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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, February 5, 2013

What's Springing Up at Molbak's?

A couple of weeks ago I got a cheerful note from Molbak's Nursery in Woodinville announcing a 50% sale on Heucheras and 30% on houseplants. Shortly thereafter, Alison dropped me a line saying that she had gone to the sale and bought some Heucheras.  She said that she hadn't meant to but that they were beautiful and cheap.  This sounds a little like the "I was drunk; it meant nothing!" arguement but I'm not here to judge.  I've tried to like Heucheras.  Really.  They look great in seasonal pots and in other people's gardens but the seem to want to be divided or fertilized or watered or something after a year so I treat them like long-lived annuals or ignore them altogether.  Anyway, I was going to visit Flower World which is only 10 minutes from Molbaks so I packed the family in the car and set off.
 

The careful/faithful  reader of my blog will note that this is not a picture of me and my family but rather one stolen from Molbak's website of Egon and Laina Molbak shortly after the opening of their Greenhouse in 1957. 



He Heuchera were indeed beautiful and inexpensive but I resisted the temptation.  It's difficult at this time of the year not to want any and everything that looks alive.

I love this rusty metal sculpture for it's shape and gentle curve. I feel grateful to live in a region where we can garden (sort of) year round but we still have seasons, where nearly all nurseries are open year round, and there is a wealth of gorgeous plants for winter interest.




 Yummy combination of Dogwood, an orange heather or heath  and black Mondo Grass!  Made me buy one of the dogwoods to add to a pot of mondo grass at home.


 Stunning gold of Chief Joseph Lodgepole Pines in front of a row of Pinus strobus 'Louie' which looks strikingly gold by itself but pales next Chief Joseph!

You may feel that you're being watched.

Fortunately, this isn't the restroom.  I'm not exactly sure what it is but it's interesting.
 All of this pink stuff isn't the beginning of some sort of installation by Christo but rather part of the system used to take inventory in January. 
 More evergreen shrubby goodness.  Have I mentioned that I love living in the Pacific Northwest more than ten times in the last five minutes?
 I posted about buying this Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide' here.  This is the very one that came home with me from Molbak's.  Will it be cheating if I include pictures of it blooming in my garden in my February bloomday post?

Phormiums and Cordylines.  We're getting bold again!

O.K. there are some flowers like Columbines and Echinacea that I think look best in their single, simple form and not doubled and frilled up.  While I do appreciate the simplicity of single primroses, these double ones tickle me.  They increase in size each year in my garden. 
 And speaking of primroses, would you like a greenhouse full of them.  The fragrance in here was very sweet.  Notice the inverted flower pot lighting.

First daffodil sighting of the season.  Maybe it doesn't really count because it was obviously forced.  Made me smile.  Hope it did the same for you.

The only grandparent that I knew, my maternal grandmother, loved pansies (and made wicked good doughnuts.)   Whenever I see these happy little frilly flowers, I think of her.

Paphiopedilum orchid.  It's hard not to take pictures of these as they are so photogenic.


I still don't feel the need to own any but enjoy seeing them. 

File this under "Crimes aginst horticulture!"  It's an interesting look, sort of but how long can the poor thing live this way?
 The coloration of this sansevieria was new to me.  Love this and it's one of the few houseplants that I am able to keep alive.  Had to come home with me.

Speaking of crimes against horticulture, shouldn't chrysanthemums be asleep this time of year.  I love these as much as the next gardener but not so much  right now.

These Agave lophanta 'quadricolor' were in the houseplant section so were 30% off but I already have one that for the last two years has been sitting around looking lovely but not putting on much growth at all.  Maybe it wants more heat.
 This agave was also tempting and on sale but I don't really need another large plant to drag inside each fall.
 More temptations!



Ricki posted about her Kalanchloe behariensis in November.  It's such a fuzzy and fun plant but it too stayed at the store. 
 One of my favorite bromeliads.
 Love this one as it reminds me of Deanne's collection.  At $35.00  it decided to be an addition to my picture collection rather than my plant hoard.

Silly Molbaks, these "indoor" plants grow outside!
 
Well, not this one.  which is grown in hanging baskets with these huge fly catching, um, devices hanging down over the sides.  This is a tropical pitcher plant and those each needs a little water to be added periodically and it must be in just the right light.  It's fun and odd and would be fun to grow outside.


We packed up the Camellia,  Sansevieria, and dogwood  and headed off to lunch.  I didn't realize how fragrant 'Yuletide' is but when we got back in the car, it smelled divine. 
 
Happy Saint Agatha's Day (patron saint of breast cancer patients, martyrs, wet nurses, fire, earthquakes, and eruptions of Mount Etna.)  
 

26 comments:

  1. I like the idea of adding plants that might not work in my garden to the photo collection instead.

    You do have a lot of beautiful plant nurseries in your area.

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    1. I love the plant photo collection - very low maintainence and much less expensive than the actual plant hoard.

      We're incredibly lucky to be able to visit beautiful plant places any time of the year.

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  2. Some Heucheras are lovely but it's starting to become a case of 'there can be too much of a good thing' as more and more coloured leaf forms become available. They do need lifting and dividing every few years though to keep them looking good.

    Some gorgeous plants, makes me want to shop soon! Agave lophanta 'quadricolor' - can't have enough of this :)

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    1. Oh yes! More shopping, definitely! Hope you have fun.

