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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, April 21, 2015

Wells Medina Nursery Part One.

Medina is a very exclusive area quite near Seattle with a population of nearly 3,000 people of which Bill Gates is probably the best known.  Visitors are welcomed by signs that read "You Are Entering A 24 Hour Video Surveillance Area."  The system records the license plate of every car entering the city and police are notified if the license number is recorded in any database.

In this area is Wells Medina Nursery (previous post here.) started by Ned Wells in 1972, now run by his two daughters. Although they don't propagate their own stock,  Wells Medina is a plant lover's paradise as they carry not only standard nursery stock but also less common and unusual plants. The variegated camellia from a previous post was purchased here.  It's a treat to visit this nursery that is a nine minute drive from the bustle of downtown Seattle.  The setting is quiet and park like and the people who work here are friendly and serious plant people who really know their stuff.

There is always something interesting to b found  here regardless of the season but spring is a special time at any nursery!

I love the circle of palms echoing the circular shape of the raised beds and planter in the center.

They're getting ready to bloom!  In case you were wondering, that price tag reads $995.00

This is a place that doesn't do anything in a small way.  Here is a tiny portion of their rose selection. 

Huge pots of Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo Paws) for instant impact.

A small forest of Abyssinian Red Bananas (Ensete ventricosum)

Paeonia veitchii with gorgeous foliage hails from China and is one of the few peonies that thrives and blooms either in sun or shade.

Speaking of instant impact,  feast your eyes on this fabulous blooming brugmansia.

Looks like the WEHOP (Western Horticultural Products) truck made a delivery as these chartreuse pots are all form Montery Bay Growers.

 Echiveria 'Doris Taylor' is such a cute little hirsute thing!

Dudleya caespitosa was a serious temptation. Others also must have agreed as there were only a few left.  Since one already lives in my greenhouse, it was easier to leave it behind.

These always tug at my heart.  Each plant looks like a flower.  

Abutilon 'Rosa Linda' is a charmer!

So, here I am feeling smug that I wintered these over in my greenhouse.  Perhaps someday mine will be as big as these fifty dollar, two gallon Cordyline 'Pink Passion'

Four inch pot of Sanguinaria canadensis 'Multiplex.'  

Lots of charmers for shade.

I'm liking Heuchera 'Fire Alarm.' Such vibrant color.  

Who doesn't love Cardoon foliage?  I was seriously tempted by this but for thirty some bucks, I decided it would be better to find a seedling and watch it grow. The nice thing about the availability of these large plants is that if one really wanted to impress the garden club when they come for tea and cucumber sandwiches, the addition of a few really grand plants that look like they'd been there for a while would do it!


 O.K. Stachys Bello Gigo is officially everywhere this year.  I've seen it at lots of nurseries.  I vow to get mine in the ground in the sun this year and not let it struggle in a pot the way I did last year.

Itoh Peonies are nice enough and don't require staking but I'm not all that crazy about them.  


 Camellia japonica 'Nicki Crisp' 

 A lovely collection of conifers and beyond that deciduous trees, not to mention the Acer palmaum collection.  Sigh.



 Lophomyrtus x ralphii 'Kathryn.' Is that cute foliag or what?  My plant lust-o-meter dial was on ten until I saw that it's only hardy to zone 9a.

Azaleas screaming out that it's definitely spring.   The rhododendron area will get it's own post.

There's a Pieris Japonica for just about everyone!  P.j. 'Flaming Silver'


P.j. 'Rialto'

P.j. 'Katsura' 

 I nearly added American Hybrid tuberous begonias to the Begonia experiment in the laboratory. The tubers from Breck's finally arrived so we have hardware store, Blackmore and Langdon, and Breck's Dutch tuberous begonias to compare.  There are already lots of them in the lab so these stayed at the store but  perhaps next year.

The size of the tubers is larger than any of the others I'd planted.  These were too large to even fit in the four inch pots in which the others are starting.

Coprosma repens 'Infeno' 

Sigh, this Yucca rigida is gorgeous and for $595.00 it could be yours!  Instant impact does come at a price.

If you're ever in the Seattle area, a visit to Wells Medina is a must!

31 comments:

  1. Wouldn't it be fun if you ran into Bill or Melinda while strolling at the nursery? And would you believe I never been to Wells Medina (and I'm mere 5 minutes from the I-90 floating bridge)? My favorite local nursery is the West Seattle nursery: small but packed with wonderful and affordable plants. The only one you'd run into over there is me!
    I have a passion for cardoons but after killing two I'm a bit hesitant to try again. Did you score any plants at Well Medina?

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    1. Can't believe that you've never been as it's a great place! I got three plants there, the magnolia with variegated leaves and grand new bronze new foliage on red stems that was my fave last week, a farfugium with very crinkly leaves, and something that I can't remember. I'll go look in the box! Funny you should mention West Seattle Nursery as I'd wanted to go there since I saw their cool garden at the NWFG Show so after Wells Medina, that's just where we went. It was there that I got a couple cardoon seedlings from Langley growers that were about 1.50 along with quite a few other treasures. I now love that place!

