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

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Today Was a Two-Fer!

Today was a Two-Fer -- Two For the Price of One! I've been wanting to join Les's Winter Walk-Off  for a couple of years. If you're not familiar with the Winter Walk-Off, here's what Les at A Tidewater Gardener has to say about it:

"On your own two feet, leave the house and share what can be seen within walking (or biking) distance of your home (if you want to drive to your walk that's OK too).  Your post does not have to be about gardening or a travelogue, unless you want it to be.  Maybe instead you will find some unusual patterns, interesting shadows, signs of spring, a favorite restaurant or shop, questionable landscaping or local eyesores.  Whatever, just keep your eyes and mind open, be creative and have fun, but don't show anything from your own garden."

Why haven't I joined this before? Two words -- Cold and Rain. I don't like to walk in either (yes, I'm a wimp), but unfortunately, those two words describe our Pacific Northwest winter. Our entire winter. A day without either is a rarity, and I only have until March 19 to participate. Yesterday was one such rarity, but I didn't want to walk, I wanted to garden in my own garden. So I did. I managed to weed and cutback and clean out all the beds in the back garden.

This morning promised to be warm and not raining as well, but -- well, today I wanted to go to the Northwest Perennial Alliance's March Mania Plant Sale at the Bellevue Botanical Garden. could I incorporate a walk and the plant sale? I could walk AT the Bellevue Botanical Garden! Technically, it's not my neighborhood, but I'm going to interpret the "rules" loosely. Les says I can drive and then walk, so that's what I did.

If you're really jonesing for pictures of a couple of (summertime) walks I took through my neighborhood and town, you can check out this post, and this post, from my other blog The 40-Pound Chicken Challenge.

So, after that long-winded preamble --

There were plenty of vendors out today for the sale

More vendors -- in fact, there were even more beyond, around the corner of the building

Did I buy plants? yes But not Hellebores. I'm sure that surprised you. After I had paid for my non-Hellebore plants, I retrieved Nigel from his reading corner inside the building, and we set off on our stroll. Our first stop was the Water-wise Garden, which had this gorgeous stand of Epimedium, a wonderful dry shade plant.

I don't know which Epimedium this is, but it's got really pretty leaves for this time of year.

Then we checked out the Northwest Perennial Alliance's Perennial Border. At the moment there's not much blooming there except Hellebores and Crocuses.

The NPA border has a happy gnome!

After a perusal of the border, the path onward beckons

Mahonia blooming beside the path

There were lots of this favorite PNW native small tree -- Indian plum, aka Oemleria cerasiformis

I was surprised to see flowers budding already on the flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum.

This -- most likely Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' -- smelled heavenly and was blooming profusely

A moss-covered nurse log in the Native Discovery Garden

Moss covers everything here, whether it's a rolling stone or a still one

Fall's detritus still hung, captured in plenty of branches

Rather than veer off to the relatively new suspension bridge, which has been open less than a year, we ventured into the Japanese Garden, which I have never seen. For a summer-time post with pictures of the bridge, look here.

We spied this strange metal object from across the garden.

It's an enormous drainage hatch!

Someone has abandoned their post
So I'm sure you're wondering what I bought at the plant sale...

From top right, going clockwise: Epimedium versicolor, Melianthus major, Cardiocrinum giganteum yunnanense, black mondo grass, and Luzula sylvatica 'Aurea'

My baby Cardiocrinum. I hope I can keep it alive.

Have you been doing any gardening lately? Or taken any walks? Thinking of participating in Les's Winter Walk-Off? I'm so glad I finally did.


  1. What a great walk you had. I love all the epimedium leaves, so rich looking, glossy and pretty. And all the mossy roots. But the show stopper on this walk fro me was the pink blooming viburnum bodnantense. Just wish I could smell it!

  2. Thank you for playing along in my little challenge. I did buy a hellebore today, a bright yellow one at that, and a few well priced clumps of black mondo to go around it. Melianthus is on my list to find.

  3. Wow! looks like you had fun at both the sale and the walk. I finlly joined the NPA after reading your post and remembering our chat with the lady at the show. There's a really easy way to join online using paypal. Plus, I either forgot or didn't know about the sale and wanted to make sure to go next year! That garden gnome looks suspiciously like the gorilla's friend from your post from the Tacoma home and garden show.

  4. The last few days have been great for walking and gardening - I did both, too. Bellevue Botanical Garden is officially on my "must see" list! What a great Pacific NW garden to walk in, and a plant sale to boot. I like everything you brought home to your garden and we clearly need some epimediums for the Mulch Man's Northwest Territory garden.

  5. So smart of you to think of combining a walk with and a plant sale! I love the black mondo grass - I need to add some of that to my garden somewhere. And that picture of the moss covering everything looks so magical - like a little fairy or leprechaun could come out at any time!

  6. Hi Alison, thanks for sharing the twofer with us all. I love the walk through the botanical garden. It's a good thing we don't have plant sales around here yet, I'd be buying far too many with nothing but snow to stick them in. The Japanese garden is so beautiful, I am always drawn to them. (Must be the rocks, lol.)

    Your first crocus of spring is exceptionally beautiful. And in answer to your question about the spring-y window, yes, we did make that one, too.

  7. Fun post. I love the Epi. And the hemlock with the moss in the background...VERY nice!

  8. Love all the moss. I googled the Viburnum in the middle of reading this post....hard to come by in the States. I need to get some Epimedium as much of my shade is quite dry.


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