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

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Heronswood Sale and Garden

The next stop last Saturday for the Lassie and the Outlaw was Heronswood. Who doesn't know what Heronswood is, raise your hand. Well, I didn't till I moved here four years ago. I had heard the name and Dan Hinkley's name (the founder of Heronswood) bandied about by my betters in the gardening game back East, but I hadn't bothered to really learn anything about it. I wrote a post about Heronswood back in December, when I was doing the December Photo Project. You can read it here. You can also read my garden shopping companion Peter The Outlaw Gardener's post about the sale at Heronswood here, and his excellent post about our tour of the garden, where he talks about the garden in its heydey here.

I'm sorry to say I really have very few pictures of the sale. Just this one and the next, which was a really magnificent blue Himalayan poppy on the Far Reaches Farm table. It was just too hard to take photos and carry a box of plants around. The nurseries participating in the sale were all local specialty and small nurseries that specialize in unusual and hard to find plants for our region (and some maybe not for our region, but for somewhere warmer and sunnier, but that doesn't deter certain people, and you know who you are.) And those vendors all brought really choice plants that you truly won't find anywhere else.

This flower was enormous!

After buying our plants and stashing them in Peter's car, we wandered the Heronswood garden.

This Little and Lewis garden folly was chained off to prevent people from getting any closer, I'm not sure why. It was open when I went last year for the Garden Conservancy's Open Days tour.

This bed, which contains a combination of blues and yellows, as well as a couple of trees or shrubs that have been cut back severely, is an iconic Heronswood bed. This area was also chained off.

These Kniphofia were enormous!

I told Peter to stand next to them so I could show just how tall they were. I didn't tell him to smile like a pixie though. Can't you just tell from this picture what a dangerous plant shopping companion he is?

Can you believe how pink this tree is? It's an Acer palmatum, but I don't know the variety. Peter knows, ask him.

Parahebe perfoliata

The back of a Rheum leaf, showing the beautiful red veins.

Another iconic Heronswood garden room is this cathedral-like area made of pleached elm trees. They're not on a topiary frame, they're woven together and pruned individually to make these shapes.

The Embothrium coccinium was in glorious full flower, so tall and flamboyant. Kelly Dodson from Far Reaches Farm told me to look for it. The reason he told me was because I was buying one from him. Just a tiny one.

A large patch of Lady Slipper Orchids got my attention. Some day maybe I'll try growing them. I really do love the shape of the flower.

I don't think there is any other flower with this shape in the plant world. It really is unique.

As we were leaving, this group of native American singers from the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, which now owns Heronswood, began to perform.

I should show you what I bought. Everything except one item was from Far Reaches Farm, and we went there later in the day and bought even more. And because I'm old and senile I don't remember now what I bought at the sale and what I bought at the nursery.

You want to know, though, don't you?

Starting at the back with the very tall plant with the white flowers, and then coming forward left to right: Diphylleia cymosa, Lysichiton americanum, Sinopodophyllum hexandrum, Actaea 'Hillside Black Beauty,' Maianthemum sp., Embothrium coccineum, Meconopsis baileyi 'Hensol Violet,' Curculigo sp. JMc, Lamium orvala 'Silva

Speaking of zone denial, that Curculigo might not be hardy, but it has the coolest pleated leaves. I guess when I point the finger at all you zone pushers, I should really point it in the mirror.

A close-up of the Diphylleia flower, which turns into blue berries.

Lamium orvala 'Silva'

Sinopodophyllum hexandrum

There's more to come, so stay tuned!