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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I Bought (and Was Tempted to Buy) at The Tacoma Home and Garden Show

Peter checks out an interesting chandelier, made out of a metal bun basket hung upside down and wired for electricity, using crystal punch cups instead of drop crystals. Actually, I think it also had drop crystals too. We both admired its clever repurposing.

No, I didn't buy Peter The Outlaw Gardener at the show. Hehe. But I did meet him there. And I have definitely benefited from his free advice about plants. We made the rounds of the show together, checking out several plant sellers' booths, as well as vendors of garden decor. You can check out Peter's post here.

The first place we stopped was the Bark and Garden booth. They have the best displays of conifers, put together like a tapestry.

Besides an assortment of cute little Tillandsias, aka air plants, I also bought a gorgeous conifer, destined for my new front garden. I fell in love. Only after I got home and Googled it did I discover that in full sun its golden needles may have a tendency to scorch. So I'm just going to have to pair it with another larger, perhaps blue-needled, conifer to shelter it somewhat from the sun.

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Sunlight Lace'

What sun-starved PNWer wouldn't fall for something this golden-hued?
Last year on one of our trips to Valley Nursery in Poulsbo, I got a good look at Abies pinsapo 'Glauca,' which I think would make a good companion to this golden conifer. I've been Pinning lots of plants that I'd love to have for the new front garden, so you can get a good look at A. pinsapo 'Glauca' here. Do you have any experience growing either of these, or of conifers in general? Do you have any advice for me? I'm a conifer newbie.

I'd like to put at least one other gold-needled evergreen in that same bed, not close by, but several feet away, as a color echo. Peter bought a beautiful pine at the show, Pinus sylvestris 'Gold Coin.'

Pinus sylvestris 'Gold Coin'

Sorry it's out of focus, but the color is right.
Maybe Bark and Garden will bring more to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, which is only a week away.

I'd show photos of the four air plants I got, but I've already put two of them on display in the house. When I got home from the show I also set to Googling ways to display them. Do you have any Tillandsias? How do you display them? This is my first foray into growing them. I hope they thrive. They were well marked with the type, fortunately. Here's what I bought: T. butzii, T. bulbosa, T. aeranthos, and T. abdita. Don't worry, they're going to get a post of their own.

There were several artists selling their work at the show too. One that particularly caught my attention was Blackwaters Metal, who make rusty welded metal art. Peter and I both bought a hanging bat, only $15, a great price. I need to find a good spot for it. Maybe I'll hang it from the roof of the new greenhouse, which is almost finished. Be patient, it will get its own post soon as well.

Here's a few more items from the Blackwaters Metal booth.

A row of pileated woodpeckers

Green Man

Garden Goddess

Rusty metal lion

I've always been a great lover of mosaic art. I've tried it, and it's not easy. Peter and I both admired the very talented work of Carman of Mad Mozaics. Not only was her work beautiful, but she herself was friendly and more than willing to share details about her process.

I might have been more tempted to buy this mosaiced torso if it had been more colorful.

I love the variety of items in this mosaic heart.

These leaping fish on a piece of slate were very tempting. They'd make a great decoration to my stream, don't you think?
This is the perfect time of year for planting lily bulbs, so B&D Lilies and The Lily Pad are usually a fixture at the late winter garden shows. They both usually also have booths at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. But neither Peter nor I wanted to wait a week to buy, we both love lilies too much.

Since they were bulbs and not very photogenic, and also because I've already planted them in the front bed, I won't bore you with photos. But here's a list of what I bought:

From B&D Lilies -- Lily 'Chocolate Canary' and 'Saltarello'
From The Lily Pad -- Peach Eremurus and Eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy'

Goodness, that's really all I bought! I could have sworn I bought more. I'll just have to make up for it at the flower show next week.