It had become a tradition for us on the first weekend of August to pack a lunch and head out on a day trip to Gold Bar, WA to attend the Fronderosa Frolic, a plant sale that had been called the horticultural equivalent of Woodstock. (Several previous posts here.) It was a great event with a festive atmosphere, sometimes roving musicians, a gorgeous setting, and most of all vendors that included all kinds of artists and small independent specialty growers. It was with a bit of sadness that we heard that this would be the last Frolic.
One never knows when parking here if a pterodactyl might steal his tires. Caution is advised.
Eyeing potential prey...
While vendor participation had decreased a bit over the years, the event was still well attended and a great deal of fun. I was wrong in thinking that vendors would show up in droves this year to participate one last time. There were a handful of sellers and still great plants but this sale was a shadow of it's former self.
Kelly from Far Reaches Farm chatting about his offerings with a customer.
Ian and his son watch shoppers browse at the Desert Northwest.
Somehow, I missed photographing Arlen and Keeping it Green Nursery's space. Too excited about the podophyllum offerings probably.
Fancy Fronds Nursery, the event's host.
There were a few others that I didn't photograph, the lady who makes the cool twig trugs, furniture, and banners, a metal artist, a grower with quite a few succulents, and that's about it. Still festive and fun though!
For me, the Frolic was also about visiting the magical garden of Judith Jones, proprietress of Fancy Fronds Nursery and Fern Madame. Judith has created show gardens at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show since its inception 26 years ago and many of the structures, creatures, tombstones, and other items scattered around the garden are pieces of those gardens.
The site is a special slice of woods at riverside.
Oh those beautiful trees!
Boat used as a water garden. Wasn't the purpose to keep water out of the boat? Love it.
I'll bet that this cozy log house is filled with as much whimsey and fun as the garden. While summer is a wonderful time here, I like to imagine what winter is like with the garden covered with snow, a fire in the stone fireplace, and a good book.
Near the house, every surface is covered with cool collections.
Looking for a trellis stout enough to support a heavy climber?
Behind the house the lawn is set up to feed the vendors and friends and there's that gorgeous gazebo.
I heard Judith say that they're just taking some time off and this might not be the last fling. In talking with a young man (her son?) cooking lunch in the outdoor kitchen, he said that they may do a few smaller events in the future rather than one huge one. It would be nice to think that there may be future opportunities to visit! Of course, the nursery itself is still open by appointment.
New forest of interesting trees, including, but not shown, a nice specimen of Quercus dentata pinnatifida.
Cut trees acting as mothers to others.
Sit a spell by the fire and listen to the sound of the river passing by.
Who wouldn't want a garden with this view?
In addition to plant lust, it's the place that draws one back.
The garden and woods meld beautifully to create a setting reminiscent of something from a fairy tale.
Walking through the Bavarian forest and coming across a cabin...
Pot ghetto. This is a gardener after my own heart.
Beautiful greenhouse from the last show garden (2014?)
Giant snail eating ferns.
Time to pack up the plants and go (got lots of unusual ferns this year for a mini stumpery I'm contemplating.) Farewell for now to the Frolic and thanks Judith and crew for sixteen years of intense work to host this special event! I've loved it!
Once more we pass between the guard frogs at the exit.
On another sad note to those in this area, word on the street is that instead of doing the huge FlorAbundance sale at Washington Park Arboretum, they're thinking of doing a few smaller sales.