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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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Visiting

 
A couple of  weekends  ago (before the fog took over) I decided to take the advice of many of blog pals and go visit a nursery (like I need any urging) to enjoy the many green offerings and see what's blooming this time of the year.
 
So, did we go to Holland?  No goofball, we just visited Windmill Nursery in Sumner.
 
There are a few interesting shops housed in the block of homes that the nursery bought and incorporated into their space and a cafe in a newly constructed building. I'd never wandered all the way to the back of the garden but was glad I did for there was this interesting green-roofed garden shed.  I can almost hear Miracle Max and Valerie (Princess Bride) arguing inside. 
 
       "Ever since Prince Humperdinck fired him, his confidence has been shattered." 
       "Why'd you say that name? You promised me you would never say that name!"
       "What, Humperdinck?"
       "Aahaahh!"
       "Humperdinck! Humperdinck! Humperdinck!"
       "I'm not listening!"


The garden is only MOSTLY dead. Besides, spring is a miracle and you rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.


Acer griseum is beautiful but I'm always tempted to try and clean it up.  

 You never know who you might meet in the bushes.  Geeze, put a coat on man, it's cold outside!



Windmill often has a nice collection of pots at fairly reasonable prices.

What treasures did I see?  Well quite a few and this Grevillia juniperina 'Lava Cascade' from Xera would have come home with me if it hadn't been in a huge section of the nursery filled with plants that weren't for sale.  Maybe these will be part of Windmill's display at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show?

Although Hellebores are everywhere this time of year, they still catch my attention.

 

 
This agave has grown considerably since last I visited it but I really don't need another big plant to haul inside in the winter.  Sigh.

 Echiveria 'Topsy Turvy' is a favorite.  This one is quite nice but I already have a few wintering inside my little glass room. 

This opuntia santa rita 'Tubac' is one of two that were at the nursery in June.  One came home with me and I'm leaving it outside as an experiment.  Mine looked fine until the latest few days in the mid 20's.  We'll see what happens.

Staghorn ferns look awsome in other people's collections.  They never call out to me to give them a ride to my garden though.
 There was another area  behind closed doors (unlocked though) with NFS plants.  It's always a good, if frustrating, thing when the lens of your camera gets foggy from the warmth and moisture of the greenhouse.
 Through another set of doors is an area, usually filled with vegetable and herb starts, which now contained quite a collection labeled "Wholesale Only."  gorgeous Aeonium 'Cyclops' had me wondering how to get a wholesale account.


 This Schefflera  grove from Monrovia gave me hope that there would be wider planting of these gems in our area.  By the way, all three of my Scheffleras have survived our week and a half of mid 20's weather without a blemish (so far, knock on wood.)
 
 
 
 
Hooray, I'm not the only one who doesn't vacuum the leaves from his plants as often as he should.



The part of Windmill that I always visit during the winter is the houseplant section.  This little water feature, surrounded by large specemins of tropical plants, always makes spring seem not so far away.  And on the bright side, there are no huge snakes hanging from the branches in this mini tropics.




 
Oh well, out into the cold.  This is an interesting sphere planting.  Topiary without the nearly constant trimming.  Hmmm.

This lion table base (I'm imagining) made me smile.  It was almost as if the cats were stretching to reach the sun.
 
Spring is only 54 days away!

22 comments:

  1. Quite a nursery! Lots of everything.. Great lions. I'd take a palm, if I could...

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    1. We are very lucky to have many wonderful nurseries in our area!

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  2. Their houseplant section looks special and seems well worth going there just for that alone. Another visit is needed come spring :)

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    1. I'll definitely go back again to see what's new!

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  3. Fascinating tour of a somewhat eccentric place. The shed is awesome, so many interesting scenes could play out. Fun tour with a good laugh or two along the way.

    I don't vacuum my agaves although I probably should.

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    1. The shed was a fun find. I often look around this garden but haven't gone the few steps further back to where the shed stands.

      It's nice to have non agave vacuuming friends. (A.K.A. friends who don't suck.)

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  4. What a great idea, to incorporate all these little buildings into the nursery's grounds. So much more interesting to wander through. A visit to a nursery is an instant cure for the winter blues :) I love your description of the lions reaching for the sun.

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    1. It always help me to get excited about the coming season to get an early peek at some cool plants.

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  5. I love that little shed with the green roof. Windmill's display garden is one of my favorite things about the place! I bet a lot of those NFS plants were being held for the NWFGS. They force a lot of plants for the show in their greenhouses. I was just there a couple of days ago, and saw that same large Agave. I've been tempted by staghorn ferns, when they get big they are so impressive hanging on the wall, but I know I'd kill it.

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    1. We really should coordinate a visit to Windmill sometime since it's so close. Windmill has a fun display garden & it always looks good for the events they host(weddings, etc.)

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  6. Looks like there are some great finds there. The opuntia and schefflera are amazing. I can't wait for the full swing of nursery season again.

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    1. I know, right? New plants coming in every week, field trips to cool nurseries stuffed to the gills with green temptations, warm weather. Come on, summer!

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  7. I've had a few consecutive nights in the 20's here in TX Hill Country this winter, and my Santa Rita does fine outdoors full-time. The lower temps make it turn almost completely solid purple. Ditto for 'Baby Rita'. You are, indeed, lucky to have so many wonderful nurseries. I don't where I am, so thanks for taking those of us who are nursery deprived on tour with you and your lens!

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    1. It's always a joy to have you along on these outings! Thanks for the info about Santa Rita being fine outdoors. I potted it in a mix I made myself that consisted mostly of pearlite to help with drainage as it's the combination of wet and cold that worries me.

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  8. Sorry you weren't able to score that Grevillea...but the idea of cool plants like that at the NWFG Show makes me happy. Also nice to see a few Schefflera, I can still count on one hand the times I've seen them for sale in a nursery.

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    1. Since the Grevillea is a Xera plant, it's sure to pop up in other nurseries this summer. I'm predicting that this will be the year of the Schefflera in PNW gardens if more nurseries will carry them.

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  9. I like the looks of that Grevillea, I saw a nice one at the nursery last weekend, with silver foliage and pink flowers, and it only grows to a metre.

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    1. These natives of your country bloom in the winter for us and fascinate me and the local hummingbirds!

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  10. So glad I'm not the only person who has the impulse to pull off the peeling bark in order to smooth out the trunk.

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    1. Weird, isn't it. The peeling bark is the point of the plant, a great object of winter interest and we want to get rid of it.

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  11. Great post. So much to see. I need to go visit a nursery soon. I love the green-roofed shed. I want one.

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    1. The shed is cool but I'd rather give up the space for a greenhouse. Oh well, someday.

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