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

Monday, April 20, 2015

After the Tulips, More Nursery Visits

As Emily of the blog All Things Emily surmised in her comment on my recent tulip post, I did indeed go to Christianson's Nursery, which is near the tulip fields in Mount Vernon, WA. I didn't buy cut flowers at Roozengaarde, but at Christianson's and at one more place, Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville, I did buy plants.

Christianson's Nursery

I started out in the conservatory area, where I found some treasures, but my own greenhouse right  now is not even standing room only, it's no room only. I've already got plants stuffed in there willy-nilly, with the constant danger of stepping on something every time I enter. It won't be long now before I start to empty it and bring everyone out for their summer vacation in the sun, but that just means that I was more focused on looking for hardy plants I could plant out now in the beds. (Plus, I had another coupon for 20% off my entire purchase!)

The Conservatory

Enormous Bromeliad with pups was tempting

Very red Begonia

Such a bright pretty leaf, it almost looks like paint

Nepenthes/pitcher plant -- I do want one of these, but I'm holding out for something more mottled or with teeth

Tall and gangly 'Gene Daniels' Begonia -- it's a beauty

Enormous nursery cat

Eyes open to just slits as he checks me out

Red Pelargoniums and spiky, scary desert plants are not companions you expect to see next to each other


Agave victoria-reginae -- a good size

A very handsome Aloe 'Hercules' which I keep reading about on California blogs

Agave guiengola, also huge

Finally, I ventured out to check out the perennial tables.

Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies' is not looking particularly blue

One of last year's "It" plants -- Stachys 'Bello Grigio'
I searched for that Stachys last year after seeing it in several gardens on tour, but by then they had all been snatched up. I bought one recently at a nursery closer to home, so I left these.

Scrophularia macrantha -- "Red Birds in a Tree"
Sorry it's such a crappy, unfocused photo of the Scrophularia. I was intrigued by this plant, mostly because of its common name, but not familiar with it. I might look for it again, because from what I've read about it online, it might be a good candidate for the gravel garden redo. And hummers will love those red flowers.
Yellow tree peony

Perennial tables

Shrubs and trees -- plenty to choose from. This area is so big, it would be easy to get lost

There's a small antique shop on site as well, with some fab hard-to-resist treasures inside.
In the antique shop

Antique washbasin

Happy/Sad Buddha
After paying for my purchases, I loaded up the car and headed back down I-5 to Marysville, where earlier in the day I had paused briefly to throw Nigel out of the car at the Tulalip Native American Casino (Nigel calls it the Tulalip Daddy Day-Care). I had yet another coupon from the WSNLA booklet that I picked up at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, and it was another nursery I'd never visited before.

Sunnyside Nursery

This nursery is smaller than Christianson's, but still packed with interesting plants and containers. The owners, Steve and Pauline, are both certified plant horticulturists, and they have others on staff who are also CPHs. In addition, Steve writes a blog The Whistling Gardener for the nursery, which you can read here. And they run free classes, with one coming up this weekend on Japanese maples. For a list of upcoming classes, click here.

They had quite an extensive selection of Japanese maples

I found it hard to ignore these Acer palmatum 'Akane'

"Akane" in Japanese means "Glowing evening sky"

A row of vibrantly blooming Columbines

Plenty of bright blue pots

And light blue pots




Even a planted-up old cowboy boot

Vertical succulent hanging -- Some day I'll try my hand at making one of these

This cute display was outside the covered building where you pay. The little sign is touting a class on having fun with hypertufa

So, what did I buy?

At Christianson's, a handful of plants -- at Sunnyside, just one -- which is not a reflection on their wares at all.

Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies' and Dasylirion quadrangulata -- both still just babies

Aconitum cammarum 'Stainless Steel'

And at Sunnyside, I finally decided to take the plunge into growing a Japanese maple.

Acer palmatum 'Akane'

Here in the PNW, we love anything that invokes the sun