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

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Want to Come Shopping With Me? I Bought Stuff!

Wow! Today was a busy day! I went into Seattle to a plant sale, and then to a flea market, and then stopped off at University Village in Seattle, to see what they had for sale at Ravenna Gardens. Then back home, and out to dinner with Nigel for Chinese. Well, he had Chinese, I had sushi.

Today was the Northwest Perennial Alliance's March Mania plant sale at Bellevue Botanical Gardens. Too bad it was rainy and cold, or I might have been tempted to take a look around the botanical garden. As it was, the sale was outside, but mostly under tents and awnings, so I managed to stay sort of dry. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, and only remembered after I left the plant sale that I could take photos with my phone. I took photos of the flea market, and of Ravenna Gardens with my phone, but quite a few are blurry. I'll post the best ones, but bear with me, they're not great photos. But they'll get the point across.

I told Nigel before I left that I didn't think I'd buy much. Hah!

Famous last words.

Here are the treasures I bought at the plant sale. Most of these will be going in the gravel garden.

Lobelia tupa (in the big square pot), Sedum rupestre aureum, Sedum 'Button', Sedum ewersii, Sedum tetractinum 'Coral Reef'

Helleborus x hybridus 'Regal Ruffles', Sedum makinoi 'Ogon', Allium 'Globemaster', Allium aflatunense 'Purple Sensation', Sempervivum arachnoideum, Euphorbia characias 'Redwing'

Everything except the Hellebore and the Lobelia tupa are going into the gravel garden.

Here's a closeup of the double flower on that Hellebore.

After spending a pretty penny at the plant sale, I hopped into the car and went into Seattle to the 2nd Saturdayz flea market, at Magnuson Park in Northeast Seattle, where I found a wonderful treasure trove of antiques and other items ripe for being repurposed.

I thought three of these little gray card file drawers would make interesting plant containers. They were only $5 each, and had just the right amount of rust.

Isn't this concrete mushroom interesting? I loved it, but it didn't come home with me.

I really wanted this square washtub, but it was just a bit pricey for me.

See those longer metal card file drawers at the bottom left? Four of them came home with me. She had them priced for $14 each, but because I bought four, she let me have them for $10. I have interesting vertical gardening plans for them.

This wonderful booth had lots of lovely items too. Isn't this old gate cool?

And this blue corbel? If it had been concrete, it would almost certainly have come home with me to live in my garden.

I bought these cute decorative birdhouses on chippy painted spindles at that booth.

Several years ago, back when I lived in Massachusetts, I bought new spindles similar to these, with plans to make something similar. Did I? No. If I remember correctly, those spindles found a new home with one of my friends back east.

Only $15, and worth it to me not to have to make them myself.

My only other purchase at the flea market was these two brass sieves, destined to hold succulents. What do you think, should I polish them back to shiny brass, or leave them with this patina?

As I was on my way to the flea market, I realized I was passing University Village, a mall near the hotel where all the Flingers stayed last summer. I haven't been back to Ravenna Gardens, the boutique nursery in the mall since then, so I figured I was due for a visit.

Ravenna Gardens does wonderfully colorful displays.

I love the sentiment on that sign, but geez! They want almost $70 for it.

I wish my photos could do this unique shop justice. There are beautiful items wherever you turn.

I'm fascinated by these air plants. Silly me, I worry that they will die on me. I don't trust plants that don't need soil and water.

The shop has several racks of these non-hardy succulents. Candidates for those brass sieves, maybe?

They have lots of unique stuff outside the store too, like this cool shed. But it was cold and rainy outside.

At Ravenna Gardens I bought these two Burro's Tail Sedum. They're not hardy, so I'll have to take them in for the winter.

And I also got these three little rocks. Good things to strive for in life.

Well, that was the end of my shopping spree. Home I went! I hope you had fun coming along with me.


  1. What fun!! I went shopping, too the other day but my purchases weren't funky as yours. $70 for that sign? Give me a break! Love your new plants.

  2. oooohh! Fun! You could make your OWN sign like the Garden Artist one for 5 bucks I bet! With an old frame from thrift shop & printing your own sign...
    I also want that mushroom!

  3. A fabulous outing, Alison! There was so much to see and take in at both places. I'd have been there for hours. I saw so many things I liked and think yo chose very well. I am also in the market for sedums. I want to replant one of my two rusty wheelbarrows using them. You got some wonderful specimens. I love your idea of using those card file drawers to create a vertical garden and the sieves are super! I think they'd be good either way. Shone up or left as they are. It all depends on the effect you wish to achieve. I loved that old shed! And those blown glass flowers are exquisite. Love the bold colours especially. It has been so much fun seeing what is available when you live. The flea market is particularly appealing to me! I also loved that galvanised square basin. Pity it was selling for too much. All in all, you had a marvellous day exactly the kind I enjoy!

  4. I think you and I would have a fabulous time shopping together! :) I've had the Sedum makinoi 'Ogon' before and the bright chartreuse color is incredible :) That old gate would make a fantastic piece for a vertical garden too! I love all of your treasures and plant finds! It looks like you had a wonderful time shopping around. Cheers, Jenni

  5. Funny, I saw Euphorbia 'Red Wing' online this evening and thought about getting it....what a cool looking plant.
    Brass sieves are pretty cool, maybe I would shine it up.
    I would buy that gate, big time!!

  6. Thank you for taking us along, Alison. I bought: A Lobelia tupa just like yours, that concrete mushroom cluster, that square container on the chair to the left of the square washtub, that green wooden chair next to the longer file drawers you bought, one of the rusty vintage clocks on the table beneath the huge wall clocks and finally that whole rustic shed. Four accommodating young studs helped heave the thing into the back of my truck and off I went, a very happy camper. Not really but one can dream. :)

  7. Hahahaha...I love it! It's so very easy to end up with far more plants than you intended on buying, isn't it! I hope you love the Alliums as much as I do...they are fabulous!

  8. Now I really wish I would've been able to go! I think I'll try for Second Saturdayz next month. I love the Hellebore you found! Your gravel garden is going to be pretty.

  9. What a fun time, gathering plants and items to plant them in or to decorate the garden with! My eyes were drawn to that tub, too.


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.