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, July 26, 2016

Retail Therapy at Molbak's

When an email arrived in my inbox advertising Molbak's 30% sale on all succulents and another advising me that I had frequent shopper bonus dollars to spend, I knew that a visit was in order. Dropping Tom off at the airport recently gave me a perfect excuse (the airport is 20 minutes closer to Molbak's than  Tacoma.)  I thought the offerings would mostly be sempervivum and sedum so this was no surprise.  Put a few in the cart.  There's always room for more of these, right?

They've moved things around a bit since my last visit and the spray-painted bicycle wheel flowers on the left seem to be a summer theme throughout the nursery.  Fun idea.

Wheelbarrows as art.  This makes a lot of sense for people who don't have a lot of storage space.

High summer and color abounds!

We're so lucky to live here where we can have a touch of the tropics in our gardens and still have winters cool enough for tulips, peonies, and lilacs.

One can't grow everything and my couple of citrus plants were given away this year but this display is sure nice.

Bring on those warm colors!

If it gets too hot, cool pot colors might help. 

Speaking of pots, Molbak's always has some unusual offerings.

Serious lust for the chartreuse pots but they were a bit pricey and it might get lost in all of the visual clutter of my spaces.

Stop by the cafe for a drink?  

A tropical paradise.  

Inside, there were tables of more tender succulents and cacti but certainly these would be considered houseplants and not succulents that would be on sale, right?

WRONG!  Hooray!  Sorry semps, back you go.

 Serious temptation.

I've been in love with Aloe marlothii since I first saw one in the Danger Garden.  It did not hesitate to jump into my cart!

Aloe arborescens variegata also needed a ride to my place.  

Agave celsii 'Multicolor' baby needed adopting too. 

Cereus peruvianus.  Swoon.  Maybe I should go back and get it? 

This inexpensive head planter also came home with me.  Aren't the white painted concrete things on which it's sitting cool? 

Doesn't everyone need an orange giraffe vase?   It stayed at the shop. 
 Last but not least, Pentas (the red flowers) are something I don't see all that often here but my computer-dwelling friend Jean grows them all over her Georgia garden.  Does anyone have experience with growing these in the pacific northwest?

Next on the retail therapy tour were Barone Garden Decor and Flower World.  Stay tuned for posts!


  1. Do PNW butterflies know how nectaricious Pentas are? They can take a little drought but benefit from regular watering.

  2. Excellent retail therapy. You must feel good after that!

  3. I see more of Molbak's (through your posts) than I do of many local garden centers. :)
    30% off is a pretty great sale, but don't you have enough head planters already? (as if that's possible...) Can't believe you passed on the giraffe vase... Fun stuff!

  4. You found some great plants! And yet another head planter! Hope the Pentas do well.

  5. What a wonderful looking place, and they have so many cool things to covet!

  6. All those succulents you selected were 30% off?! Really, what's wrong with the nursery people here? We never see incentives like that and it can't be because people are flocking to stores to buy plants in 90+ degree heat!

  7. Peter, I'm glad to see another soldier in the retail therapy trenches. I must be averaging a plant a week. Yesterday it was a dragon tree, which turns into a giant! Couldn't pass it up in a cheap one gallon. Solidarity, brother!

  8. That Aloe marlothii would have jumped into my cart, too - score! I've always envied you Seattle-area residents your Molbaks. It's good to see they aren't slacking off on the cost or selection incentives.

  9. What a perfect plant sale for you and your fondness for weird.

  10. So glad you bought both Aloes - they're good ones! Should have bought the orange giraffe though...

  11. Are you OK seeing all these plants Peter? Could your resist this therapy? The ones you bought are very unusual, I see them at first.I liked these yellow pots, they go well to my aloe.

  12. What a fabulous place and great prices ... liked the pots (and the bicycle theme!) as much as the plants you bought.

  13. In my last visit to the PNW, I made the effort to revisit Molbaks as it had been 4 or 5 years since my previous visit. A great place and it's a good job I can't bring plants back to the UK, otherwise I would have needed another suitcase. The restaurant served a delicious lunch. It's just a shame that it's such a long drive from Puyallup, where at least I can enjoy Watsons and Windmill Gardens more easily.


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