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 31, 2012

Flower World Part Two

I think you got the idea from yesterdays post that Flower world is enormous; too big for a single post.  Their individual areas or houses, each dedicated to a different kind of plants from houseplants to ground covers,  are as big as most entire nurseries.  Here is some more of what I saw. 

 Orchid   Ludisia discolor
 Clerodendrum thomsonae

For a moment, I thought that this might be a grove of Schefflera delavayi.

One of the entrances to the Perennial House is flanked by huge Magnolia macrophyllas.
 Inside the vine house.
 Baby Paulownia tomentosas are adorable.
 Is that octopus going to eat burberis?  Thorny meal!
 Aisle of the tree house.  Exotic fruit is over a bit.
 Excellent signage is everywhere
 As were these helpful mailboxes full of information.

 Flower World recycles pots that customers bring in so you'll be surprised to see pots from everywhere.

The drmatically marbled foliage of this prunus laurocerasus 'Marbled Dragon'  is gorgeous!

 I'm in serious lust with these footed pots!

This guy would fit right in with palms, bananas, and tree ferns...

 More gorgeousness.

 Very inexpensive statuary!

 If you are ever in the area  you owe it to yourself to visit this place! 
By the way, they have a lot of  loading areas near the check out areas so you can pay for your plants, leave them in a loading area and then drive right up and load your vehicle.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Flower World Part One; Parking, Poultry, Pond, and Palms

About an hour Northeast of Tacoma  is a nursery called Flower World.  To say that Flower World is large  is an understatement.  With 15 acres of retail display areas (3 acres under cover) this is one of the largest nurseries of its kind on the west coast.  Flower world is so large that  the map of the place, available at all of the checkout/entrance areas, requires a 8 1/2" by 14" page.  In their own words, "Our place is enormous and a first-time visitor can be easily overwhelmed."    You will be amazed at the variety and quantity of plant offerings! I suggest grabbing a map! 

After hearing about the size of this place, you might expect a huge paved parking lot.  Instead, this is what parking looks like at Flower World.
  The small lots are separated by stands of towering firs underplanted with a vairety of  beauties like this  huge blue hosta.

I almost felt like I should leave a trail of bread crumbs so that I could find my way back.

As you can see, the effort would probably have been futile.

From the parking lots, you can either walk through the woods directly  to the nursery which  I did on a previous visit, or take a slightly more circuitous route to visit the chickens and walk around the lake-sized pond.  It was a warm day and mist from the fountain, which traveled all the way to the path in the distance, was refreshing!
 Further along the path.  Do you see the tree a little right of center?

 This stunning variegated dogwood is situated in such a way  that it can be seen from many parts of the nursery which was very helpful to me in finding my way back to the parking area!

There were lots of these mulleins scattered around the paths begging Loree to visit them.

The abundant signage is quite helpful.
A true nursery, Flower World grows 90 percent of the plant material they offer.

Louis, please sit down for this next part as I don't want you to hurt yourself if you faint. There were so many amazing plants here but for the rest of this post, we'll look at a FEW of the palms.

We'll start slowly.  Louis, I'm warning you for the last time!

There were several of these huge Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail palms.)  Notice also the mailboxes; these are spread out all over the nursery and contain informational fliers pertaining to the surrounding plants and their care.

 In the "Mediterranean Section," paths are lined with Trachycarpus fortunei.

 Maybe someday we'll be able to look up at the sky through something like this.

 Batting her eyelashes seductively, Livistona chinensis really wanted to come home with me but I had to remind myself that if I really loved her, I would leave her as she would have to spend the winter inside and I usually kill houseplants.   Of all the Nurseries in all the towns in all the world, I walked into hers.

If that car leaves the lot and she's not with you, you'll regret it; maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life!

Here's looking at you kid!

 Look at those exquisite, shiny, soft green fans.  The 2 gallon is only $29.00 and there's a 15% sale on all plants right now.  Hardy to zone 8b.  I bet I could just haul it inside from December through March.  Have any of you grown this in soggy zone 8a?

