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, May 9, 2017

Swanson's Nursery - Celebrating 150 Million Years of Gardening

Being somewhat of a Luddite, I never thought I'd own a cell phone.  If Tom had not presented me with one as a gift,  I probably would still be scribbling directions to places on scraps of paper and taping them to my dashboard.  The lady in the phone who tells me where to go is a dangerous woman to be sure.  I'd visited West Seattle Nursery, Sky Nursery, and stopped for a bite to eat when a quick glance at the map app. let me know that Swanson's was only 15 minutes away and wouldn't be closing for a few hours.  One must make hay while the sun shines and I'm not often so close to this grand nursery.  It's the lady's fault.  

I learned that this large fellow's name is Humphrey.  Notice the rain hat.

Humphrey has a little friend tagging along behind.

Do you get the feeling that we've had an extremely wet winter and spring? 
Alstroemeria 'Rock & Roll' has flowers that will complement those of A. 'Indian Summer' that came home with me from West Seattle Nursery.  Their foliage colors will compliment each other as well.  Let's just hope I can keep this alive this time.  (In and out of the cart several times before it finally made the cut.)

Love those brightly-colored Adirondack chairs with their colors echoed in  the big mixed pots.  

What a sign!

What plant promises joy if planted?  (Do you suppose it's the act of planting that brings joy or the plant itself?)  Allium karataviense 'Ivory Queen.'  Maybe I should add a few bulbs to my fall order. Who couldn't use  a little more joy in his/her life?

Swanson's mixed pots always inspire me.  Gray-sky weary gardeners revel in the saturated colors of spring.

Another of those fancy-leafed geraniums (pelargonum) that have been catching my eye lately.  This one is 'Brocade Fire'  and looks similar to 'Indian Dunes' which I've grown before.  Maybe the dark blotch is more pronounced or the flower is different.

Because my garden becomes increasingly shady, (someone keeps planting trees!) the shade area always gets a close look.  Interesting concrete flowers adorn the center of this table.

There were some new-to-me plants.  Always a temptation. 

Epimedium sempervirens 'Creamsicle'

Cacalia delphinifolia 'Sanshou'  may require a return visit.

Ranzania japonica

A variegated Jeffersonia dubia?  Yup!  'Variegata'

I do NOT need another hosta.  Nope, no, nix, forget it, never.  'Liberty' has  already found a place in my garden.

Much less fattening than the other curly fries.

Do I like this or just admire the novelty?  What do you think of it?  Rocks in the air instead of anchored on the ground.  Interesting or unsettling?

Meanwhile, inside...Oh those bromeliads. 

Pacific northwest much? 

The cafe keeps regular hours even when the nursery is open late.  That delectable bistro fragrance lingers.

So subtle, so tasteful, so calm and relaxing, so not me.  I admire such restraint.

Much more to explore in this large nursery.  Do stop in when you have a couple of hours to experience it all!


  1. As a tree planter myself, I have to agree with you about shade plants. I must check out the variegated Epimedium and Jeffersonia. Every time you or Loree B. visit a nursery I am blown away by the size and offerings.

  2. I stopped at Swanson's last Sunday. I didn't noticed Humphrey, his companion or the concrete flower; was I too distracted by the overflowing tables, or were they removed to make room for more plants? Ranzania japonica made an impression though: a "new-to-me" as well, and I'm always on the look out for cool shade plants.
    A visit to Swanson's is good for my soul.

  3. Oh that Cacalia delphinifolia 'Sanshou'! How did you resist?

  4. They have some very interesting offerings. And I love the big dinosaur, how fun is that? I really need to visit Swanson's soon. Ranzania and Cacalia are both fascinating new plants.

  5. Humphrey or no Humphrey, I'd be there a whole lot if it was nearby.

  6. A nursery with a cafe/bistro? AMAZING! I hope you realize how fortunate you are in sheer variety of nurseries. :)

  7. Visiting Swansons is indeed a memorable experience that I hope to repeat some day.

  8. I'm usually a sucker for anything with rocks. That one...not so much. Looks like a place to get lost in.

  9. I am continually amazed by the glorious displays in the nurseries in your area! We had one nursery here in WI which was always on the cutting edge of design, but sadly the proprietor passed away suddenly and the new owners don't have the same eye for design. I love going with you on these outings; there is always so much to see. I can imagine Humphrey in our garden, but I know it would be creepy to come across him at night. :-)

  10. Oh, and as a lover of rocks, I'm not sure about the sculpture; I've seen stone artists actually pile huge rocks in that design (unbelievable with no mortar to hold the structure) but I would be uneasy walking under it, ha. We're always dreaming of the day we'll be able to make some garden art here; Carl has a stash of 'stuff' that he wants to use after he retires. One thing is for certain, he will never be bored in retirement....

  11. I like Humphrey! Love the bright blues in these scenes too.


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