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  2. Some sumptuous plants there and still early in the season too which is good! Wish bananas those size would be available for sale here early in the season.

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    1. We're very lucky to live just up the coast from where bananas are hardy so we can easily get fairly large specimens early on. Because our spring has been so warm, gardeners are wanting to get outside earlier than usual and nurseries are scrambling to get plants earlier than usual.

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  3. It is a great nursery. I was there a little over a month ago, which is where I bought my Magnolia macrophylla. I think I might have picked up a Stachys Bello Grigio there too. I do see them everywhere now. I'm not a big fan of Pieris, but the foliage on 'Rialto' is wonderful.

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    1. Wells Medina needs a south sound location that could be managed by us don't you think? I can't help it, I know that Pieris are ubiquitous in PNW gardens but their cute flowers never fail to make me smile. I once saw an arrangement of Pieris flowers, yellow daffodils, and bright pink camellias with prominent yellow stamens that made quite an impression on my new to the northwest brain and I've loved them ever since.

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  4. It's been years and years since I've been to Wells Medina, thanks for the tour! You're taking me back. There used to be a Smith and Hawkin over off 520 past 405, I'd hit that after Wells Medina.

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    1. Oh, the Smith and Hawkin days...sigh. Wells Medina rocks but they're not so big on dangerous plants.

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  5. What an amazing and large selection of plants. I don't know what I'd do if I had one like that nearby (I'd go broke for sure!)

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    1. It's one of the great nurseries for sure!

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  6. I guess to someone buying a thousand dollar palm tree, getting a hole dug for it would not be a problem, either.

    On second thought, I could get a hole dug. Deciding where to put it would be the biggest effort. One would certainly want to insure that the thing was going to LIVE.

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    1. We just let the design team take care of that sort of thing and they interface with the garden staff and the heavy equipment people.

      Like you, I employ the firm Me, Myself, and I. Don't know about where you live but here they're a lazy and cantankerous crew.

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    2. The equipment operator does a great job here except when his inner 15-year-old-self takes over and I have to wave him off and grab a shovel. It usually happens when he's tired and suddenly there's a tractor careening around corners and hitting buildings. Then he turns back into the silent grandpa who fixes what the kid messed up.

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  7. By and large, I do tend to find that Wells Medina likes their plants a bit more than I do...

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    1. Quite true but there are also some fairly unusual things there that can't be found anywhere else. Also, if I were a landscaper working for a wealthy client who wanted a garden that looked instantly like it had been there for quite some time and there were no financial constraints, I'd most certainly take advantage of the large sizes of plants found here.

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  8. My kinda nursery!
    I especially love the pieris selections. Those prices seem very exclusive, too. Last time I was in the US (2008) I was always amazed at how cheap everything was, including plants, but those prices are identical to what we have in Australia

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    1. The high prices were mostly on huge plants. The exception is the four inch pot of Sanguinaria canadensis 'Multiplex' which is fairly expensive wherever you buy it (as high as 25 dollars for the the same size.) The lovely flowers are fleeting but the gorgeous foliage sticks around all summer! I only showed that because I'd blogged before about a source for that plant for that price for a two gallon container. (Highly Unusual but wonderful!)

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  9. I haven't seen that BG stachys locally yet this year and am not sure if I'd try it again, it disappeared so fast last year. As usual with silvers, I'm thinking my clayish soil is the culprit. Good job on overwintering the cordylines!

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    1. I've heard mixed reviews about BG stachys. Seems to be a total winner or looser for gardeners with few in the middle. I wish I could take credit for the overwintering but the greenhouse did the work while I just threw water on things every now and then.

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  10. Yet another wonderful nursery, although the city sign creeps me out some (and I don't have a record - that I know of).

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    1. The sign seemed a bit strange the first few times but now it makes me feel safer being there. Have to remember not to do anything embarrassing while on camera...

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  11. I love that Stachys and saw it for sale recently. The tag didn't say if it was hardy here and it was situated with premium annuals so I passed it up. Oh well. Fun nursery jaunt!

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  12. You can tell this nursery is in a rich neighborhood for those prices. Ouch.

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  13. We haven't been to Wells Medina for several years. I guess we need some NPA Open Gardens to get us over there again.

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  14. I love nurseries that have a large varied stock that includes less common stuff. This one seems to tick all the boxes.

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  15. I love nurseries that have a large varied stock that includes less common stuff. This one seems to tick all the boxes.

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  16. I love nurseries that have a large varied stock that includes less common stuff. This one seems to tick all the boxes.

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  17. Thanks for the tour, Peter. I have never been there either. Look like some interesting plants. Love your comment on your garden crew. I also employ the firm Me, Myself and I, and you are right they are lazy! But have to say the garden is looking better than normal for this time of year. Maybe it's the nice weather...

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  18. I have a cardoon that roars back every year and I grew it from seed. If I can do it, anybody can. That's a might impressive looking place to shop.

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  19. Peter, if every nursery/garden center, which you showed in your blog, would pay you a couple of dollars, you could buy that Cardoon!

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  20. Peter, if every nursery/garden center, which you showed in your blog, would pay you a couple of dollars, you could buy that Cardoon!

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