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.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Searching for Spring at Watson's

It's spring and, because of our cold temperatures, the garden is waking up a bit more slowly than usual.  Fortunately, nurseries are brimming with color to make up for spring's recalcitrance this year. A visit to Watsons at the beginning of March was just the thing to soothe a  winter-weary soul!

Primula vulgaris is ubiquitous this time of year and for good reason.  this bright flower gives months of vibrant color, is very cheap and will come back year after year or you can toss them out with little guilt if you don't want to plant them.

It was not quite spring yet and the explosion of early color gave me hope.


So, this hellebore in a six inch pot was incredibly floriferous for such a small plant so it had to come home with me.

You'd think that I don't already have too many hellebores because this one jumped into the cart as well.

Must include iris reticulata in my bulb order this fall!  I so admire them in other gardens and enjoy seeing them on friends' blogs.

Oh, that glorious fragrance!

Looks like summer already.

 Did Mr. McGregor finally find an effective trap for Peter Rabbit?

Would these be considered woody succulents? 

Hope you have an opportunity to hop on in to a nursery near you soon!
Happy Weekend.  Speaking of weekends, the Heronswood early spring sale and garden open will be taking place on Saturday, April 1.  Will I see you there?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Do You Talk to the Trees?

On my way to a nursery recently,  this sylvan quartet was spotted.  One can only imagine the arboraceous confabulation. 

We've all heard about talking to the trees but have you ever wondered if they talked back?

Did you hear that the weather forecasters are calling for more rain?

Oh no!  This constant rain and wind is wreaking havoc with my coiffure.

I could really use some sun; my bark is becoming quite pale. 

I guess we have no choice but to stand together and hope for warmer and drier days.

Remember when talking to one's plants and playing music for them was a trend?  ("Grow, damn you!" didn't count.)

Actually, it appears that talking to plants and playing music really does increase growth and yield.  Doesn't matter what you say, even mean words help.   For more look here and here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Vignette - Too Wet To Tour

Wednesday Vignette is hosted each week by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click over there, you know you want to!

After the March Mania Sale at the Bellevue Botanical Garden,  I wander around the garden snapping pictures.  However, this year the rain was pouring down, I'd no umbrella, and the camera doesn't really love to get wet.  This year, only a couple of shots got taken from the shelter of the visitors center.

Why is it that my garden doesn't look this fabulous in the winter?   Oh, that's right, I have no discipline when it comes to plants. Also, the firm I've hired to work in my garden , Me, Myself, and I always send over a lazy, grumpy, argumentative crew that complains so much  about the rain, wind, and cold that I just let them sit inside and read instead.  Fortunately, their rates are quite reasonable. So hard to get good help these days.

One bit of good news about the excessive rain could be found on the restroom wall. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day (A Day Early.) Yielding to Temptation from Far Reaches Farm

Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides hosts Garden Bloggers' Foliage Day on the twenty-second day of each month.  For the first time, I've remembered the date and participated in this fun meme. Do check out her site tomorrow to see groovy foliage from around the world!

It's no secret that I'm a bit obsessed with podophyllum. Last month,  a large P. 'Spotty Dotty' in my garden got separated into several plants and quite a few  P. delavayi divisions are hanging around in pots.  Their little umbrellas are starting to peek out of the ground.

One of the varieties of Podophyllum pleianthum saying hello for the season.  The cold winter didn't seem to phase any of the Chinese Mayapples at all, even those in pots.
 P.  delavayi

One of the newly separated P. 'Spotty Dotty.'

'Spotty Dotty' mother plant.

Sue from Far Reaches Farm told me that separating these is no problem, just do it in the late winter.  I've followed her instructions and have been richly rewarded with many new plants.  When I went out to photograph these, I lost count at 20 pots so I'm becoming one of those eccentric gardeners with a scraggly looking garden filled with pots, mostly recycled black plastic, stacked all over the place.

Later in the year  they'll look a bit more like this.

When an email from Far Reaches Farm containing this offering arrived in my inbox,  I had to act, a fortunate thing as the catalog says that they're already sold out.

(Image lifted from Far Reaches Farm and used with their permission)
 Podophyllum difforme - Starfish Form

This is Podophyllum difforme - Starfish Form, a handsome devil and not often seen in the trade!  

It'll take quite a few years but  the thought of having this plant so thrive in my care that I could produce divisions makes me a little tingly.  Okay, I'm an addict but don't think treatment will be pursued. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

In A Vase On Monday

In A Vase on Monday has been hosted for four years now by the indefatigable petal pusher, Cathy of Rambling in the Garden fame. Click here to see her arrangement today, a very special blogaversary celebration, and to see what others have dragged inside to bring them joy this week.

It's been another busy week and I've had a bit of a cold that has left me feeling unmotivated to play in the garden, even though the sun finally made an appearance on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.  Usually, a nice warm bowl of soup is just the thing for a cold but this bowl makes me feel pretty good too!

Hellebore time only comes once a year so we might as well enjoy it!

How did that camellia sneak in there?

The green double one, 'Martha' was pure white earlier.

 A few camellia and heuchera leaves joined the group to replace celebratory floating candles (the flames would have singed the flowers.)

No props this week, just a bowl of blooms and a happy blogaversary wish to Cathy!  Thanks as always for hosting!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Winter Walk-Off 2017

Each March, Les at A Tidewater Gardener hosts Winter Walk-Off.  Since we've had so much rain recently I kept waiting for a bit of blue sky.  On Wednesday, I finally gave up, and decided to walk in a different area from previous years.  I'm lucky to live within walking distance of a lot of interesting buildings.  First up is the old  Elks Hall.  Not that I'm old or anything but I remember singing in this hall sometime in the 80's (yes, the 1980's not the 1880's thank you very much.)

The Spanish Steps next to the building have always been the property of the City of Tacoma and have been maintained well.  However, the building, purchased by an out of state investor who refused all offers to purchase the building was sorely neglected.  What was once a gem has, over the last 30 years, lost most of it's sparkle.

In the fall, a temporary fence, festooned with signs construction banners was erected and much debris filled dumpsters.  One sometimes sees lights in an upstairs window but few other signs of progress are visible.  Hopefully the structure can be saved.

Enter Heroes Portland-based McMenamins  to save the day and rehab the building in their own artful way.  I greatly admire the sensitivity with which they treat historic buildings and look forward to watching the rebirth of this once grand building. See an interesting article and a video of the interior here and another video here.

Love this pediment ornament over a side door!  Someone has a sense of humor. 

Just across the street is Tacoma's old city hall.  McMenamins is interested in creating a hotel in this space but must first find sufficient funds for the Elk's Lodge project.

Another grand building that desperately needs help.

 Let's hope time doesn't run out for either of these beauties. 

In the same hood is this building.  Luckily, I see all of them on the way to and from work every day. 


More nifty buildings that have been saved.

Tacoma's Pantages Theater was beautifully renovated not too many years ago.  For interior images, look here. I've been delighted to experience both sides of the stage here.

Following the success of the Pantages  renovation, the Rialto, just up the street was restored a few years later.  I directed a choral group that was part of the re-opening week of performances here.  
This winter walk-off turned into an unintentional walk down memory lane for me.  Hope you enjoyed tagging along.