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 28, 2019

The Northwest Flower and Garden Festival - Ikebana Arrangements

Ikebana (literally Living Flowers) is "a way of arranging flowers that was developed by the Japanese.  It was introduced in Japan in the sixth century by Chinese Buddhist missionaries, who had formalized the ritual of offering flowers to Buddha.  The art is based on the harmony of simple linear constructions and the appreciation fo the subtle beauty of flowers and natural material, such as branches and stems.  There are several major Ikebana schools, with differing histories and theories of artistic style.  In its highest form, this art form is spiritual and philosophical in nature, but in modern Japan, it is more often practiced as a sign of refinement by marriageable young women and older matrons." (Merriam-Webster)

Each year members of  The Seattle Chapter of Ikebana International create arrangements for the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival.  I admire the restraint and artistry of these arrangements.  Come along and enjoy this year's offerings.

Simply elegant. 

These stems were held together by a branch, partly split down the middle and wedged into the vase.  Pretty amazing.

I love the movement of the broom, the tall thin vase.  This was one of my favorites this year.

  Do you have a favorite?  

Can you believe that we've somehow made it to the end of February?   We've lived through the warmest January and coldest February on record.  Hopefully March will be kinder to gardens and gardeners in our part of the world. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wednesday Vignette - A Hole in the Wall

Once again, I'm using (with permission) one of Michael Jardeen's photos for my Wednesday Vignette Post.  He's titled this image "A Hole in the Wall" and it could also function as a Tell the Truth Tuesday post as this Hedera helix-covered, rotting and leaning fence is on one side of my back garden.  Who knew that such an eyesore could be so photogenic?  It's a tribute to Michael's skill.

Tell the Truth Tuesday is hosted by Alison at Bonney Lassie and Wednesday Vignette is hosted by Anna at Flutter and Hum.  Click on the links to see more.

I won't be opening my garden this summer as we're hoping to have this fence replaced and I want to re-work the koi pond, two rather time-consuming projects which will have parts of the garden looking pretty battered for a while.  On the bright side, removing the fence will save me a lot of ivy -removing time.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Flower World B.S.

Before  Snow or Before Show, you choose, we drove up to Flower world to check out their indoor plant sale.  If you've been to this nursery, you know that the sales area covers 15 acres and three of those are inside the huge greenhouses.  Here's a fraction of what caught my eye.  

Outdoor blooms.

Camellia sasanquas will be winding down soon.

While Camellia japonicas are just starting. 

C. japonica 'Apple Blossom' 


Oh how I long for those gentle January days clear and relatively warm.  Sigh...

Heading inside. 

Fuchsia starts already starting to appear on the sales floor. 

A taste of the tropics.

Fish swimming up a stream of Spathiphyllum.

This temptress calls my name but having killed Cordyline terminalis 'Tricolor' before, I'll leaver her with her sisters.

House after house of  plants.

One year they had so many of these that they were giving them away with each purchase and even planted quite a few out in beds for the summer.  My own has survived for three years and desperately needs to be repotted.  Did I mention that I torture house plants?

Gorgeous palm

bearing fruit!

Sad to say, I have at least one of each of the cacti and succulents they have. 

Aglaonema 'Pink Dalmatian' Somehow one of these found it's way into my car.  I'm a sucker for pink-variegated foliage.

 A Calathea also came home to live with me.   To answer your question, no, there is not a window in my house that doesn't have a few plants huddled around it.

Crotons  are adored but they tend to want care that is more consistent than my flood then ignore for a month or two houseplant   technique.

Lovely pot.  Wish I had space for it. 

Calathea warscewiczii in bloom. 


I'm waiting for spring!

So are we!

One shudders to think what it must cost to heat three acres of retail greenhouse space and an even larger production area.  Do you suppose they'd mind if I just started living there? 

Monday, February 25, 2019

In a Vase on Monday - Slowly, Slowly

On Sunday morning, snow was falling as we drove to church.  By the 10:00 a.m. it was starting to accumulate a bit. After experiencing the warmest January on record, it looks as if this will be the coldest February on record in our area.  The prelude included the hymn tune Cwm Rhodda, sometimes called "Bread of Heaven," which certainly fit the look of these huge flakes.

By 12:30 the snow had turned to rain and the white stuff was all gone.  There are still unmelted bits of snow around town from the last round.   Forecasters are predicting more snow on Wednesday.  Spring is certainly coming slowly this year. 

Among many downed branches from snowmageddon were a few limbs of  a magnolia.  The fuzzy buds are  a delight  and I've often wondered if they would open if brought inside but never want to cut them from the tree.  Hoping to create a minimalistic Ikebana-esque arrangement, a few of the branches were cut from the fallen limbs.  However,  I failed miserably and decided to add more broken bits.

Phormium 'Guardsman' is lying flat but retains it's handsome color.  Fingers crossed that it'll pull through.  Other contents are Prunus laurocerasus, Arbutus unedo, and a carex whose name I've forgotten.

Joining the arrangement is a turtle made by Cindy Jenkins.  Hers is one of the booths that I look forward to seeing each year at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival.

The arrangement seems a bit amorphous at the moment but if the magnolias open, it'll be much more interesting.  The contents of this vase will last for quite some time so if the magnolias don't open, perhaps I'll buy some flowers to add for next week's vase.

In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  Click over to her blog to see what others have found in their gardens or nearby to bring inside this week.