Means is a large multi-state wholesale grower that has one retail outlet for overstock and clearance plants. One doesn't usually find anything very unusual here but they have great backbone plants at great prices and sometimes their special sale items have ridiculously low price tags. Having just attended a plant exchange full of unusual plants and shopping at Joy Creek Nursery, I thought this would be just a cursory walk around and it pretty much was.
Hanging baskets all over the place. It was Mother's Day weekend after all.
German bearded iris are so seductive when in bloom.
Unfortunately, the ho hum foliage requires a place in the sun and looks quite a bit less lovely as the season progresses.
Caladium foliage is gorgeous and we usually don't see these offered until later in the season. They're not at all fond of the cool evenings we get in the Puget Sound area. I tried keeping some over winter in the greenhouse and they didn't do very well.
I was tempted by this Begonia boliviensis (some name with red in it) as these do very well for me and happily spend the winter ignored in the basement. There is not space for another hanging plant anywhere in my garden so unless I want to pierce my ears and wear them as earrings, hanging pots should probably stay at the nursery.
As always, a nice selection of trees, especially Acer palmatum.
All sorts of lovlies!
Then my eye caught these two, the last two left. You may be thinking that a topiary tree is the last thing you'd think I'd be interested in and you'd be right most of the time. Topiary isn't my favorite thing but these were just what I'd wanted for a project last season. However, the only specimens I'd found cost three times what the Means price tag said and I didn't want to spend that much for them.
You see, there are two matching pots flanking the bottom stair of the back steps. For years they'd contained nice Arborvitae 'Forever Goldie' but they had outgrown the pots and space despite a bit of pruning. I hated to get rid of them as the color was quite nice but was happy that someone took them who would enjoy them. Because so much else in my garden is a bit unruly and jungle like, I thought that a little evergreen structure would be a good idea. Since the price of the topiary which would have perfectly framed the view and echoed the structure of the big topiary tree in my garden was so high, small and inexpensive evergreens that were supposed to keep their shape really well with no pruning were selected. They would have achieved the desired height in about 8 years.
Not bad but they do get a bit overwhelmed here and the big brugmansias that occupy larger pots behind these are still in the greenhouse.
At their young age, they didn't frame this view at all.
Sweet plants though.
Beautiful blue color. Please ignore the pot behind. The winter arrangement that was in it is being taken apart to make space for a brugmansia.
Here are the new trees at home waiting for a haircut.
It's difficult to capture this view without a wide angle lens but you get the idea, topiary on both sides frame the view of the topiary below. It's much more obvious in person and will be even more so in winter.
they certainly add some much-need structure and symmetry to this otherwise rather random arrangement.
You just never know what you might find at Means! Now, what to do with those cute little trees that these replaced?