I sadly waved good bye and she waved back full of regret for what might have been...Ah well, We'll always have Paris.  I mean Maltby.
Speaking of airports I have to pick up a friend next weekend at Seatac and that's nearly half way to Flower World.  I bet I could fit a small one in the back seat and still have room in the trunk for luggage. Perhaps I'll get one as time goes by.  What do you think I should do?  I think it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendsip. (Too much?)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Old Goat Farm

When one reaches a certain age, comments like, "You should go to  Old Goat Farm" or "Have you been to  Old Goat Farm?  I think you'd like it there" give one pause.  While I may be an old goat, I'd like to think that I have a few years left before being put out to pasture.  Much to my relief, it turns out that this Old Goat Farm everyone was recommending is a wonderful nursery and fabulous garden which is only a 40 minute drive from my house, not an assisted living facility.

 In 2004, while on a plant shopping expedition, Greg Graves and Gary Waller found this wonderful place "quite by accident," bought it and moved from their award-winning Capitol Hill ( urban Seattle) garden to this 100 year old farmhouse on 2.6 acres. 

Here is a little information about Greg and Gary from their website:

Greg Graves

For 24 years, Greg worked for Burlington Northern Railroad. In the mid-90s, he had a major career change. He went back to school and earned a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design.

Greg retired from his 13 year tenure as  head gardener at The E.C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle, WA  in  2011. Greg has also been an enthusiastic member of the Northwest Horticultural Society of which he is past president of the board and chairman of the education committee. He is on the perennial committee of Great Plant Picks and  president of The Pacific Horticulture Society. His current passion is building the new garden at Old Goat Farm.

Gary Waller

For the last 35 years, Gary has worked primarily as a floral designer for which he is AIFD certified. Gary won the first Well's Medina container competition. He enjoys floral competition and has won numerous awards. For his eight entries into the floral competition at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, Gary placed in the top 3 seven times. In 2003 while working for Molbaks in Woodinville, WA, Gary transitioned from floral design to garden-bed design. Gary won a Gold Medal and Best in Show for his collection of containers at the 2006 and 2007 at the Point Defiance Flower and Garden Show. And in 2008 he won the People's Choice Award for his containers at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Gary now works full time at Old Goat Farm.

Greg and Gary

Together they built an award-winning garden on Capitol Hill in Seattle. In 2004, they won Garden Design Magazine's Golden Trowel Award. Now they are working on the garden and nursery at Old Goat Farm. Come watch it grow!

The first thing I noticed after parking was a sign on the gate asking that it be shut behind you as there are animals at play.  I already liked the place.  In addition to the couple of friendly dogs that may greet you, there are over 100 birds on the farm.

The garden is both rustic

and sophisticated. 

Wide swaths of lawn wind around raised beds.

The native soil in this area is glacial till - rocks with a little sand.  Greg says that things grow just fine in this extraordinarily fast draining ground but that digging a hole to plant something is the challenge. Having lived in that area for a brief time, I can tell you that a  shovel alone is usually not enough  to dig a hole for a gallon-sized plant.  (I'm feeling really lucky to have nearly rock-free soil in my current garden!)
 Loads of soil were trucked in to make the raised beds.

 I love shade gardens and this one, beneath a canopy of Douglas Firs is filled with great plants!

 Back on the sunny side.

There are many places to relax on the farm but looking at the property, animals, and business, I don't think that Greg and Gary have much time to utilize them. 

I love this potting bench
 Pebble covered sink.

Stepping stones, used in the garden are also available in the sales area.

 The inside shop has something for just about everyone!

Besides me, this was the only other old goat around.  

Such a relaxing place.  The only drama queen was this one.

Having read about Greg and Gary, I was expecting an extraordinary nursery;  I wasn't disappointed!

Inspired idea for corralling these top-heavy beauties.
 Asplenium scolopendrium crested form.

I thought that in mid July, there wouldn't be a very large selection in the plant sales area.  Boy, was I wrong!
 Shade heaven!

 Agave Americana
 Agave angustifolia came home with me. (grr Loree)

 My only regret is that I waited so long to visit this treasure!

Variegated daylily...YUM!
 Begonia luxurians in bloom

It was love at first sight of Sciadopitys verticillata 'Ossorio's Gold' but I already have a sizable specimen of the green on on the left... Gotta leave something for my next visit, right?

In looking at my pictures, I realized that there are a lot of  plants & parts of the garden that I missed but you won't want to!  The nursery is open the second weekend of each month and by appointment.   As if this alone isn't worth a trip, the Chase Garden, run by the garden conservancy is only six miles away!   So GO to Old Goat Farm!  No one will show you your nice new room and extol the virtues of craft classes and seated aerobics.  Really.