Swanson's is a wonderful nursery at any time of year and one of the things I greatly admire about them is that even though they bring in reindeer and a camel, have various photo op areas, and feature a lot of holiday merchandise, their focus remains on plants.
Swanson's staff creates masterful combination pots! How lucky we are to live in a climate that has winters warm enough for these plants to like this year round and cold enough to allow us to plant spring-flowering bulbs without having to refrigerate them.
Winters here are warm enough that we can have something blooming outside every month of the year. Helleborus niger will be blooming until the Helleborus orientalis take over the floral duties.
Camellia sasanquas are in full swing now.
Jerry at Jungle Fever for years had a large pot of Corokia cotoneaster, Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Niger,' and Arum italicum. The combination works very well as the tropical-looking, marbled foliage of the arum adds extra winter interest and when the bright red/orange seed spikes appear in the autumn, zowie!
It was kind of cold out so I didn't fully explore the tree and shrub areas.
In the indoor plant area, bromeliads given the kokedama treatment were hanging around.
The largest Tillandsia xerographica I've ever seen (about a yard across) was perched above the extensive tillandsia collection. That's one well-hung greenhouse!
I'd seen bromeliads in burlap drawstring bags before but never vrieseas like this that are usually fairly expensive. At $7.95, they were a great buy. Very tempting but I have some already both inside and in the greenhouse.
The cafe looked and smelled especially inviting on this brisk day.
Simple, beautiful all winter, masterful use of the lavender pot. What's not to love?
How do they keep coming up with these winning potted combinations?
and variety of colors, like this beautiful silver that brightens shady spots beautifully.
A saxifrage in such glorious bloom now? Must have but were there any in the sales areas? Nope. Must be sold out. My eyes will be peeled in the spring for this one.
Blue, red, and yellow a stunning color combination!
Aloe polyphylla from Little Prince of Oregon. Do you suppose that the addition on the plant in the upper right came from the grower, was added by the nursery staff, or perhaps by a customer?
Heucheras are winning my heart one incredible leaf at a time. Heuchera 'Electric Lime' is nearly solid chartreuse in the summer but as the weather cools, it takes on these stunning shades.
Now that it's legal here, it seems like pot shops are popping up everywhere. This kind interests me more.
These remind me a little of the do it yourself ornament craft kits that used to be very popular.
It doesn't get much shinier than this!
This rather large contorted filbert (still in a nursery pot brought in from outside) with bird ornaments clipped to the branches was a favorite of mine. It's difficult to see the effect in a picture because of all of the stuff in the background and this only captures a fraction of the whole. In person, it was really swell. The juxtaposition of the bare and gnarled branches with the shiny bright and richly colored birds was very effective. Much like the humming birds and other winter visitors that perch in the contorted filbert outside my kitchen window, they appear to be little bundles of grace and beauty sent to cheer us in the bleak midwinter.
This gazebo, with an added roof of some sort, surely should live in my garden as it would go so well with the house.
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Mossy, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...