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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.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Meanwhile, back on the Kisap Peninsula, the Nursery Romp Continues.

Fortunately, on our day of plant ogling, we had the surprise pleasure of touring Shayne Chandler's Garden.  Unfortunately, our good luck kept us from being able to visit one of my favorite nurseries in the area, Dragonfly Farms Nursery.  Fortunately, the nice folks at Far Reaches Farm  said when we called from the road, that they'd stay open a little late for us (they close at 4:00)  and Ian at The Dessert Northwest said that he'd hang around for us, too!    The next stop on our whirlwind nursery hop was Far Reaches Farm.  We'd seen Kelly and Sue at the Heronswood sale but a visit to this nursery is not to be missed by anyone who loves plants!  You can see previous posts about Far Reaches here.

The green-roofed gazebo next to the bog looks very inviting but who could sit still with so many unusual plants at which to gaze and drool.




Texture, color, contrast!  Flowers, we don't need no stinking flowers!



Peony seed heads have split open and look somewhat alien!


Arum fruit makes a striking statement in several parts of the shade garden.


The golden foliage alone of  Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Golden Arrow,' that beautifully brightens up dark corners, would be enough to love this plant but  add a flamboyant late summer/fall pink halo of  bloom and this plant will hop into your hands faster than a knife fight in a phone booth!

An impressive stand of this Zingiber was covered with these gorgeous blooms.   We were there when the sun was shining right on it so the pictures of the entire clump  aren't great.  Gorgeous!

Hydrangea serrata 'O-amacha Nashiki'   Imagine bright pinky red petioles as they were there.  Heaven!  Oh, and it blooms too.

Maianthemum oleraceum in fruit.  I fell in love with this plant in bloom and now this.  I hope they have some available next time I visit!  You can read more about this gorgeous cousin of our native False Solomon's Seal here.


Who says rhododendron foliage has to be boring?

Every time I go to Far Reaches, I admire this Rosa sericea ssp.omeiensis f pteracantha which seems to have larger thorns than others I've seen. Luckily for me, one of mine is a seedling from this one.  We'll see, as it matures, if it takes after it's mama.


Sorry for so many images but it's so gorgeous!  The little white roses it produces earlier in the season look so sweet and innocent.

 
One of my favorite plants in my winter garden is Meconopsis paniculata and its friend Meconopsis  napaulensis.  They're quite promiscuous in the wild and cross with each other a lot. This forms a nice large basil rosette.  The low winter sun illuminates the this rather hirsute fellow's blonde hair and makes the whole plant glow with golden light.  As if that weren't enough, the leaves "capture and hold raindrops displaying them as if they were fine bits of prized crystal"  (Dodson)

Brings to mind Eric Whitacre's "Lux arumque" (Light and gold.)
Lux calida gravis que pura, Pura velut aurum,  canunt modo natum.
 Light, warm and heavy, Pure,  pure as gold, they sing to the new born baby.
 
 
 
This little guy popped out of his hiding place to decide if he should say hello to me or not.
 
"Maybe I'll look a little closer before I decide." 
 

"O.K. you may admire me but I won't look directly at you.  You creatures with the hair and smooth skin are quite repulsive, you know!" 

I love me some little frogs!
 
Inky blue agapanthus holding it's flowers shyly downward.  This one's a charmer!
 
 So, we found a couple of small plants and were happily on our way. 
We have one more special nursery to visit.  Really, there's still tons of space for plants for those who have eyes to see.  Wallets lighter and souls singing with the joy of new plant acquisitions, we hit the road for the 40 minute drive from Port Townsend to Sequim to visit the Desert Northwest.  It's a good thing that we brought two vehicles.  Next time I'm thinking that renting a van might not be a bad idea!
 
I hope your coming weekend is as full of wonder and delight as this one was for me! 

37 comments:

  1. The photo of the peony and the arum berries together looks like it was a pictorial for Little Shop of Horrors!

    Love all those rhododendrons, still an underrated group of plants. And great haul too!

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    1. Don't be frightened, the seeds will not hurt you. (Or will they?)

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  2. Haha! That image of your car is priceless! Looks like such a great place! And what luck people staying open and around late for you.

    Oh and I too loooove me some tree frogs!!

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    1. We were thinking of strapping someone to the roof of the car so we could fit more plants in but there were no volunteers.

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  3. I fell in love with the Agapanthus, I don't suppose you know exactly which one it is? I should have asked. Actually, I guess I still can. I fell in love with that Maianthemum last time we were there too. If they ever start selling that one, I will be up there so fast! I wonder if anyone ever pockets things like peony seeds or fruit from their shade pavilion? I never would, knowing they start so many of their stock from their own seeds, but I know there are some gardeners who think nothing of it.

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    1. I don't remember which Agapanthus that was but there was a somewhat similar,down facing variety at Watsons last time I was there.

