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, September 28, 2012

Happy Friday; random happiness

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working at Jungle Fever Exotics, one of my favorite nurseries.  Poking around the back of the greenhouse, I saw this.  I didn't know that opuntias would do that.  Is that adorable or what?

This opuntia basilaris caught my eye a few weeks before and I had decided that it would come home with me at the end of the day but a very nice couple came in and fell in love with it.  I get as much of a thrill out of selling something that I think is cool to someone who'll love it as I do when buying it myself.  Vicarious plant shopping - fun!

Just up the street from Jungle Fever is a small neighborhood grocery store that's been there forever.  Recently, this cheerful mural appeared on the side of the building.  It makes me smile everytime I see it!

On Monday of this week the sunrise was gorgeous.  The sun was actually rose colored but I was in a hurry and didn't have time to play with filters and what not to try to capture the true color.  This shot is kind of interesting, though.

Hope you all have the best weekend ever!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Visiting Valley Nursery in Poulsbo, WA

Valley is a large full service nursery that retains a plant focus, small town friendliness, and a great staff.  There is something for everyone here!
 The mark of any superior nursery is the presence of cats and/or dogs! 
 Valley has a large selection of garden art.  This concrete Bird of Paradise is kind of  cool.
Aloe 'Fire Ranch' or Aloe vaotsanda x divaricata  so orange that it had to come home with me.
 A few agaves in large pots waiting for someone from Portland to come admire them.


 Rodgersia 'Bronze Peacock'
 These palms are  holding on to summer along with Louis!
 Aralia cordata 'Sun King'  beautiful golden foliage for shade.  I love mine!
 Gunnera has so many interesting features!
 Here is a display of the extremely rare and expensive new air plant.  Only the most knowledgeable, wealthy, and trendy gardeners have them.  This will be the "it" plant for years to come so be sure to snap one up if you can find it.   If you can't find one in your area, I'd maybe part with one of mine... for a price.
 Tiny fraction of the huge pot selection at Valley.  They frequently have 40% off sales on their pots!

 Valley carries a large selection of water plants and water garden accessories.
 These pots with Ensete maurelii remind me of Deanne's tropical beds.

 Fun merchandise in this porch area just in front of the shop.  Lots of goodies inside the store, too!
My wagon with the Aloe and that caterpillar opuntia I wrote about here.

Valley is a place where I always stop on the way to Savage, Dragonfly, and Far Reaches.  Makes a great day of plant shopping!  If you have the opportunity, do stop in; you'll find it difficult to leave empty handed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The First Three Letters of Funeral spell FUN!

Recently, I had the honor of officiating at a celebration of of the life of my Sister-in-law.  Of course it was a sad occasion but when you get a lot of people who care for each other together, there is bound to be a lot of laughter as well.  In our family, we always say that the first three letters of funeral spell fun. 

On the way to the venue, we passed a statuary place in Renton.  I've seen it from the freeway lots of times and have often wondered about it and wanted to figure out how to get there.  On this day, they had tied a huge banner to the fence announcing a sale and giving the name of the business.  Fortunately, Tom had his cell phone with him (I'm probably the only person in the world who doesn't have a cell phone.) and was able to find directions to Barone Garden Decor . Following the service and reception, we had time enough to pay them a visit on the way home.  What better way to celebrate the life of a free spirited, fun loving woman than to keep the party going? 

Statuary of every kind, tons of pots and those amazing columns!

I'd  never seen such a large and diverse collection of fountains anywhere!
Need a place to sit?
Let's face it, this place has hardscape for just about any kind of garden!
Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me but Tom was a great sport taking pictures of everything.
 Interesting rock in a rock fountain.
Love the one on the left - looks like it could fall over at any minute. 
This ceramic table and bench set was amazing!

Knight and day, you are the one...

Love this one, too.  Did I mention that the prices are pretty reasonable?

These moss stuffed wire frames would make great succulent planters.  Can you imagine the possibilties?
The HUGE selection of pots seems to go on forever.

Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures of all the treasures inside the store.  There are great stone carvings, lots of beautiful imported  hand painted pots, rain chains, and all kinds of other wonders for outdoors and in.  This place is definitely worth visiting!
Barone Garden Decor is outta this world!

 If you travel on highway 405 from I 5 to Renton, this is the place you see on the right side of the highway.  I can't wait to go back again!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Char's Garden

There is a garden near my house that  I drive by several times a week.  I always admire it and swear that next time I go for a walk, I'll pass that way.  I finally remembered both my camera and my vow to see this garden on foot.  Fortunately, the homeowner was just arriving as I passed by so I was able to ask permission to take pictures instead of just being some strange person  snapping shots from the street.  As is often the case, the gardener was a delightful person who was happy to share her garden with me and allowed me to go inside the fence to see more. 

Much of Char's garden is visible from the street and I frequently pass by in a rush to get from one job to the next.  Often, I'm not in the best of spirits but the sight of her gorgeous plantings always makes me a little happier to be alive and able to enjoy such beauty!  Thanks, Char for beautifying this busy corner and for brightening many a gloomy day!

Char mentioned that I wasn't seeing the garden at it's best because of the time of year and because they had just gotten a new roof.  The garden looked fabulous to me but we're all our own worst critics.
 There were lots of great pot groupings.  Dig the rosemary!   I love it's fragrance and blue flowers that come early in the spring here and then on and off throughout the summer.

 There are many outstanding  plant combinations here.  Sorry for the exposure but the sun was not cooperating!

Crocosmias looking festive.
Here's hoping for a mild winter for all of our phormiums.   My friend Chris, when comparing the progression of blooms in her garden to a symphony, likens the arrival of rudbeckias to the entrance of the brass section.  One final fanfare from the perennials before the riot of  deciduous tree foliage takes center stage and draws our eyes upward. 
 Although the brass section is blaring, the strings are still playing their softer underpinning  in this corner of Char's garden.
 These mosaic pieces are a broken counter top that Char found while digging in her garden.

This poor frog seems to be suffering from bulimia or maybe he just ate a bad fly.  Love it!
 Although most of Char's garden faces the street,  there are also some quiet private spaces.

 This corner of the garden, which I most frequently see from the street, is cleverly planted so that there is almost always some interesting color going on.  Thanks again, Char, for beaufifying this space!  I hope it brings you as much joy as it does those lucky enough to pass by!