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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Weekend -- I Went to a Plant Swap, Bought More Plants! And I Have Seedlings

I went to a plant swap in Olympia on Saturday. There is a group on GardenWeb that gets together in Spring and Fall to swap plants. I brought some tomatoes, peppers, Lithodora, and Monarda, and got some great stuff in return!

A huge clump of sword ferns and another big clump of Tellima (Fringecups). With each of these I separated out each plant and potted them up. There were four big fern plants, and about 11 smaller ones! And almost as many of the Tellima. I have already seen a lot of baby Tellima in my garden from the ones I planted last year, so it looks like they self-sow. Next year maybe I'll be passing it along.

I also got several nice clumps of Carex Ice Dancer.

Some baby Hellebores (it'll be a few years before I know what the flowers look like, but I'm told it's a mix of purple and white)

Some false Lily of the Valley (Maianthemum dilatatum), a native wildflower

It's a lot of fun to get together with other gardeners, they are always so generous and fun to talk to!

On Sunday, my husband and I went to a plant sale at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. We drove up the Kitsap Peninsula to get there (there's a bridge), and came home by way of the ferry.

What an amazing place! I took about 150 photos. I'll be doing a blog post about it.

And it was an interesting sale. There were plants there that I haven't seen at any nurseries or at any of the other sales I've been to this Spring.

Here are the plants I bought.

Vanilla leaf/Achlys triphylla (a native) -- I bought one of these last year, and it died immediately. I hope this one does better.

2 Cow parsnip/Heracleum lanatum -- I've wanted to grow this plant ever since my first visit to Washington state several years ago. They're small now, but will get very big, with big leaves.

Aralia californica -- another big native, I wish I'd known it was only Zone 8 hardy (I'm in zone 7 -- maybe it will survive)

Hepatica transylvanica 'Elison Spence' -- looking forward to seeing this bloom

Epimedium 'Purple Pixie' -- I seem to be on an Epimedium quest this Spring, I didn't realize until I saw all the many varieties available at the sale.

Epimedium rubrum -- This is the one I had in Massachusetts, and I loved it!

Epimedium 'Fire Dragon' -- See the closeup below!

I have lots of seedlings coming along too, but it is still too cold, and most of them are still way too small to plant out.
Tomatoes, a few peppers, leeks and basil

More peppers, parsley, Zinnias, hardy Geraniums, and Verbascum

Lots of Dahlias

Tithonia 'Torch' and one zucchini plant

Hope these babies grow up big and strong!

These seeds came from Catherine at A Gardener in Progress

Looks like there's lots more planting in my future! Just when I thought I was caught up.


  1. You found some really great plants! Your native area is going to be gorgeous. I really love Epimedium too, they grow where nothing else will. I thought the moles had killed my rubrum by pushing it up continually but new leaves and flowers are already there.
    I'm glad the Veronica sprouted. Mine bloomed it's first year which surprised me. I've got a stack of seeds to plant outside over the next week.

  2. Egads! That is a lot of planting! I love your tiny little seedlings. Your peppers look great. I love the sword ferns. I can't wait to see where you put them.

  3. Wow. Lots of great plants. I look forward to seeing them in your garden.

  4. Alison, you sure did get alot of plants this weekend! I love the variety of things you have here and the epimedium is amazing, great photo. They are so dainty-looking, just perfect. These new plants are just going to love their new home with you.

    The weeping willow on the pond at the Reserve is extremely picturesque, how lovely. I'll be watching for more pictures of your trip.

  5. Hi Alison,
    I think you have plants coming out of your ears! :) Looks like you got great finds :) Say, I can't tell from the photo but are you using one of those small mini green houses? Jenni

  6. I absolutely love your enthusiasm and passion for gardening, Alison. You and Catherine are cast from the same mould. You both inspire me so much and you are such dedicated gardeners! I really love visiting you both and always leave with a song in my heart :)

  7. My camp name is Olive Oyl :o)Corrine

    I sure hope you enjoy the native ferns & fringecup (Tellima) as much as I do. Yes, the fringecup will self sow unless you clip the bloom stalk. A large mass of them is quite lovely. You can plant them right out & don't need to pot them up.

    Thanks for the plants you gave us! I've kept the tomatoes inside because I forgot to ask you if you had them in an unheated greenhouse or coldframe yet. Where were you growing them? I'd like to get them out & put into unheated 6x8 greenhouse (has a boat heater for keeping the damp out of boats & a fan at all times) or an upright shelf with vinyl cover portable greenhouse. I'm leaving on vacation next week, so need to move them by Saturday.


  8. Oh, now I see you had a two parter. You have lots of little sweeties. I hope they grow well. I forgot to mention I am like you, and end up taking lots of photos at a time.

  9. Alison, great plants! I hope your cow parsnip will behave! In Alaska it's a weed, although beautiful. I posted about it in 2009 Last year, when we were in Alaska again, I suddenly realized how dangerous it was: it was taking over huge spaces, suffocating other plants. I know you will have your plants under control!


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