This past weekend was the "Premier Plant Sale" at Bloedel Reserve in Bainbridge Island, WA. This sale begins a season of plant sales and, with free admission to the Bloedel reserve, the ability to wander inside the house, and the lectures it's a plant geek's dream! Click here to learn more about the Blodel Reserve. What could make this day even more fun? Sharing it with a fellow plant nerd, in this case, Alison of Bonnie Lassie fame and her delightfully, devilishly funny husband, Nigel. While Nigel isn't interested in gardening, he's a great sport and seems to enjoy reading whilst Alison shops. Be sure to check out Alison's post about this sale!
Alison and I were free to sale away!
It's always a good idea to arrive early! I got great parking in the first parking field while Alison and Nigel who came later, had to park several lots away.
Approaching the line waiting for the opening of the sale. Folks were in a great mood as rain had been predicted for the day and there were some spots of blue in the sky! We were all excited to see what wonderful plants awaited inside.
I love moss and the moss garden here is very beautiful!
Who needs grass?
the empty tables on the right are the holding area. The whole set up is fabulous, one selects plants and puts them in boxes on the holding tables. The only carrying of plants that customers have to do is to carry them from the holding tables to the white roofed check out area on the left. After you pay, the plants are put in a small vehicle and transported to the pick up area close to parking. Here, kids from the school band carry your purchases to your vehicle. Quite a system!
It's good to have a front lawn that can accomidate several thousand people. Fortunately there were only a few hundred folks but it's nice to have space, right?
Holding tables filled with treasures.
A pair of lichen covered contorted filberts in formal pots flanked the front door of the house.
Walking behind the house, one sees this view. Notice the labyrinth in the lawn.
Back side of the home.
I mistook this schefflera delavayi for S. macrophylla because of it's large size. However this lacks macrophylla's gorgeous brown indumentum. It was a treat to see such a large specimen growing outside!
Back around to the front of the house to look at more plants.
Here's the Bonnie Lassie herself with Nigel at check out. I'm so glad that we met and shopped together! It's so much more fun shopping with another passionate gardener. Equally wonderful was the lunch we shared at the Oak Table Cafe, which I highly recommend if you like breakfast, and our visit to Dragonfly Farms Nursery, a favorite of mine, about which I'll post tomorrow.
As we were walking back to the parking lot, we were greeted by this regal horned owl from Texas (you could tell from his charming accent.) He was an educational ambassador for a wildlife rehabilitation organization. I didn't know that wildlife had problems with drugs and alcohol so I, for one, learned something!
There was also food available at the sale; breakfast offerings at the beginning and as we explored, the barbecue was readied to prepare lunch. What more could one ask for in a plant sale? Because of the rain, and because we wanted to hit a great restaurant in Kingston and Dragonfly Farms, we decided to save exploration of more of the reserve for another visit. After reading about this marvelous place and seeing a few glimpses, I hope that you are as excited as I about returning to visit the reserve sometime soon.
Here are my treasures from the sale:
Synellesis palmata (notice the yellow markings? Kelly (Far Reaches Farms) says that this is 'Kikko' but that the show is so fleeting that they've decided to sell it as the straight species instead. This is quite the find as a 4" pot of 'Kikko' sells for over three times the price of this one gallon plant. Glad I waited.
Podophyllum pleianthum - Yes, another one. I love them though, and the size and price were certainly right!
Loree's favorite plants in a recent post. It will look swell in a pot!
Banksia Grandis. Isn't that foliage far out?
Grevillia 'Poorinda Elegance'
I also got a few old and supposedly very fragrant sweet pea plants. I hope that if you weren't able to attend the sale this year, you'll put it on your list for next!