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, January 31, 2014

More Fun from the Tacoma Home and Garden Show

Like Alison, I bought some lily bulbs at B & D lilies.  Some Casa Blanca, a few African Queens, and a variety new to me that I can't remember right now.  It was such a treat to smell lilies in bloom at this time of the year. 

But this fragrance really belongs to high summer when it meets that of brugmansia and honeysuckle as the sun begins to rise.  When I plant my bulbs this Saturday,  I'll be thinking of those glorious and warm days to come. 

B & D was also offering Musella lasiocarpa.  This sight made me wonder if I could overwinter other bananas with less soil and avoid hauling huge pots to the basement.

So, what do you think of this  boulder with a glass table top?

Through the glass you can see water collected on the surface of the rock.  It would be a job keeping the glass table top clean.
Raintree nursery has a great catalog and sells a lot of unusual and hard to find berries, fruit trees, and all kinds of unusual edibles.  Of course, they also have more popular varieties as well but this is the place to go to find olives, meldars, papayas, paw paws, and others. 
I know that one sees these in a lot of places but they still thrill me.  Maybe my classroom needs a few of them?

Always a joy are the bright and cheerful watercolors of Gig Harbor artist Kate Larsson.  Kate will also be at the Seattle Flower and Garden Show.

Don't know who makes these but they're interesting.

Carman at Mad Mozaics was as delightful as her work, sharing her techniques  and material sources. 

Her work was all wonderful and you can see more of it on her website.  I like Carman's technique of reusing old windows in their sashes by gluing stained glass on the existing clear glass and covering the whole with epoxy.  There's a little more to it than that and Carman teaches classes in your home if you can get together a minimum of 5 people.  What a great party idea!

No show in Tacoma, Dale Chihuly's home town, would be complete without some blown glass garden art.  Here we have  work of Studio Rynkiewicz from Everett. 
This trio of bowls could come home with me if I could only find space for them.

Glass is such a beautiful material and many nothrwest gardeners love to include it in their gardens. What do you think of glass in the garden? 

I'm a fan of anything shiny, like the sun which I hope you'll be seeing a lot of this weekend!  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Novel Idea - A garden by Olympic Landscape and Irrigation

This being my first visit to the Tacoma Home and Garden Show,  I was delighted that we were greeted by strangers with candy.  Thank you Bay Equity Home Loans for starting the day off in a sweet way!

Also very nice was "A Novel Idea,"  the creation of Olympic Landscape and Irrigation.  It is my understanding that they have, for many years now, put together a garden for this show.  There is no show garden competition in the Tacoma Home and Garden Show so it was great to see some gardens and vignettes at the show. 

The pink/purple on the leucothoe leaves echoes that of the phormium.

 I'd not seen the name of the garden and couldn't figure out why books were hanging from the trees.

 Interesting to be sure but I wondered why one would a) do this to a book and b) place it outside where it would certainly not last long.
 I am fond of the way the stepping stones went through the lawn, continued into the flower beds and kept going right through the middle of the water feature. 

Garden furniture and décor are from Summer House

Another book taking flight.

Fountain by Tom Torrens Sculpture Design.

Am I the only one who wants to pick up the books?  Maybe it's because we're in the Pacific Northwest in the middle of the rain festival (October 1 - July 5.)
 Viburnum "Pink Dawn"  adding its fragrance to that of sarcococca (not pictured.)
Finally seeing this sign helped me to understand the books lying and flying about.   A nice garden that was fun to walk through!

Turning around, there were some folks discussing plans for their own landscape design. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Ann Nichols Garden

On the third and final day of the garden bloggers' fling, we visited some amazing places.  We started the morning at the Ruth Bancroft Garden, a zeric paradise showcasing the result of 40 years of passionate collecting of cacti and succulents.   Next came the Dudan Garden with great living spaces and awesome views enhanced by the garden which absolutely fit the space to a T.  We're now on our third garden which couldn't be more different from the other two gardens if it tried.  You may notice some of the same plants in these gardens which illustrates how differently each artist utilizes a similar palette.  I loved all of the gardens on the fling but this one was extra special for a variety of reasons that Hoover Boo explains beautifully here
One of the things that has resonated with me is that this was a smallish garden, only a little larger than my own but it was packed with interest.  Great plants extremely well grown,  wonderful garden art well displayed, and touches of whimsy.   I was so excited that I started to take pictures as the bus pulled up in front of the garden.  The two first shots are not the best because they're taken through the tinted glass of the bus.  We weren't aware yet whether this was our destination or simply an exceptional garden on the way so  I snapped away.

Do you think that folks who live here get used to the sight of these palms and don't constantly look up and worship their beauty?  

The Nichols Garden has something to please both the plant-obsessed collector and the controlled designer.

Aloe polyphylla grown to perfection. I have one but it's a pile of mush.

The play of color and form in this garden is delightful!

Almost feels like an announcer should begin speaking about the undersea environment of the coral reef.

Everyone should have a palm trunk planted with tillandsias!

My recent bromeliad purchases were inspired by walking through this garden.  Well, that and a 30% off sale.

 Begonias are well represented in this garden as you may notice later on in the post.

A creative and beautiful way to protect one's koi from predators.

Fun mosaic work in the pavers around one of the ponds.

Two more begonias with which I fell in love.

Does anyone have an idea about the name of this begonia?  Notice the large caudex on the Agepetes on the right.

Little and Lewis?

Door to the garden shed with a trompe-l'œil painting to resemble the actual gate to the right.

I'd love to have this view from my kitchen windows!  Notice in the foreground the treats that Ann had waiting for us. 
 Looking back down the side yard slope garden/series of ponds. 

Here are  Ann's garden helper and Ann.  Such a kind and gracious host.  Thank you so much Ann and all of the gardeners who opened their private gardens to us!
Only two more San Francisco Fling entries left.   I hope that you will come to the Portland Fling this summer; you'll have a fabulous time!