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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, July 24, 2012

Vassey Nursery - A family affair

Picture living in a lovely older home (1930's I'm guessing) surrounded by a beautiful garden including a towering oak tree planted by your mother when your family first moved into the home when you were two years old.  In front of this, nearly two acres of nursery started years ago by your father.  Can you see it?  Oh, and a huge koi pond which you dug by hand for your father when you were younger and he was still alive.  Now imagine raising your own family there with your beloved spouse.  If you can see this, you might just be Steve Vassey, owner of Vassey Nursery. (I'm guessing that that oak tree is in its mid fourties not that I would mention anyone's age or anything.)

Steve's dad, Worth, was a researcher at the Washington State Universtiy Experiment Station in Puyallup and lived not far from work.  Worth started the nursery as a hobby  in 1972 by growing some trees, shrubs, tomatoes, geraniums, and fuchsias in his front yard. Word of mouth was the only advertisement for the nursery for at least 20 years and that  is how I first learned about this special place.

This is the huge Rodgersia that in itself is worth a visit to Vassey!

  One of the things I love most about this nursery is that Steve and his family are genuinely nice & kind people.    I remember well about fourteen years ago, I had some stupid question and phoned the nursery.  It was obvious from the background sounds on the other end of the line that they were busy & I offered to call back at a more convenient time but Steve, not knowing me from Adam, went ahead and spent quite a while patiently answering my questions.  Things like this make the difference between a good nursery and a great one.  I've heard staff say glowing things about the way they are treated and this is reflected in the friendly service you will receive when you shop here; you may feel more like a friend than a customer.  The staff are all gardeners, know their plants and can tell you about their own experiences with them.!

This sign greets you at the entrance.  Being a dog person, I think that's pretty cool!



Another  outstanding attribute of this nursery is the quality of the plants grown there.  I commented once on the amazing size of their 4" geraniums (pelargoniums) which were and are very reasonably priced.  I was shown  one of the (14) greenhouses where each small pot is given a full foot in which to grow.  Sure it costs more to grow them this way but the result is superlative.   This kind of pride in producing quality plants is laudable!

Here are some of the things caught my eye:

Lots of great evergreens including this somewhat hard to find Compact Fernspray Cypress, one of my faves, and many more from Iseli Nursery and other growers.

 Made in the shade.

Fraction of the acer forest. It was a windy day.




Roses, Roses, Roses!




 I'm a sucker for a serpentine path!

 POTS!




 There's Eryngium planum 'Jade Frost'  again...it's following me. 

 Burberis, heathers, and statuary
There are a few inside areas for annuals, accoutrements, and tchotchkes.  I enjoy their selection which includes a lot of bird, nest, egg items. In addition, one will find a wide selection of bird feeders, food, etc.


 There were lots more beautiful birds but my photos are not very good.

Circle bird feeder
Love this clay and wood sun!
Bee skeep anyone?
The lowest finial is calling my name.

Interesting compostitions.


I skipped over the large selection of fruit, shade, and specimen trees.  I try to avoid these areas in nurseries because I love trees and if I plant one more in my garden, the only things that I'll be able to grow are moss and rocks. You'll have to stop by the nursery and see for yourself!

What more could a gardener want?  Vassey continues to have some of the lowest prices around and in September and October, they have a huge sale.

Check out Vassey's web page for more information and driving directions because you don't want to miss this Gem of a nursery!

12 comments:

  1. Looks like a good one, and of course I'm a sucker for a nice story to go along with it!

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    1. Yup. Great plants, pots, prices, and people.

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  2. Those are really great containers. I loved it! thanks for sharing. This looks like a legit place. Of course I am bad and usually judge a nursery by their palm selection and agave selections. Not the fairest criteria at all. But I just can't help myself sometimes. That being said, a good tree fern can always make up for a lot in my books.

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    1. They had some Trachycarpus fortunei and one or two others but no agaves or tree ferns. Sorry.

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  3. That seems to be a lovely place to visit!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, indeed. Come see it yourself sometime. It's quite a commute from Finland,though.

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  4. Interesting compositions indeed! I would vacate my entire family here if given the chance, its absolutely gorgeous. How exactly did you guys pull it all off so well?

    -Carlos Hernandez
    Tree Company Queens

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    Replies
    1. Vassey has very dedicated and talented folks working there & they've been doing it for years!

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  5. Wow, wish I lived close enough to shop there.

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    Replies
    1. Come on out and visit the PNW sometime, we've got lots of great nurseries!

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  6. Another of my favorite nurseries! I've been there for their fall sale. Have you ever been to their Open House? I think it's usually on Memorial Day weekend, they open their personal garden to customers. They have a huge chicken coop there.

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    Replies
    1. Never been to the open house but I've had the opportunity to see their personal garden & the chickens are a hoot!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.