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, October 29, 2015

Branches Garden Center: A First Visit

Yesterday's post featured a couple of pictures from Branches Garden Center in Auburn.  Today, we'll take a tour of this gem.  Only a ten minute drive from work, I've passed it several times but always on the way to something else and without time to check it out. On the weekend, we had a little extra time, were passing by and decided to stop.

From the chartreuse fence and mailbox near the entrance, I could tell that this was going to be an interesting place. The purple-painted window frame with matching impatiens was also some kind of wonderful.  Notice the hardy cyclamen on the right.

There were quite a few nice ornamental kale and cabbage arrangements, some in unusual containers like this blue and white speckled enamel  canning pot.

The place was decked out for autumn with pumpkins and scarecrows.

Purple, chartreuse, and orange thrill me.  I hope that there's another O.K.& C. challenge next year!

How could one not enjoy looking at this all winter?

Swoon!  May have to check back to see if this one is still there!

Those spheres would make great hanging sempervivum balls. 

Wouldn't mind having this re-worked for natural gas in my kitchen.

Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web' was a nice surprise.  The one on the left may have to come home with me as those creamy leaves with green freckles are swell!

More autumn goodness.  Branches isn't a huge nursery but they pack a lot into their space, the atmosphere is laid back and the people working there were extremely friendly.  I was welcomed warmly and asked several times by different folks, even though they were bust with tasks,  if I needed help in finding anything.

Branches has a location in The Commons (formerly Sea-Tac Mall) in Federal Way.  It would be interesting to see how they differ.

A respectable selection of plants outdoors, especially for the end of October. 

Gazebo that could be covered in thick plastic in  winter and used as a greenhouse.

Evergreens really shine in the winter.

There's a bit of everything here!

These glazed birdbath/fountains were new to me.  Fun!

Watching the bubbles in the glassed in openings on the side of this fountain is mesmerizing. Although, from a very early age, I've thought that opening the lid of a washing machine and watching the agitator go back and forth was the coolest thing in the world.  My sisters tell me that I used to watch and say, "Wash, wash, wash, wash."  Therefore, you may wish to take my opinion with a grain of salt as I still sometimes watch the washer even though we now have one of those front loading, low water use, things.  They put that clear window in the front for a reason, right?

Using a broken pot inside an intact one is a great idea.  

Do you have a plant that needs coddling?  It might be interesting to plant Echinops (Globe Thistle,) Globemallow, and Globe Flowers in it and see if anyone made the connection.  (Globe - "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.) It would much more subtle than the globe that sits in the big hand chair in my garden.

A waterless water feature. 

More pots.

What a fun use of a bonsai pot.  This place is full of ideas!

Someone is a bit tired from the busy and hot summer.  

She was introduced as  Hedera Helix but said that we could just call her by her nickname, Ivy.

Another great combination idea. 

The big surprise for me was the extensive indoor gift area which has started shifting gears for the holiday season.  It looks as if there are themed sections of the gift shop and the trees are decorated to fit each area.

 Tillandsias anyone?  

Finally, truly hardy agaves for any climate!

The use of these rustic potting benches throughout the nursery adds continuity and they're for sale to boot.

There was a large section of women's attire, lotions, potions,  lots of food gifts, and just about anything else you can think of.

Miniature/fairy gardens seem to be all the rage these days and Branches has lots of supplies!

these were made by blowing placing the hot glass atop the wood which was undoubtedly soaked in water.  The glass vases could be lifted off to reveal the burned top of the wood. I've seen these done with rocks before but not wood and like the idea.  The larger one reminds me a bit of a certain area of female anatomy.  Do you suppose that putting a glass head on top would be a bit much?

There's no escaping the Seahawks these days.  Wish I understood the game but not enough to actually learn about it.

While this was my first visit to Branches, it won't be my last.  May have to go back for a couple of plants soon and am looking forward to seeing their plant selection through the winter, spring, and beyond!  For more information, check out their website here.


  1. I thought you said it was small?! Really nice looking place -- can't wait to see it when you visit in the growing season!

  2. I may have to go back soon and check it out too. I was there on a spring day several years ago and was not that impressed. You found lots of cool stuff!

    1. Peter really has an eye for finding kewl things. The rest of us can just stay home and scroll and click and enlarge and enjoy. Cool.

  3. I was there this summer. The staff was really nice, but the gift shop nearly gave me a panic attack - it was so overwhelming. I couldn't "see" for all the stuff that was packed in there. I must say I far preferred their outdoor displays. :)

  4. The first picture sets the tone: creative, imaginative, fun. The purple window frame and plants to match is just wonderful. I also love it when an items is used differently then it's original intended purpose: like planting up a fountain with sedum.
    I was going to suggest that you go back in a month to check the christmas decor but it seems like you got it covered already :-)

  5. As one who has to be shown most everything, the idea of putting a broken pot into a larger intact pot is just fantastic. All this time I was trying to do the opposite.

  6. Excellent, always nice to discover a new spot - especially one as well done as this and close to your work! Love the mental image of you staring into the washing machine and chanting...

  7. So many lovely things and plants to look at, reminds me of Swanes Nursery at Dural, in Australia.

  8. What a delightful place! You should get a piece of their advertising budget. You do them proud.

  9. I want that 'I love when you talk dirt to me' cushion for my outdoor sofa.

  10. I like the sunflower head on the scarecrow.

  11. Looks like they do everything tastefully (a tall order around Halloween) but I must say that Christmas merchandise before Thanksgiving is in very poor taste, however pretty it might be.

  12. I liked everything about this place, starting with the chartreuse fence. It left me considering painting the fence in my vegetable garden. My husband's red-green color blind so I could tell him it was brown.

  13. Excellent Greg. Good, practical stuff. I just floated your article around my network. Keep up the good work.

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