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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.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Saturday With Alison and Nigel: The Tacoma Home and Garden Show Part One

I am of the strong belief that every garden show should begin with someone offering you  complimentary chocolate covered something!  More about  the rest of the show later but first, all strung out on chocolate and the joy of seeing each other again, we looked for a sign to lead us.

It couldn't have been clearer!  Like the three wise men (only two at this point as Nigel found a nice spot to read his book as Alison and I went on.)  we followed the wondrous sign on the east wall and journeyed to behold the wonder of Bark and Garden's space. (Useless trivia:  neither the number nor the names of the wise men from the east is mentioned in the bible, that stuff just got made up.  Neat eh?


You may be wondering, like I was just what Bark and Garden would be bringing to the show. After having just visited last week I thought I'd seen it all but boy, was I wrong!
 
In talking with a nice gentleman working in the space he told me that much of what was coming to both this show and especially the Seattle Show (only a week away peeps!) was kept under lock and key as there were several new introductions that the nursery would be featuring at the shows. 


Bark and Garden does a wonderful job of combining  evergreens and other winter interest plants.   With year round beauty like this possible in one's garden, it's tempting to rip out a lot of those silly seasonal things and replace them with longer-lasting lovelies like these.  (O.K. even I didn't believe that.)  But there are certainly a lot of gorgeous evergreens that can be included in our gardens for winter visual stimulation!
What's this gorgeous golden pine that costs less than a third of what 'Chief Joseph' costs?    It's Pinus sylvestris 'Gold Coin'  which came home with me.  I'll do a side by side comparison of it and Chief Joseph  in a future post so that we can see the differences and similarities.




The Tacoma Home and Garden Show is much smaller than the Northwest Flower and Garden Show and doesn't include many of the components of the larger show but it's a great place to visit in the winter to get one's engines running for the season!



So, you get the pattern, right?  Throw some plants together.  Make one yellow, one blue, and one red and you can throw in just about any other green shades.  Something should be upright, something should be a mound of foliage, throw in something prostrate and you're good to go, add something weeping, even better.  Oh, and make sure that they have different foliage that will compliment  the other plants in the arrangement.  Sounds pretty easy doesn't it?   Why doesn't my garden look like this then?

B & G even had a nice display of indoor plants.  The splotchy dieffenbachia caught my eye but since I kill house plants, it stayed to be adopted by someone with better skills.
The huge range of color, shape and texture of evergreens never ceases to amaze me! 



This yew and threadleaf cypress combination is simple and elegant. 

Another pine whose name I didn't get with nice gold tipped needles.
 
Last year I fell in love with a much smaller specimen of this at the NWFGS.  It's a Sunlight Lace Hinoki Cypress that is an Isley (from Boring, Oregon) introduction.   Ms. Alison was smitten with this one.




B & G also brought some Hellebores...
Is this foliage wonderful or what?   Helleborus 'Platinum Rose' There were also many 'Anna's Red' in the display but none with the strong red markings of the foliage on the one I got at the nursery.


I had to get Rosemary 'Gold Dust'  because you can't have too much rosemary, right?  You can use the woody stems as skewers for things to be barbecued and if you've not tried throwing rosemary on your coals just before grilling, you might like the flavor it gives your food it's also a joy to smell the smoke of burning rosemary.  Anyway, can you imagine how pretty this gold variegated foliage will look when it has purple/blue blooms?



Hey, what kind of trickery is afoot?  I've never seen dianthus and primroses bloom at the same time before...

Alison pretending that all she's buying is a few small tillandsias.

There's no fooling us,  we KNOW what you carted home.   Do you suppose she'll fess up on her blog?

 
It was wonderful to have a plant play date again with Alison!   There's more of the show to come!
 
 

16 comments:

  1. Great post, until that last picture with my tongue hanging out. Although I guess it is an apt representation of how we both get around plants. You got some beautiful shots of the Bark and Garden display. I wonder how rosemary would work out as part of an evergreen screen in my front bed along the street? It's hardy here, and can get big... Something to think about. That variegated one is lovely.

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    1. I tried to get more pictures of you but my camera was doing weird things. Rosemary in your front bed would be way cool!

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  2. You and Alison have just begun your plant journey this year, and it's only January! :)

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    1. Ain't it grand? It was so much fun to see Alison and Nigel again!

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  3. Lovelovelove that last shot of Alison!

    I am curious about the Rosemary 'Gold Dust', I've never seen a variegated rosemary! I am kind of a freak about variegation though, so much of it I think makes the plant look like it's sick. I'll be watching for this one!

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    1. I'll bet that Bark and Garden will have it at the NWFGS! It was the first variegated rosemary I'd ever seen. Totally understand your variegation freakiness. I feel the same way about some spotted leaves.

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  4. It's one thing to assemble a tapestry of plants by arranging pots and quite another to work them into the landscape (the darned things insist on growing, dontcha know). Still, I'm a big fan of the evergreen border. Alison with her tongue out oozes personality. I'd want to meet her even if I didn't already know how cool she is. I like a small show like this...probably comparable to our own Yard, Garden and Patio Show. Not sure I could handle the sensory overload of the one in Seattle.

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    1. You're right about plants wanting to grow, change, and disrupt your perfect composition but I do admire the way Bark and Garden does it! I think that the Portland show is larger than Tacoma's but I like the smaller shows. Seattle is pretty amazing but the fragrances alone can be overwhelming; add the sights, sounds, and people, and it can be exhausting. Attending on multiple days is a great idea because you can focus on specific things at different times.

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  5. It looks as if you had fun I wish I could have been there. I would have bought that lovely golden pine too and some of those gorgeous Hellebores. And maybe that unusual rosemary. I love that small flowered Camellia too. So many lovely things.

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    1. You're always welcome to come along with Alison and Me! When gardeners get together we always have fun! The small, single flowered Camellia is C. sasanqua 'Yuletide' . It's charming, can take some sun, and sometimes blooms for Christmas.

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    2. Thanks it would be lovely; unfortunately rather a long way to come from Suffolk, England. I will be looking out for that Camellia 'Yuletide'. I think those small flowers are so dainty.

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    3. A bit of a long commute indeed. If you should ever find yourself in the area and want a tour of nurseries, do let us know!

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  6. It looks like the Tacoma show has grown up a bit. We went a long time ago at the Puyallup Fair grounds and it was not good at all. I do love those foliage displays.

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    1. This was my first visit to the Tacoma show so I've nothing for comparison. I recognized a few vendors from the Seattle show but there were enough different things to see in this show to make it worthwhile to attend.

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  7. Oh, how nice: complimentary chocolate! I'd love to! Did you purchase that golden pine, peter? It is pretty!

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    1. I did purchase that golden pine. I was weak.

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