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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.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Falling in Love onValentine's Day; Bark and Garden Part One


A glass artist friend of mine who comes to some of the classes I offer just to hang out and work on her projects lives in Olympia.  She has often spoken in glowing terms of Bark and Garden Nursery located in nearby Tumwater.  You know how it is when a person who isn't a garden fanatic talks about their home town  nursery; you never really know.  Besides, I hadn't heard anyone talk about B & G on the internet and never saw it advertised.  Maybe the name made me think that it was primarily a garden supply, gravel, bark, etc. sort of place.  Anyway, after Alison mentioned Bark and Garden's presence at the Tacoma Home and Garden Show in a recent post, I decided it was time to check this place out.  I'm very glad I did.  Only a 40 minute drive from home is this incredible nursery!

This garden space is next to the parking lot.  I think that the heavy equipment is temporary but I love the placement so that it makes an arch over the palm tree.  Industrial yard art is all the rage, right?
 I should probably warn you at this point that as we got closer to Olympia, the sun began to shine.  For those of you who see the sun on a regular basis, my mentioning this probably makes little sense, but if you live in an area where a sunbreak is a reason for a major celebration, you'll understand.  When I got out of the car in the parking lot, the sun was making everything look fabulous, colors popped, shadows and light played, and all felt right with the world.  It is sort of like in the movie The Wizard of Oz when it changes from black and white to color. 
I'm warning you because I'm sure that the beautiful weather positively influenced my visit to this place so I may just start gushing.  That being said, I love the way This nursery displays plants suggesting combinations to clients.
The vibrant red nandinas sure look fabulous this time of the year!  Red foliage in silvery February makes me smile.  Note to self: pick up a few nandinas next time I visit to plant with my Chief Joseph.
 The berries of this nandina which have been catching my eye in lots of gardens this year were present in abundance in the permanent plantings at B&G.
The front displays featured a huge variety of conifers and other evergreens. 
I don't remember the name of this Nandina but I love it.  Reminds me of Phyllis Diller!

This evergreen theme just keeps going and going!


 


As I approached the entrance, what should I spy in a Monrovia pot no less but this cutey patooty Rhodocoma capensis.  It was so soft and sweet and it wanted to come home with me but I really don't need three of them!  Both my big plant and it's back up replacement sailed through this mild winter with no problem at all.
Nice to see quite a few Monkey Puzzle Trees.  These fascinate me and I love looking at them in other people's gardens but I haven't the space for one.

Lovely lush inside and outside plants mingle.  There were so many cool succulents, cacti, and other beasts here that they'll get their own post as will the fabulous hellebores.


I couldn't stop singing this song when I saw all of the rain chains in the next picture.
Were they working on the rain chain gang? 

Is it an evergreen or a succulent?  I love the texture of this conifer!

Heuchera 'Snow Angel' almost made me put it in my cart in a moment of weakness or as Ricki says "an expansive and generous largesse."  Look at that far out color combination! 
I know it's common as dirt but Bergenia is such a tough plant,  looks fresh all winter long, and even takes on beautiful winter hues.  Personally I could live without the flowers but I don't mind them.
Epimedium 'Frohnleiten'  is another plant that may find it's way into my cart on my next visit, which will be soon!

 I'm totally falling in love with this nursery! Oodles of plants, sunlight streaming through, and a space that seems so big that you could get lost. On my first visit to large nurseries, I get that giddy, you could get lost in this space feeling.  But wow, this nursery rocks! 

Did I mention that they carry a few pots?  B& G is a large, full-service sort of nursery with bulbs for spring planting, fertilizers, and scads of other things inside the store.

If I had space for another holly, this would be the one!  The pink tint on the new foliage is sweet!

Not to mention the beautifully contrasting color of the bark on the branches.
Great treats await those wandering inside including a life-sized Ape that you can see on Alison's blog posing next to her life-sized husband.

This huge shark head might look delightful emerging from my pond with, say, the arm of a mannequin in it's mouth.
I don't really get it but we can all sleep better at night knowing that this turkey is available here should the need arise.

Fred Conlon's metal work always makes me giggle!  I'd not seen it at any other local nurseries.


For that Elvis Shrine you've been meening to install in your garden.  It's piped so that water can trickle out of the sound hole.
No jungle would be complete without a tiger and a cub.
Or two.

Bark and Garden is well worth the drive. It seems like we were only there for 20 minutes or so but it turns out that we were there for over two hours. I can't wait to go back!  I'm told that they grow some of their own stock and their selection of unusual annuals is amazing.    Stay tuned because there's more to come.  

