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

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Weekend Part I

Boy, this past weekend really kept me hopping -- nursery hopping, that is! I started on Friday with a trip into Seattle to West Seattle Nursery, stopped just long enough in the center of town for a nice lunch with Nigel, and then continued onward to Swanson's in North Seattle. Because the rush hour traffic is so horrendous and starts about 2 p.m., I didn't make it home until about 6 p.m., even though I left my final stop at about 4 p.m (a commute that normally takes from 45 minutes-1 hour).

I had never been to West Seattle Nursery before, but after seeing their award-winning display garden at this year's Northwest Flower and Garden Show, I just had to see what I'd been missing. My blogging and garden touring buddy Peter The Outlaw Gardener visited recently too, and raved about it in his post, which you can read here. He went before they had all the racks of tender annuals out, and there was actually quite a lot of empty space. Now, however, every inch of floor space is crammed with plants!

You can have your pick of colorful pots too

Racks and racks of annuals

Annuals and perennials

I found this Alternanthera 'Purple Threadleaf' interesting!

Pretty Begonia leaf makes good camera fodder

Gorgeous Calla lilies

I counted nearly 20 varieties of Hydrangea in this corner

Tempting Schefflera delavayii, with a not so tempting $89.98 price tag

Ground covers galore

Rows and rows of shrubs

The structure and some of the bug hotels from their NWFGS display

The smaller leafed ninebark in back was a new-to-me variety called 'Lady in Red,' the larger leaf one in front is 'Diablo.' It may not be visible in the photo, but there was a striking difference in the richness of color between the two.

This cutie-pie chicken posed prettily for me

There was even an Agave display, this one is A. schidigera, probably 'Shira ito no Ohi'

You know I didn't escape from this nursery unscathed. But I had to meet Nigel in town for lunch at McCormick's Fish House (Caesar salad and pan-fried Willapa Bay oysters) followed by a tasty latte and pastry at Belle Epicurean (sorry, no food photos, but both lunch and dessert were delicious). My second nursery stop for the day was Swanson's, where I've shopped for plants many times, but have never posted about. You can read Peter's post about visiting Swanson's at Christmastime here.

Tibouchina's hairy, waffled leaves with a touch of red edging was new to me

Not hardy here, but if I overwinter my Brugmansias in the garage this winter, I can find room.

I've been looking for a Bougainvillea ever since I managed to kill my first one a couple of years ago.

Bougainvillea 'Sharon Wesley' has blooms that emerge with a touch of orange and mature to bright pink

Calla 'Red Alert' had pretty blotched leaves too

Swanson's has several of these fern tables on slabs in shady spots throughout the nursery

My nursery hopping plans for Sunday included a visit to Dig Nursery on Vashon Island, for a demonstration on how to make a fern table from Richie Steffen. I couldn't help wondering if his would be similar (it was better!)

This was the second time that day that I encountered this double purple Datura. Since the Datura I started from seed and nurtured throughout the winter proved so disappointing, what was I to do?

What plants did I ultimately take home?

(Left to right) Double purple Datura, Bougainvillea 'Sharon Wesley,' Salvia 'Wendy's Wish,' two Maianthemum racemosa, and in front an annual Nicotiana, the deepest purple I've seen

Purple Nicotiana

Salvia 'Wendy's Wish'

Bougainvillea 'Helen Wesley' showing the range of color

My nursery hopping travels continued on both Saturday and Sunday. Check for more in future posts.