Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Visit to Windmill Gardens Nursery

Windmill Gardens is a local nursery that at times can make you feel like you've been transported to the Netherlands. This past year the Northwest Flower and Garden Show used their not-yet-in-use greenhouses as a holding/growing on/forcing area for the plants that were going to be used for the displays at the show. I recently visited and took along my camera, because I knew they had a lovely display garden and lots of merchandise that others might want to see.

It's called Windmill Gardens because it has an actual windmill with turning blades, on top of one of the buildings. The nursery is set up almost like a little village, with several separate buildings that each house a different shop. There's a cute little bistro (where I had lunch), a tea shop (that only sells tea, but doesn't serve it), a spa and salon, a pond supply shop, a flower shop, and, of course, a nursery. I'm not sure how authentic the windmill is. Its arms turn without wind, so it must be motorized, and I bet it's much smaller than a real Dutch windmill. It's been a long time since I was in Holland (a little over 35 years), and to tell the truth I can't actually remember if I even saw any windmills when I was there (old age being what it is).

Many of the buildings are just dripping with lush annual hanging baskets.

But first, before we walk the display garden...lunch in the Bistro.

The pleasant verandah has tables.
And a large area outside at the back has tables with umbrellas.
Inside is quite nice too.
Sorry about the rotten pictures, I was using my cellphone.

What shall we order? How about a salad? If you've been following my other blog, The 40-Pound Chicken Challenge, you know that I've been eating a lot of salads lately.

I have the Sesame Chicken Salad -- greens, celery, and red pepper with sesame dressing and grilled chicken. Yum!

Now that we've eaten, we can tour the display garden. At just about every turn there are fuchsias trained as standards in pots.

As you enter the display garden, one of the first things you see is this gazebo with an enormous blooming Brugmansia.

Every so often you pass under an archway, each with a different saying on it.

Statues are placed throughout the garden, which has both shady and sunny gravel paths.

Roses bloom in the sunny areas.

The garden has a pond with a waterfall and an enormous Darmera peltata.

A little further on is an interesting shed, looking much older than it is, made of either stucco or concrete, with a green roof.

The flowers on the shed roof reach for the elusive PNW sun.

A climbing Hydrangea clings to the side of the shed.

Butterflies flit around, and alight on flowers long enough for me to snap a picture.

A river of blue flowers flows past a huge Phlox paniculata.

A quick peak into the tea shop

The Pond Store sits right next door, and has many treasures for sale.

I think this is California Arrowhead/Sagittaria montevidensis. I should get this for my stream.

A beautiful mottled Elephant ear

And of course outside the pond store, there has to be a pond!

Through the trees you can see the florist shop and nursery.

Let's head for the nursery.

On the way there we pass this bright display.

They have an interesting array of garden items on display, as well as the usual tools, boots, gloves and seeds.

Brightly painted cast leaves

Wire bird cages with bird figurines inside

Isn't this twig furniture the cutest? I doubt it would hold up to much use, though.

There are two large displays of Persicaria 'Painter's Palette', only $3.99.

Variegated Acanthus mollis. I want one badly, but they are $30.00 each!

Lots of trees and shrubs for sale!

I want this one too -- Chocolate Silk Tree -- but I'm not sure where I'd put it.

Metasequoia, a deciduous conifer, is tempting too.

I like this cute little dog statue, I wonder how the cats in the neighborhood would react.

Three bunnies for sale, I think I prefer the well-weathered one.

I notice this display, with its sort of autumnal colors. Hmmm.....

What's this?

Mums? Noooooooooooo...mums are for F-f-f-fall....

We haven't even really had summer yet. No fair. Ah well. With fall, come sales. Maybe all those plants I want, but didn't get, will be cheaper soon.