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  3. 30% off on those "indoor" succulents huh? Danger! Portland Nursery recently had a houseplant sale too, luckily I was out of town at the time otherwise who knows what damage I could have done!

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    1. I kept thinking WWLD when looking at that big agave. A house and garage full of overwintering plants kept me from throwing it in my cart. If it had been summer, things would have gone much differently!

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  4. How can it be fair that your nurseries are better stocked in February than many of mine are in June? Yes, the daffodil made me smile :).

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    1. Oh my friend, life isn't fair! Or maybe all's fair in pant love and war? The nurseries in Alaska aren't even open yet so it could be worse. Have you considered moving out west? I know you liked your visit out here.

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  5. I learned something here: that I much prefer 'Louie' to the Chief, and I'll bet he is less expensive, to boot. I'm embarrassed to admit that the combo of marketing and high prices had me lusting after Chief Joseph. Thanks for freeing me from the evil clutches of that particular plant lust.

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    1. Louie is much more subtle with that lovely yellow and buttercream color and long needles. It looks more natural and would blend beautifully with a variety of colorful evergreens. Joe is more of a prima donna that grows painfully slowly and is difficult to propogate. He's had more work done than Michael Jackson and is about as shy and retiring as Lady Gaga. Joey is a standout specimen focal point sort of plant that cannot be ignored. I'd not been aware of any marketing but saw a few large ones during the silver season (winter - much nicer and more apt than gray or wet season) at Portland Avenue Nursery in Tacoma several years ago and fell for it before I saw the price. I still love the glowing brightness of Joey in the winter!

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  6. How dare people twist plants into all sorts of odd shapes, it's disgraceful. Tried heucheras, don't think their worth growing as a plant, although their multicoloured foliage is attractive and says " come buy me".

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    1. Heucheras are sort of like junk food - tastes good but there's not a lot of substance there. These look good when you buy them and are amazing in mixed plantings but require a lot of work to keep them looking presentable. Or maybe I'm just doing it wrong.

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  7. Peter, I can't take this anymore. Think of me,please, even a little! I'm in the middle of coldness, snow and frost! You show all those stunning flower pictures and spring you're having.. Oh, boy! I wish I could live there as well...

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    1. I always send warm thoughts your way. Sorry I can't do anything about your snow and cold (beautiful as it is!) Spring is on it's way for you. April is only a couple of months away!

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  8. I planted up a pot of black mondo grass and yellow twigged dogwood after my husband was struck by the combination at the winter garden in the Washington Park Arboretum. The orange twigs look good, too.


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    1. We are lucky to live in an area where there is such a wide variety of great looking winter interest plants. I've never been to the Washington Park Arboretum but must get there someday as it's only an hour from where I live!

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  9. I am afraid I would be "beyond tempted" many of these would come home with me .. of course my home would have to be THERE other wise they would be under snow .. BIG sigh !
    Mums are big in the Spring in the Netherlands, northern Belgium and Germany .. I found it odd at first, but got used to it because all plants look great there any time !
    Joy : )

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    1. We would love to have you in the area! If you don't want to move to the states, there's always beautiful British Columbia! Palm trees, tree ferns, hardiness zone 8. Think about it!
      It's interesting that mums are popular in the spring in the Netherlands, northern Belgium and Germany. They are great looking plants! When they are forced into bloom in the spring, do they continue blooming until fall if deadheaded or do they peter out after a few weeks?

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  10. Oh, those poor braided sanseverias, even the worst mother-in-law deserves better.

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  11. I agree about Heucheras, I don't hate them but they leave me unmoved. I like the dogwood/mondo grass combo.

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    1. Glad you came along on the shopping trip Jason!

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  12. Thank you kindly for the virtual shopping trip up north as I too would be far too tempted to resist such beauty. Thankfully our primroses do well underneath the 100 foot fir trees hovering above our home sweet home and offer the signal that Spring is on the horizon. Besides, Pay Day is not til Friday. My best friend called from Las Cruces, New Mexico as she was unloading the bright pink geraniums she just bought at Home Depot this afternoon. So envious of her colorful patio to celebrate Ground Hog's Day. We will continue to find beauty in the moss covered cobble stone we call a native NW patio as we anxiously await the coming of Mardi Gras!! Compliments to the photographer! Love the blog equally as well!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Betty. I'm glad that you found my blog! Las Cruces is beautiful but I bet your moss covered cbblestone is also charming! The cool thing about taking my camera to nurseries is that I'm less tempted to buy everything. I simply take pictures and add the plants to my image garden. It's very easy care and inexpensive!

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  13. Oh, my! After all those temptations, you only came away with three plants! Impressive restraint! As for heucheras, they don't do well here, so I wouldn't have been tempted by them. But that black mondo grass would have been in my car in a flash! The next time I spend too much on plants, I'm going to tell my husband "I was drunk; it meant nothing"! ;)

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    1. The truth is that I don't do well with house plants, my outdoor space is overcrowded as it is, and I still have a potting area full of nursery finds from last year that need to find homes. So, those are the sensible excuses, really, I'll be filling the car with plants later in the year when most of the day is spent playing outside. The black mondo is a wonderful plant which spreads fairly quickly so I've got quite a bit of it to go with my dogwood. Please let us all know how your husband responds to that excuse so we'll know if it will work for us!

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