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, August 30, 2013

A Friday Quickie Raw and Uncensored

Busy, busy, busy time of the year for me so today here's a few uncensored pictures through my dirty kitchen window of  part of my neglected garden.  (Long boring story but the nice thing about gardens is that there's always another season to make it better.) 
The sweet perfume of Clerodendrum bungei (pink flowers) wafts beautifully over this part of the garden which causes me to forgive them for their rampant running habit;  after all, they're easy enough to pull up.  If left unchecked, these would take over the world. There's also a Clerodendrum trichotomum  (I think it's var. fargesii because its leaves are not as large and furry as  my other C. trichotomum, it hasn't taken on the tree-like proportions of the latter and it blooms later.) Anyway, it smells great around there right now!

You may remember this view from May.

It looks quite different now.  Floating plants on the pond and the foliage all around obscure a lot of what's visible at other times of the year. 

The potted agaves and other succulents belong back in the danger gardenette.  I pulled it apart to clean up the bamboo  that was encroaching and never put them back.  Oh well, it'll be time to pull them back inside for winter soon.

The pot sitting empty back there is for a hosta I recently bought which badly needs to be planted.  Oh well, it's raining out right now.  There's always tomorrow, right?

This lovely lady is disgusted that I didn't remove the bamboo litter from her hat before taking her picture.  She's looking directly at a slew of plants in pots that need to go into the ground.  She's so judgmental!

How has your garden season been this year?  Full of work, great projects, and efficiency or more of a time of maintaining and planning for the future?   Have a happy and productive weekend all!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Frolicing at Fancy Fronds Nursery

Each year for the last 13 or so, Judith Jones, owner of Fancy Fronds Nursery, hosts the Fronderosa Frolic.  What is a Fronderosa Frolic? 

“Fronderosa Frolic is a celebration of plants and summer…that has become the horticultural equivalent of Woodstock”.
- (Val Easton, Seattle Times, 4/8/04)

"A festival of rare plants, garden art, artifacts, scintillating botanical conversations with some of the Northwests premier specialty growers and garden artists. Specialty nurseries are rapidly disappearing due to the aggressive marketing done by the large wholesale growers. Many of the new plants introduced by these commercial growers are first discovered or grown by keen growers operating small specialty nurseries. Please support them if you are interested in a diverse range of plants that have been correctly identified and tested to thrive in your gardens."  Judith Jones

There is a raffle every hour of donations from our vendors to benefit the Equine Stewardship Center, NWESC. This non profit horse rescue and rehabilitation center also offers classes in equine care. Fancy Fronds has been using horse manure for garden beds and as a potting additive for over thirty years. Bring a bucket or bag and you can take away some of this "horsey goodness"!

You may remember my posts about last years Frolic.  If not, you can see them here, here, here, and here.

For me, this is the last hurrah of summer.  Sure there are a couple more sales in the fall but this one holds a special place in my heart because it happens while I can still believe that summer and thinking mostly of gardening can last forever.  Just a couple of weeks before the major tasks of planning for the academic/choral year and the business of working six days a week has me stealing a few moments in the garden again, this event celebrates the carefree joy of  the season.

One of Far Reaches Farm's tables filled with treasure.  The climbing aconitum on the far right is one of the several beauties that hitched a ride home with me. 

Salvia dombeyi is another.  Here's Kelly's description of the plant: "Salvia of the Gods. A small padded kneeling bench is handy to have in front of this plant to make it easier for garden visitors as they spontaneously fall to their knees. We forgive its need to be grown frost-free because the flowers rule. Immense red pendulous flowers from the huge calyces."

Among the vendors were many long time participants  and some newer ones as well. 

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Japonicum' showing off  soft seed heads.  Growing 4 -5 feet, and hardy to zone 6, this is one gorgeous grass!

 How cool to see Celestial Dream Gardens at the sale!  Such nice people (plant folks tend to be that way!) and cool plants!

Some of Celestial Dream Gardens' offerings.  Looks dangerous!

Another thing that makes this event special is the bucolic setting.  We don't see scenes like this at many plant sales.  Chimacum Woods nursery from Port Ludlow was lucky enough to use this as the backdrop for their fabulous selection of unusual rhododendrons. 

While unusual plants are the main focus of the event, there is also quite a bit of beautiful garden art and furniture  available as well.

Couldn't stop looking at this simple but effective succulent combination.

Another plant area.  While this is a big sale, the vendors are spread out through the large property so, even though there are a lot of folks in attendance,  it doesn't seem horribly crowded.

 The Desert Northwest tables contained an array of delights including this one which almost came home with me.

Look at those seductive blooms.  Can you imagine a tree covered with these in August?  Glorious.

And the foliage is evergreen, who could ask for anything more?

Ian brought with him Leucadendrons 'Safari Sunset' and 'Jester' (pictured) among other wonders including a couple of Grevillea x gaudichaudii that he brought just for Loree and me.  Hooray!

The Frolic is the brainchild of and is hosted by Judith Jones, an international expert on ferns, co founder of the Northwest Perennial Alliance, and participant in the Northwest Flower and Garden Show since its inception.   Here she is doing what she does best, sharing her expertise with others.   I came across a nice article about her titled, "Fern Star Judith Jones can take you way beyond swords and maidenhair."  Very clever!  To read more about the self proclaimed Fern Madame, check out the article here.

How nice to see that mine is not the only garden with plants in pots waiting to be planted.  My garden is much smaller and the job easier though so I have no excuse.

