannon's work even more. 

Many thanks to Olympic for once again designing and erecting the entry garden at the THGS!
 If you're in the market for windows, decking, a hot tub, gutters, lotions, potions, and specialty food items, this is the place to be.  There are more posts to come from the show including the always-impressive Marenakos Stone display, plant sale, artists, and vintage market!   For more information about the show, look here.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

When In Seattle, Visit A Nursery,

Who are we kidding here?  Wherever you find yourself, visit a nursery.  Or ten.  Anyway, we were in Seattle and the interwebs said that City People's Garden Store was open so we headed over.   I'd heard that their last day of operation would be in December but Danger said that they might not have to close after all.

Carmen was the only vehicle in the parking lot and everything was dark inside.  Peeking in the windows, I saw a very empty space.  Only the large counter where the cash register once stood remained.  No shelves, nothing.  There was still a bulletin board on one wall thanking patrons for 28 wonderful years of business.  Where did all of that stuff go?

And, how can they put everything back together in just a few weeks?
According to their website, City People's Garden Store, under new ownership, will be open for eleven more months in this location before it's torn down to make way for some sort of development.  One assumes that during that time the search for a new location will continue but urban nurseries are special places. I remember when Molbak's had a location across from Pike's Place Market in Seattle. How wonderful for apartment dwellers to be able to have an easily accessible source of great plants and supplies.

As I walked around taking these pictures, a nice lady who'd lived in the neighborhood for many years approached me and asked if I knew anything about the re-opening and expressed her concern about so little seeming to happen inside.  This had been, she said, her favorite shop.  Oh well, change is the only constant.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday Vignette

I was surprised to hear the voice on my car radio announce that sunset would be nearly half an hour later than it had been last time I was listening.  Lately, the strong and sweet fragrances of sarcococca and Lonicera fragrantissima greet our comings and goings.  The garden has already started responding to the increase of light.  From the death and decay of the old year springs something new. There are signs of hope even in the cold and wet of winter.

 Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Check out her WV and those of others by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Moving Experience

It's always amazing to me how much merchandise is moved around, how many displays erected and torn down, and how much  daily maintenance is required at large nurseries.  Things get carted around to keep customers interested, to better merchandise product, etc.  It's a moving experience!  At Molbak's the carnival of Christmas has been cleared away, the last few items offered at 90% off their original prices, and it's time to

The outdoor tables have been cleared of wreaths and evergreen decorations.  There usually would be plants on these tables as well but lows in the teens caused their evacuation to warmer areas. 

These houses are usually completely exposed but a bit of plastic covering the sides is a good idea during our freeze.

Raised beds are filled with sawdust in preparation of the arrival of bare root stock.  

Lots of garden treasures!

Another sign of spring is the appearance of the potted roses. 

Inside, a large display of forced fragrant beauties along with jasmine bursting into bloom tickled the olfactory sense.

A nice warm zing of color for a cold winter day!

The orchid selection grows to possibly it's largest around Valentine's Day.  I guess these are popular gifts at that time of year.

Let's head on over and look at some interesting pots. 

Stewie Griffin?  Is that you?

Dude, do you have to drive that cart so fast? 

Somebunny has no eyes.

Love these. 

There seems to be no end of ways to display tillandsias.

Anthurium always look so exotic.  Have you ever grown them?  How long do the blooms last?  Have they ever re-bloomed for you?

Hydrangeas in the winter add a nice splash of color and can be planted outside once  summer arrives.

White with dark pink edges called 'Peppermint Twist" is lovely. 

A little retail therapy in a nice warm greenhouse is just the thing for a cold winter day!

Ceramic succulents.  

This was new to me and almost made it to the check out counter but its requirements made me think twice. 
  I'd probably kill the poor little thing so it stayed .  

Have you been doing any retail therapy at local nurseries lately?