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

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What I Bought at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

The vendor booths are one of the best things about the garden show. All kinds of great garden art and plants and stuff, stuff, stuff all in one place.

One of my favorite booths, despite its cramped feeling, always full of both stuff and people, is Ravenna Gardens. Ravenna Gardens is a shop at University Village in Seattle that sells garden art, furniture and accoutrements, as well as lots of plants and funky stuff artfully arranged for display. Their booth is like a mini-me of the shop. I had heard that they would be selling Tillandsias there, so I had to check them out.

Their Tillandsia display

They had two different kinds of hanging glass terrariums

Here's one all planted up

I also checked out the Tillandsias on display at the Molbak's booth, but didn't buy any. I did get inspiration there on how to display them.

So...what did I buy? A couple of Tillandsias from Ravenna, as well as two hanging glass terrariums. As I walked through the Vintage Market, I noticed a couple of booths with galvanized bins full of pieces of driftwood. I asked one seller how much she wanted and she said, "Ten dollars." Then she laughed, probably at the shocked look on my face. She told me to take a couple for free. So I did, and now I'm using them with the Tillandsias from Ravenna and the inspiration from Molbak's.

This display spot is temporary, it's almost certainly not getting enough light here.

I have this one sitting on the kitchen windowsill, but I took it out to photograph it on my kitchen island.

My two hanging glass terrariums

My Garden Nursery had mushrooms in many sizes and every conceivable combination of colors, so I bought these two

I also bought a Buddha face to go out in the front garden, maybe leaning up against the broken concrete wall, from a vendor called Studio Bridges.

When I told Nigel I had bought a Buddha face, he thought it might be a plant. After all, there's a citrus fruit called a Buddha hand. I could actually see someone naming a plant "Buddha face."

Puya alpestris ($8.00)

Check out the flowers on Puya alpestris, on this page from Annie's Annuals. You'll also find excellent photos and cultivation information in this link from Plant Lust. It's only hardy to Zone 9, so I'll probably treat it as a houseplant, and overwinter it in the greenhouse. I also bought two small $5 pots of Anemanthele lessoniana.

There were large plants at Bark and Garden that I would have bought if I hadn't been parked all the way across the street in a parking garage. I just didn't want to haul plants home from the show. I'll probably visit Bark and Garden in Olympia some time this spring, when I can just buy what I want and load it in the car.

Time to get busy planting up those two terrariums!


  1. So glad I got a glimpse of the NW show. Love the driftwood you acquired!! I wished I could have made it but it wasn't in the time off from work this year!! I very seldom comment but I'm reading every post and enjoying it.

  2. I'll be looking forward to seeing your terrariums planted up Alison. It's always nice to get new things for the garden whether it be plants or nik naks isn't it. I love the Buddha face cast - it's very nice. I bought an Buddha statue on impulse last week - no idea where it's going yet.

  3. I couldn't attend the NWF&GS this year, so seeing the gorgeous pix you posted is the next best thing. Great purchases, and wonderful creativity with the driftwood and Tillandsias!

  4. Oh Alison, so bummed we didn't make it up there yesterday, but Portland is nothing but a sheet of ice at this point. And when Tamara posted this video, we realized it was all for a reason... She was supposed to be there for little Jimmy...

  5. It's nice to be able to do some plant shopping so early in the year. Looking forward to seeing your hanging terrariums planted up!

  6. Lovely hanging glass terrariums did you buy Alison. And the Tillandsias, I had them a long time ago, but I am so sorry they died, I think I had the wrong temperature and humidity for them.

  7. You took some great shots! I missed seeing everything in the Ravenna booth. I toyed with the idea of going up again today (Sunday) because I'll bet that the attendance would be low because of the snow and we could pick up some great bargains on things that people don't want to pack up and take home. There'll probably be enough black mondo grass thrown away to plant whole lawn of the stuff! I've just discovered how delightful sparkling apple cider mixed with caramel apple flavored vodka tastes so I should decide soon before driving will be out of the question. Your treasures from the show are great; the Buddha head is my fave!

  8. Ravenna Gardens did a stint with a lovely shop in Portland a few years ago. I guess Hortlandians just don't spend as freely as you guys up north. Boo hoo...I loved that shop.

  9. The Market is what I love best about the show. And Ravenna Gardens is always one of my favorite spots. They really know how to do color and texture.
    I like your choices. I am not into house plants anymore, but you selected some interesting ones.

  10. What a great haul! I love the Buddha head.

  11. I love that red tillandsia you bought! And I was SO impressed at all the conifers and evergreens Bark and Garden had for sale - what a colorful and tempting assortment. Unfortunately, I was on the train, so I didn't buy any plants, but I made copious notes. Sorry I missed seeing you there!

  12. Looks like you had a great time and got some great goodies too. Fun!

  13. Ravenna Gardens was a favourite booth of mine back when I used to go to the show (when I lived in Seattle, of course, and then for some years I traveled back to the show every year).


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