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  4. This being my second visit to Far Reaches it's also my favorite. Everyone from the employees to the other late shoppers just seemed to be having a grand day, there was no where else we would rather have been. I've already planted a couple of things I bought there, the others will have to wait until the spring project is complete.

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    1. I'm so glad that you sniffed out that cool sage! I was going to write about it in this post but it was late and I forgot. I planted mine and now get to enjoy that wonderful fragrance every time I walk by.

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  5. Great pictures, Peter. I loved that alien.. and the tiny, curious frog. Happy weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Satu! Happy weekend to you, too!

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  6. I totally agree about 'Golden Arrow', it's a stunning plant...I might even have a few seedlings to bring to the exchange next weekend :-)

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    1. Love everything about that plant except that it scorches at the mere thought of sun touching the leaves.

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  7. Love the frog... we don't have them here. Peony seeds... I shall never deadhead them again. Wonder if that is what mine will look like. wow. What a fun trip.

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    1. Frogs facinate me and with the exception of a couple that I've brought it for my pond, we don't have them in my urban garden. This was a fun, plant-filled trip! We are very lucky to have so many outstanding nurseries nearby!

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  8. I'll take one of everything, please, except the plant with the giant thorns. It's too stabby for me. Does the PNW have an amazing nursery on every corner? You've been to more cool nurseries this year than I've ever been to IN MAH WHOLE LIIFFEE!

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    1. There's a law here that for every two Starbucks or Tullys that are opened one nursery had to also be built. It's worked pretty well I think!

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  9. The Paeonia pod looks like it might have been 'Molly the Witch' - mine was much the same a week ago. Am flat on my back with lower back spasms, so keep the nursery tours coming Peter.....

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    1. So very sorry to hear about your lower back spasms. Pain robs us of so much!

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  10. Look at all those yummy treats in your trunk. No stinkin' flowers for you! LOL

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    1. Lots of good stuff! Such a fun day. Can't wait to do it again!

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  11. Great color! And I love the gazebo and the little frog!

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    1. Thanks Linda. Far Reaches is a special place.

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  12. Isn't your garden going to be as crowded as your car soon? :-)

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    1. Unfortunately, my garden is already as crowded as my car. It's looking more like a nursery with pots everywhere than a garden at this point but I love them all! Fortunately, the plants filling the car are the haul of four gardeners. Unfortunately, way too many of them were mine.

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  13. The Rosa sericea pictures are a special treat! Thank you, Peter!

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    1. I'm glad you like them. That's one gorgeous specimen they've got growing at Far Reaches!

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  14. Another great nursery, as your loaded car attests. The red thorns are lovely when backlit. I don't know about when trying to prune them. You must be a frog whisperer, among your many talents. I saw some nice seeds on my tree peony and think I'll have to try growing them. The red ones are pretty.

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    1. Well, when pruning them one does want to wear gloves (and maybe full body armor.) But really, they don't present too much of a problem. Really, that red color does NOT come from the blood of the gardener!

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  15. What a great nursery, I love that gazebo. Who would have thought the plant in Little Shop of Horrors could have been a peony? Anyhow, next time you should consider a U-Haul trailer so you don't have to squish in all the plants and you'll be free to really buy what you want.

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    1. Taking a U-Haul trailer would be dangerous as I seem to buy plants for spaces that exist only in my mind. When I get home with them and find that there is not a single inch of available space in my garden, the plants get potted up and placed around here and there. It would probably be wise to simply put price tags on them and hang a sign out front reading "Plant Sale." I'm working on clearing out a couple of areas that have become overgrown messes to make space for some of the new kids.

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  16. I'm making plans to attend the Bloggers Fling in PDX next summer!! I have family who just moved to Portland so I can see them and hang with bloggers, too. So excited!! Yay! :o)

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    1. Hot dayum! I'm happier than a puppy with two tails to hear this! It will be great to meet you and you'll love the Portland area with it's great gardens and nurseries. Have you been to this part of the country before? The fling is, in my one time experience, very full of activities so if you can spend some time staying in the area after the fling, you could do some more exploring.

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    2. Despite having lived in CA for 17 years I never made it to OR or WA. I'll be visiting family for a few days plus doing fling stuff on Fling days so I'm pretty excited. Hallelujah for frequent flier miles! :o) I'm hoping to get a Fling to come to DC.

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  17. I'm very envious of all the fantastic nurseries you folks in the PNW have, although, after seeing the contents of your car trunk and backseat, it occurred to me that I'd probably be a pauper if I lived up that-a-way.

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    1. Who needs to pay the mortgage? Come out and visit sometime. I'll be the guy living in his car with a great collection of plants, four small dogs, and little else. Seriously, temptations abound with our many fine nurseries. I hope that you are able to visit this area sometime, perhaps the Garden Bloggers' Fling in July?

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  18. Ohhhh!! I looove that frog!!! I love frogs! I also love all those plants and the nursery... but I always say the same things. What a nice trip you guys made!

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    1. We're very lucky to have so many nurseries full of great plants in this area!

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