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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wednesday Vignette

It's the last day of January, the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival née Show starts next week, and the first camellia japonicas are blooming.  Let's just decide that winter is over shall we?

It starts with one far off bloom.
 Soon this old camellia will be so covered with pink that the leaves will barely be visible but for today, this first glimpse of pink gives the dark and soggy days a little lift.

Before long it'll once again be time to be outside more than inside, for summer vacations, the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer.  This scene from the Vintage Market at the Tacoma Home and Garden Show breathes hope for the seasons to come.

Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click here to see more!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Tacoma Home and Garden Show Part 2 Some Plants

Years ago, the home part of this show occupied the main part of the dome and the garden part filled the entire exhibition hall.  As interest or at least sales of plants declined, the garden/plant part of the show was moved into the main part of the dome with the home stuff.  In this year's vendor list, there was only one nursery listed, Mak Lilies and Perennials from Stayton, Oregon. This vendor has been doing the Tacoma show for eleven years.  B & D lilies retired from doing shows last year but they still have a great online catalog. 

They had lots of great bulbs and dormant perennials available.

I was prepared for them to be the only plant peddlers there but was surprised to see the big Plant Sale banner hung and tables of plants on display.

On closer inspection, these plants mostly came from T&L with a few from another grower.  I asked the person (someone I didn't recognize) working the space and was told that the show had brought these plants in. 

It's difficult for a nursery to bring a lot of plants in for a show, especially if they don't sell, because at the end of the event, they're stuck with a lot of merchandise with a limited shelf life to try and move.

It was nice to see beautiful plants but there was nothing really exceptional here.

The fellow working the show said that anything that didn't sell here would be going up to the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival next week.

Lewisias in bloom at this time of the year? 
January is a tough time for plant sales.  Many non-obsessed gardeners don't think of gardening until later in the year when they want to decorate their patios.and a lot of perennial plants are dormant at this time of the year.  The prices here were very reasonable.

Other vendors did try and include a bit of green like these planters by the cedar grove (compost/potting soil) display.

Father Nature Landscapes

And finally, Marenakos Rock Center always puts together a nice display to show off their large boulders.

Impressive that they don't rely on forced flowers to make a statement but instead utilize plants with great winter interest.

I like going to this show.  It can be done in a couple of hours and is not as crowded as the big show next week. To be fair, I went after work on the opening day of the show.  It's much busier on the weekend.  Stay tuned for a look at the vintage market, artist's row, and some garden ornaments/tools.

Monday, January 29, 2018

In a Vase On Monday - Time for Some Winter Sparklers While Time Allows

Hey there, old man winter, the minutes are ticking away until spring. You've only got 50 days left.  The Northwest Flower and Garden Show Festival is only a week away and daylight hours are increasing every day causing winter blooms to burst forth.

Something old, something new.  The ornamental cabbage from fall is getting tall as it prepares to bolt as the hellebores begin to bloom.

Lonicera fragrantissima lives up to it's name as it pours forth lemony sweet fragrance.

Something borrowed- We're all living on borrowed time, right?  A metronome audibly ticks away along with a pocked watch that had belonged to my father.  The sparkly glass jewels remind us that time is precious. 

Something blue:  The vase looks a bit like an older Fenton piece.  The frilly edged top is obscured by the contents.  In reality, it's a really cheap vase I found at a discount store a few years ago. (Don't know where I was going with the something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue but realized it fit today's offering.
Oh yes, the dangly star of the arrangement is Garrya that had to be cut so it didn't dangle in the faces of passersby.

The addictive meme, In a Vase on Monday is hosted by the fabulous Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click here to join the floral fiesta!

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Tacoma Home and Garden Show Part !: The Italian Job

The Tacoma Home and Garden Show opened on Thursday and there was much to see. More posts will follow but today I'll focus on one space.  As I entered the Tacoma Dome, I was eagerly anticipating what Olympic Landscape would dream up this year for their display garden.  What a delightful surprise to see Italian statuary which immediately brought to mind my dear friend Florence Welborn's Garden.

It came as no surprise that the statuary came from Howard Welborn Antiques.  (Howard is Florence's husband.) 

One of Olympic's designers is and old acquaintance from years ago when he worked at Vassey Nursery. It was a little like walking through the garden of friends.

These display gardens are thrown together fairly quickly and I'm always in awe of all the work and the ability to conceive , design, and create a garden  rather than having design evolve over years of trial and error.   

Team of gardeners?

Someone's lying down on the job.  It's so hard to get good help.

Carved marble lions anyone?

This pot had me drooling a bit.  Fortunately there was a tissue in my pocket and I was able to stem the flow before anyone noticed.
The show visit was off to a great start.  Stay tuned for more fun and if you're in the area, drop by the Tacoma Dome and enjoy the event yourself.  The show is open through Sunday, January28.  Spoiler alert: This is primarily a home show but there is also an artist's row, vintage market, several garden tool sellers, yard artists, and  a couple of plant vendors. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Branches Nursery, A Nearby Gem

Branches Nursery is as as close or closer to my home as many of the nurseries that I frequently visit but for some reason I seldom find myself going in that direction.  I must make a point of visiting more frequently!

Winter blooming plants make it seem as if spring has already arrived in our gardens and at Branches!  It's a good idea to visit nurseries every month  to assure that there's always something of interest in your garden.  That is unless you live in an area where nurseries close for the winter and your garden is covered with snow for five months of the year. 

Branches has a large indoor retail area loaded with an extensive array of  gift items, house wares, candles, women's attire, food items, etc.  All holiday decor was on sale for 75% off.  It was easy to say no to any more holiday stuff as there is already too much in my hoard.  (Okay, I may have bought a container that will appear next year in an In a Vase on Monday post.)

Tillandsias seem to be everywhere these days and why not, they're such cool plants.  

A few house plants. 

At this time of year, we're gearing up for another outdoor season and enjoying our evergreen and winter-blooming friends that beckon us out into the garden again.

A nice selection of hellebores. 

The hummingbirds wasted no time finding nectar-bearing blooms and the  feeder.  Nothing like looking at beautiful plants with the sound of the little cuties buzzing around.

Why are these such solitary birds that spend way too much time fighting over territory.  Don't they know how cute they'd look in a sweet little flock?

Separating the sheep

                                                                                                           from the goats.

Spring is just around the corner!  For many of us, spring starts with the Northwest Flower and Garden Show which is only two weeks away.  On the other hand, I remember years when there was snow on the ground for the show so one should probably not count his chickens before they're hatched.

This Hamamelis × intermedia 'Diane'  caused me to check on my own which is also in bloom!  Hooray!

This spherical fire pit is gorgeous!  Too bad I'm out of space in my garden.

Another kind of winter interest.    

The Tacoma Home and Garden Show opens today!   It's always fun to go to see the Vintage market and the Olympic Landscape Garden.  Looks like there'll only be one plant vendor there.

So pretty!  Must make one of these next year!

All too soon it was time to head out but I look forward to visiting again!
For more information, visit their website.

Also, the Tacoma Home and Garden Show opens today!   It's always fun to go to see the Vintage market and the Olympic Landscape Garden.  Looks like there'll only be one plant vendor there this year though.