Happy V.D. everyone!

28 comments:

  1. Your friend gave you great advice. Gorgeous place with all the light and pretty displays. When they take time to display things well it starts your visit on a good note. The displays are not only pretty but the place looks really neat with plants in top condition. So many nurseries around here don't pay attention to what might seem mundane details but make a big difference to the customer.

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    1. You're right Shirley, this place does a super job with great displays & healthy plants.

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  2. They have some very nice Conifers, but the Nandina with fine foliage, I want one!!!

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    1. Just come on over and grab one! It's really nice.

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  3. You just summed it up perfectly "like in the movie The Wizard of Oz when it changes from black and white to color"...so true!

    I hope to visit B&G soon and can't wait for your next report!

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    1. It'll be interesting to hear what you think of B & G! We're a weird bunch in the PNW when it comes to sun in the winter!

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  4. I soo understand that feeling when the sun comes out. It's pure magic. It makes me succumb to plant lust. Yesterday I happened to be outside in the garden at one of those moments. It just felt right! It looks like a fabulous nursery. But that turkey is soo far beyond creepy! I have a fear of those creatures something fierce.

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    1. It's kind of like the feeling we get in the summer when it's been dry and dusty and we get a nice warm rain that freshens everything up and makes everything smell fresh and sweet.
      The turkey will not hurt you. Gobble Gobble. A goose, on the other hand or a heron will be very mean to you!

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  5. I'm so glad you visited, after reading about them in my post. You managed to capture the magic of their display at the show, which I couldn't because of bad indoor lighting. Good thing the sun came out for you! B&G did the same kind of thing with displaying great combos and all their conifers were just to die for. I'm really intrigued with the idea of visiting the nursery now to see even more. And looking forward to more posts from you about your visit.

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    1. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they do through the season!

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    2. I also meant to say yesterday: Don't buy Heuchera 'Snow Angel.' I divided a couple last fall, and have lots of starts to share. I'm hoping by now they're pretty well-rooted. They're small, but did I say lots?

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  6. Oh dear, I'm perpetually trying to find a bit of room for some Epimedium...sigh.

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    1. It's very undemanding, will grow in dry shade, doesn't take up much space. You know you need some!

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  7. Oh, that place looks like heaven! Thanks for the treat! Any idea what that curly evergreen is? (There's a blue spruce behind it.) Probably wouldn't grow in zone 7, though, huh? But the shark is a MUST have!

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    1. I'm not sure about the curly evergreen. I should have taken pictures of the tags to remember but there were so many amazing things at this place that I got distracted. Many parts of the area around Olympia are in zone 7 so I'm betting that the curly one would work for you! When I go back, I'll be sure to check. You do need the shark! What part of the country do you garden in Kathy?

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  8. I didn't see a plant I did not like there outlaw !
    I have so much winter to get through still ... BIG sigh !
    We loved on the west coast ... on Vancouver Island in fact .. so I know about the sunny breaks thing .. and the Monkey Puzzle tree is one of my hubby's favorite ... I'll take all of the rest for sure ! LOL
    Joy

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    1. Oh Joy, what made you move east? Every now and then I think of moving north again or even to the east coast but I've become spoiled by our short mild winters.

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  9. What a fun nursery! I am so ready for spring!
    Brenda

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  10. Such a great nursery! Lots of evergreens. Lots of everything! Happy weekend, Peter!

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  11. I'm in Tulsa, home of the 100 degree plus droughts - we used to be 6b and the USDA just re-zoned us 7A this year. It seems like pines and conifers are more susceptible to insect damage here. I had no idea Olympia had zone 7 areas! (my ignorance showing...) :O)

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    1. Sorry about your droughs and the temperatures. Although we complan about our weather a lot, we're very lucky that it's so mild here.

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  12. All gushing is forgiven...and even encouraged. Thanks for this Valentine! And for replacing the Leonard Cohn song stuck in my head with something new. I thank you today, but best steer clear of me by tomorrow.

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  13. A very good and informative article indeed . It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views. I hope to see more informative and useful articles in future.

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  14. Hey! I have one of those Conlon snapdragon things! Got it at the botanical garden in Encinitas. Do you have an ID for the pink-leaved holly or succulent conifer? I love those, too! And that heuchera is to-die-for.

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    1. Just so your readers don’t get confused, B&G is in West Olympia 8a, not in tumwater.

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