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 23, 2017

The Sad News - A Last Look at Furney's Nursery

On May sixth, after visiting the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden and sale but not buying anything, I decided  to stop by nearby Furney's Nursery.  I was saddened and surprised to see their digital sign out front blinking the message "Going Out of Business. Everything in the nursery 25% off.  Since visiting the nursery, I've been hearing the discount amount go to 50% and then 70% off.

On the sixth, there was also a day long yard sale going on.  The turned wood posts were interesting but I don't need another project right now. 

Lots of shelves for sale.
Let's go look at what was still inside the nursery.

The pots seemed pretty picked over but there were a couple that might be interesting at the deeper discount.

Lots of annuals and hanging pots.

A smattering of indoor pots.
 After seventy years, the family has sold their property and decided to call it quits.  Interesting articles about it here and here.

Some good perennials.  That male bust was interesting but cost a bit more than I wanted to spend. 

The largest wind chime I've ever seen.  The welded metal support structure stands about 20 feet tall. When visiting Furney's I always visited this, pulled the clapper in the middle and enjoyed feeling the incredibly low sounds of those tubes. If I had space to tuck this away somewhere, it would be wonderful to have but it's too big for my garden.


Lots of basic shrubs. 

Some less common shrubs.

Like this Enkianthus campanulatus

Nice assortment of bamboo

Japanese maples.

The end of an era.

Magnolia 'Yellow Bird' was tempting but M. 'Elisabeth' is still sitting in a pot in my garden waiting to be planted.

We'll miss Furney's and wish the owner, Robert Furney,  the best as he moves to Southeast Alaska. 

Looks like it's time to pack up and move on. 

They say that when one door closes, another opens.  What does the future hold for independent nurseries?  I'm guessing that there will always be some plant nerds but will there be enough to support small specialty growers?  Get out your crystal ball and tell me what you see.


  1. We've only lost one longtime family nursery in recent years. The second generation (or third) were getting old enough they decided to call it quits. I miss them as they were so close to me that I could just pop over in five minutes. I have a turned post like that off our deck anchoring my clematis. Some great looking trees and shrubs and at those prices hard to resist.

  2. Well, we do have a lot of nurseries in our area the approximate size of Furney's or larger. That land they were on was on a major thoroughfare full of businesses and other commercial stuff, so I can see it being valuable. We do have a lot of nerdy gardeners in this area, but I'm still surprised at how many small boutique type nurseries we have too.

  3. Yep, you need that huge chime...I look forward to seeing where you put it.

  4. No matter the size of your garden, there is no 'tucking away' a 20 foot wind chime... There is a sweet, well used potting table I would love to adopt.

  5. So sad! I'm getting seriously concerned with the future of nurseries and garden centers here. Even our largest chain is posting "special" weekly sales. A large "destination" garden center in OC reduced its stock to build a restaurant on-site. I wonder if I'll be getting all my plants by mail one day. However, if there's one part of the country I expect will always have a good selection, it's the PNW.

  6. I thought you were going to say that the plant on the yellow truck was coming home with you! Agree with Loree: you need those wind chimes! 8)

  7. That really is sad!!! I loved the windchimes, mine, not that big, are making music today, as it is very windy. I loved that yellow magnolia also.

    Have a good week ~ FlowerLady

  8. Sunday they closed their gates forever. Today, while we were out, we saw a big flat bed truck transporting a big, wrapped tree. We believe it was the 75 year old famous Furney's Japanese, planted by the Furney's in their garden before there was a nursery. It is on it's way to Alaska along with the family.
    We are very sad to see this closing. We stopped there often, since it was on our way home from our breakfast gathering every Friday morning. We are losing too many of our independent nurseries.

  9. Don't know if there is a future for independent nurseries and garden centers, but I hope so. I'm proud to do my share to keep the ones near me open! I like ordering plants online, but I really like having a few places to buy plants on a moment's notice that I can see and touch. Plus, I hate buying plants at the big box stores.

  10. Always sad when a longtime business closes its doors. That place was huge, I can imagine their overhead was pretty hefty. Best of luck to them.

  11. I run a small edible plant nursery just 1 mile from Furney's Nursery. I'm on a residential lot so little overhead. what do you think the future is for brick and mortar nurseries? Another major nursery 40 miles north of Furney's also shut down in May as well. Virtual reality (15-20 years out) will make online plant buying very similar to the real life experience. Not sure if the investment in a store front for plants is worth it in the future.


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