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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Visit to Valley Nursery

Our first stop this past Saturday was Valley Nursery in Poulsbo, WA., a nursery I've wanted to visit for a while, but never seem to get to. So I'm really glad we stopped. You can read Peter The Outlaw Gardener's post about our visit to Valley Nursery here.

This bench was the first thing that caught my eye when we arrived. I need more seating in the garden. Perhaps I wouldn't do fake grapevines on it. The back would make a great trellis though.

They have a lovely water feature just inside the gates

This is such a cool fountain! It reminds me of those spiral charity wells shaped like a funnel, where you could run a coin around the edge until it disappeared into a hole in the middle.

The chicken coop briefly distracted me from my true purpose -- plants!

Last summer when I was contemplating replacing the trees in my front bed, I asked for advice from my friends on Facebook, and Debbie Teashon, who writes Rainy Side Gardeners, suggested an Arbutus 'Marina', which she had just seen right here at Valley. I really liked the sound and look of it, but couldn't find this particular variety anywhere nearby, and eventually settled on a paperbark maple and a redbud. But some day I hope to get rid of some of the grass in the front, and enclose the front yard with a bed that runs around its perimeter, which would mean having room for a couple more trees. So on Saturday I set off in search of an Arbutus 'Marina' here at Valley. I knew there wouldn't be room in Peter's car for one, but I wanted to see it in person.

I headed off into the conifer section.

There are so many wonderful conifers to choose from. I've been wondering lately about whether my choice of an Embothrium coccinium for a screen between me and the neighbors is a good one, given that I saw an example of it on Loree's blog danger garden, showing few leaves but lots of pretty flowers. So I've also been thinking about maybe using a conifer.

The ones at Valley all had the most beautiful cones.

This noble fir, with its blue needles and purple-red cones hanging like clusters of grapes or raspberries, was really impressive. But the tag said it would get 25 to 30 feet high and 15 feet wide. Too big maybe?

I've also been thinking about this one, Abies koreana 'Silberlocke.' I keep seeing it at various places, and I'm wondering if Fate is trying to tell me something.

If I ever buy a maple, it will probably be this one, Acer pseudoplatanus 'Esk Sunset.' Peter suggested getting one to keep in a pot.

Here's the Arbutus 'Marina' -- I do like it! When I finally do the front garden perimeter bed, I might just have to go back to Valley Nursery with a Mack truck.

Well, now that I've had a good look at the tree selections, it's time to check out the perennials.

Anemanthele lessoniana aka Pheasant Tail Grass, which Scott showcased in a past Foliage Followup post on his blog Rhone Street Gardens. Gorgeous!

With all the shade from my huge Douglas firs, I'm always in the market for some ferns. They have a good selection.

Their Rodgersias still had lots of great bronze color.

This was a Brunnera I haven't seen before -- 'Emerald Mist'

This cute little kitty-cat doorstop was waiting by the register.
So, what did I buy at Valley Nursery?

Starting at the back and moving forward: 2 Verbascum 'Clementine,' 2 Anemanthele lessoniana, Phlomis russeliana and Melianthus major 'Purple Haze'

Verbascum 'Clementine' -- lately I'm a sucker for orange and pink

I have a patch of purple Verbascums flowering right now in a bed in the back garden. 'Clementine' will look great mixed in with them. That bed is next on the slate for redoing, but not until the fall.

New growth on Melianthus major 'Purple Haze'

And the older growth

I realized when I saw this grass in front of the Verbascum that they would make excellent companions. Besides, how can it be that there are currently no grasses growing in that bed? They belong there.

If I can get my act together today, I might get a Wildflower Wednesday post in today as well (I know, two posts in one day from me, I seldom do more than two posts a week). If not, my next post will be about Heronswood!