Oh my goodness, look what's just escaped from his cage!  Judith's garden is full of whimsy!

Hosta la vista baby!  This monster snail could eat every hosta in the state!  We were warned about storing that nuclear waste  at Hanford!

A few pots out by the garage.

An oft photographed part of the garden. 

And a cute detail or two.

Still love this gazebo!

Behind the house and back garden we walk down to the river.

Something's been here before.   Hmmm, wonder what it was?

Vendors camp out by the river, some in tents, others in more comfortable digs.

Tell me I'm not the only one who thought of Matt Foley, motivational speaker when I saw these vans down by the river.

Such a beautiful site, it might not be such a bad thing!

You are welcome to bring a lunch and picnic anywhere on the grounds and this area would be a lovely spot for such a thing.  There's also a trampoline so you can work off those calories.  Didn't notice the zip line across the river this year.  I wonder if it's been taken down or if I just didn't see it.

Now these are some Fancy Fronds!

You never know what you'll come across in this garden but no one would be surprised if the giant whose chair this is popped out of the forest.

More of those fancy fronds!

Awww, I didn't know that Big Bird had passed away. 

Fun fused glass pieces.

Wonderful blown glass by Barbara Sanderson of Glass Gardens Northwest.  These "fiddleheads" are some of my favorite things that Barbara creates.  Next year I'm going to get a few!

To see more of Barbara's work, go here.
Another of my favorite things about attending the frolic is all of the cool places along the way.  We always stop at this nursery/fruit stand to get delicious seasonal fruit.  I'm a big fan of peaches and since the frolic takes place during peach season, it's easy to decide what's for lunch.  I picked up a whole box of them as they are so inexpensive now and they freeze well. 
They also have more than just run of the mill plants like this beautifully-shaped pelargonium.
And always quite a variety of sizes of brugmansias. 
Fancy Fronds nursery in Gold Bar isn't far from Flower World and Molbaks, and just a hop skip and a jump from Wells Medina Nursery so there are a lot of great plant adventures to be had if you're contemplating attending the event next year.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Went to a Garden Party!

A few weeks ago, the arrival in the mail of an invitation to a garden party didn't come as a surprise because my friend and glass mentor, Florence, had been excited about party planning for weeks.  Not only did the party celebrate the completion of the garden but also the completion of a large addition to the house. 

It's totally o.k. that you thought of Ricky Nelson's song.  Go ahead and listen, you know you want to!
You may remember my previous posts about this garden in progress.  I'm only sorry that I didn't take pictures when I first visited the vacant lot filled with overgrown brush or later when the heavy equipment had made a muddy mess of the whole thing. The party took place last weekend and the addition of people to the garden made such a difference as gardens need an audience.   A blue sky and pleasantly warm temperature,  two of the joys of the PNW in the summer made everything sparkle.  Music was provided by Christolphe Chagnard, director of the Northwest Sinfonietta, and his jazz/folk fusion group Touche 6.  The event couldn't have been any more enjoyable. 
We are greeted by this lovely lady.  Not very talkative but then she seems to be worried about a possible wardrobe malfunction.

Do sign the guest book.
Previous posts about Paradeisos, this gardens name, have contained lots of images and information, including the gardener's philosophy and process so today I'll try to be less wordy and just let you enjoy some pictures of the party.

The panels in the lamp were removed and replaced with these that Florence fused.

Let's peek inside for a moment, shall we?  Florence has gorgeous glass from a variety of places and periods. 

This gorgeous Victorian was found by Florence and her husband in an old mansion slated for demolition a few years ago.  The place had been used for a variety of purposes over the years and this panel was actually covered by wallboard.  Researching the house, Florence found an image showing that the missing center medallion was originally a painted snake.  Instead of replicating that, the choice was made to design a floral center instead.  I love this panel!  (I love them all!)

Part of a sweet English painted panel.

A couple Swiss Panels.  These were made from the late 15th century through the early 19th century  in Switzerland and Germany and are usually fairly small.

I'm guessing that this one is older than the first. 
This piece is the first that Florence ever made many years ago.  I think that just about everyone saves his or her first effort.
Florence and Howard, having imported antiques from the Far East and Europe (emphasis on Italy) for years have amassed an incredible collection of gorgeous objects.  The advent of ebay and auctions being held online have added another dimension to their collecting.   The huge Jardinière currently in the center of the room was an auction find.  It had been custom made in Italy of glazed terra cotta for someone who for some reason didn't want it when it arrived and it was sold for a small fraction of it's original price.  How many people have space for a four foot tall three foot round Urn around the house?

 The house is full of wonderful collections and they are always being changed around.  Different glass panels, different icons, etc. displayed.  Every visit is an adventure in beauty and a lesson in history and art!  The leaded panel which Florence sized to fit this opening is a Victorian  from Philadelphia.

The dining room used to end at the doors where you see the fellow walking. 

Every corner of the place is packed with objects of beauty and interest.  Each has a story and Florence's thirst for knowledge leads her to research the historical movements that brought about the creation of objects in certain ways. (function, tastes, technological advances.)

I've always admired this piece.  Looks like Prometheus to me but I'm not sure if that's who he is.

Notice the detail on the door frame. (view into the butler's pantry.)

Always a fan of beautifully handwork, Florence has collected random fragments of carved furniture.  This one has found a great home here as part of the kitchen expansion/remodel.

Although most of us had a grand time, this couple seemed a little put off by the whole thing.

Now THESE folks know how to party!
Hope you enjoyed the party as much as I did!